Millennium Challenge 2002

GS_Stories1sBusiness problem:

Serious games used:
Millennium Challenge 2002

The US Department of Defense’s Millennium Challenge 2002 wargame is a good example of how the military employs serious games to anticipate future conflicts and explore options.

Millennium Challenge 2002 had two primary goals:

  1. Explore what might happen in a future conflict with Iran.
  2. Test and hone some newer doctrines, such as “net-centric warfare.”

The exercise combined both computer-based simulations and live role-playing, giving participants the roles of civilian and military leaders during this hypothetical crisis. The computers modeled the possible outcomes of any military action between the United States and Iran.

The controversy over whether the results of the exercise were too scripted dramatize the value of this type of tool. The team playing Iran departed from the planned strategy: instead of a straight-up confrontation with the US Navy, the Iranian team opted instead for lower-risk harassment tactics, using small boats to make swarm attacks against the Navy’s big ships. The success of this strategy was not the outcome that the planners of Millennium Challenge 2002 had expected, but it did show, in the real world, how vulnerable an expensive US carrier battle group could be, if this scenario were ever to play out  in the real world.

For more information…
Army Times article on the controversy about the pre-scripted outcome
Interview with General Paul Van Riper about Millennium Challenge 2002
Wikipedia entry about Millennium Challenge 2002

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