War on the Rocks: “How Does the Next Great Power Conflict Play Out?”

Other April 26, 2019 0
War on the Rocks: “How Does the Next Great Power Conflict Play Out?”

Lessons from a Wargame

APRIL 22, 2019

“The United States can win World War III, but it’s going to be ugly and it better end quick, or everyone starts looking for the nuclear trigger.

That is the verdict of a Marine Corps War College wargame I organized that allowed students to fight a multiple great state conflict last week. To set the stage, the students were given an eight-year road-to-war, during which time Russia seized the Baltics and all of Ukraine. Consequently, the scenario starts with a surging Russia threatening Poland. Similar to 1939, Poland became the catalyst that finally focused NATO’s attention on the looming Russian threat, leading to a massing of both NATO and Russian forces on the new Eastern Front. China begins the scenario in the midst of a debt-related financial crisis and plans to use America’s distraction with Russia to grab Taiwan and focus popular discontent outward. And Kim Jong-un, ever the opportunist, decides that the time has arrived to unify the Korean peninsula under his rule. For purposes of the wargame, each of these events occurred simultaneously…”

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