Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Global War Game at the Naval War College

From 1979-2001, the Naval War College sponsored an annual exercise they called the Global War Game. I've already mentioned John Hanley's excellent summaries of the 1979-1990 games in his dissertation, but there are some other, more easily accessible descriptions of these games as well. Bud Hay and Bob Gile put together a review of the first five years of the game, and Gile returned to the subject later to write up the second five years. Both summaries were published in the Newport Papers series at the Naval War College, but only the second appears to be available online, here. The second of these provides more information about the way the games were structured, and includes a brief summary section on the first five years, so I would recommend starting with that one anyway. Both of these papers are available at some university libraries.

Beyond these summaries of the early games, few articles or other accounts have been published dealing with the Global War Games, particularly the later games. One of the few I have seen so far is Kenneth Watman's article on Global 2000. Watman was the head of war gaming at the Naval War College.

This post from an arms control blog last year is an indication that potentially useful insights might still be available from these games, which is why it is fascinating to me that no one has written a systematic review of the later years. The review of the second five years, mentioned above, was published in 2004, which suggested a new interest in studying the games, but nothing more has been forthcoming.

1 comment:

Christopher Weuve said...

1) The newer Global War Game document is now available at:

2) The issue with extending the series to the end of Global is classification.