War gaming numbered plans

There is a proposal on the table to include Wargaming numbered plans as a topic at this year’s Connections conference.

Given that the numbered plans are (highly) classified, how might one usefully discuss war gaming numbered plans at the unclassified level? Thanks!

About Stephen Downes-Martin

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5 Responses to War gaming numbered plans

  1. Rex Brynen says:

    I’m reminded of an announcement by our Estonian MoD hosts at a NATO conference/wargame last year, who warned us that members of a foreign intelligence agency had been seen in and around the conference hotel trying to pick up tidbits of conversation. “It wouldn’t be appropriate for us to identify the country…” they said, “…but it borders Estonia. And Japan.”

  2. chrisweuve says:

    1) My default answer is that you can’t — the devil is in the details, and you can’t talk about the details. You might be able to go big picture (strategic) about a particular idea, but that’s still problematic, if for no other reason than half the people in the room know the real numbers.

    2) After thinking about it, though, my conclusion is that I am not sure the problem statement is well-defined enough. In my first statement I made assumptions. Are those assumptions correct? What exactly do you wish to accomplish?

  3. Rex Brynen says:

    Following on from Chris’ point, is there a particular issue in the development, evaluation, or gaming of those plans that you want to explore? If so, could the session then be organized thematically?

    Alternatively, we could look historically at the challenge of wargaming national war plans in the 20th century.

  4. Paul Vebber says:

    To Chris’ point about defining the problem, I think the problem right now is simply at the level of “its desirable to have someone on a panel ;cover’ gaming associated with ‘real world’ operational planning” – which jumped to numbered plans. The panel is also looking to cover “S&T” related “Future” gaming” and one other that escapes me. So I think the “numbered plans” piece was meant to be “currently envisioned near term contingencies”.

    That said you obviously can’t talk content in an unclas setting and I think the idea of the panel was more about “process” than content. What are the differences between wargaming associated with near term contingencies and the far more open ended far term? The notion being to get someone involved in that TYPE of gaming to present and then discuss amongst the other panel members.

    The broader question, if the panel is dealing with (at least in two of its members) issues related to near term vs far term gaming, does ‘near-term’ = numbered o-plans or is it something else?

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