War Game- Yes to Destruction, No to Communication!


War Game Shows How Attacking Iran Could Backfire, Oh & Communication & Dialogues Didn’t Exist

The Saban Center for Middle East Policy, part of the Washington-based Brookings Institution, “a center-left think tank”, recently conducted a war game involving what the current situation in Iran in regards to their uranium enrichment program late last year.

The ‘game’ includes Israel pre-emptive bombing Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the United Sates all being involved in one way or another. What I found interesting (from a conflict specialist’s perspective) from the results are the following:

* Israel didn't inform Washington in advance of the strike.

* Israeli and U.S. "officials" communicated with each other, but not with the Iranians.

* One of the simulation's major findings was … how Washington and Tehran, lacking direct communication, misunderstood each other.

And finally:

* The lesson is "once you start this, it's really hard to stop it," said Kenneth Pollack, a former White House and CIA official who oversaw the simulation.

What to make of this game?

Well, from a conflict specialist viewpoint, be it the many potential roles we might currently serve in, it shows me how important communication and having those lines established prior to violent outbreak is.

During the Cold War, the US and USSR (under Kennedy and Khrushchev) establish a direct phone line for communication in case of emergency. Could something similar be established between the US and Iran? As outlandish as it sounds, why not, especially since it was done with the Russians way back then? Surely there is room for NGO's or the United Nations to increase communication and dialogue?

The last quote I think is a powerful example of how the conflict resolution definition of entrapment is manifested. In the international setting, it is usually much more impactful and devastating. Luckily, in this case it was only a ‘game’.

Read the full article:
War game shows how attacking Iran could backfire - KansasCity.com

1 comment:

  1. Jeff. Fascinating in the area of conflict. I think wargaming for negotiations is effective also. As you know, I suggested that in my book. Nice article.

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