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Wargaming != INNOVATION Searching for the Emergent Properties of Cat Herding Jon Compton.

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Presentation on theme: "Wargaming != INNOVATION Searching for the Emergent Properties of Cat Herding Jon Compton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wargaming != INNOVATION Searching for the Emergent Properties of Cat Herding Jon Compton

2 Question 1 Why are wargames NOT producing innovative solutions to future, strategic, security problems?


4 The Self-Licking Ice-cream Cone “I’d like you to prove that my idea is best!” Why have a game if you already know the answer? “I know, Let’s have a wargame!” …


6 Don’t mean a thang if it ain’t got that VV&A! Those wargame results are invalid because… “Seminar wargames are bad” “The model you used to adjudicate tank muzzle velocity is obsolete” “Social Science is intellectually inferior”

7 What the hell is innovation anyway? Innovation requires open minds and open-ended questions in which reality has demonstrated mismatch with doctrinal ideas.

8 Question 2 What educational techniques do you propose to address these obstacles?


10 Truth or Consequences A fundamental methodological difference: Analytical wargames do not seek “truth”… They seek what is successful.

11 Abductive Reasoning Wargaming is an abductive reasoning process. “Abductive reasoning is concerned with imaginative reasoning, a process through which new ideas or hypotheses come into existence. New ideas cannot be generated by deductive or inductive reasoning because with deductive reasoning a conclusion is already embedded in its premises, while inductive reasoning already contains a hypothesis for which we are merely establishing probabilistic grounds.”

12 Data Any method is largely constrained by, if not defined by, the data it uses. The data requirements of a wargame are unique among methods and consist of (among other things): Experience Opinion Perspective Knowledge Bias Said data is characterized by Incompleteness Inconsistency Contradiction Inaccuracy

13 Conditions for Use What questions, therefor, are wargames best suited? Analytical wargaming is our best, possibly our only method for discovering the topography of complex, wicked problems that involve human cognitive competitions in complex environments. Therefor, an element of any question to which a wargame may be considered to apply is a process of discovery, to include but not limited to questions pertaining to: Concepts of operations Risk Vulnerability in which the terrain is highly complex, possible solutions vectors are multiple, mutually exclusive, plausible or implausible, and involve human competitions and interactions.

14 A Definition Analytical Wargaming is the act of competitive, contextualized decision- making within pre-defined constraints for the purpose of gaining insight into complex, adaptive, interactive, and cognitive systems. This definition and this discussion applies to Analytical Wargaming alone (not educational/training or commercial).

15 A Purpose The purpose of an analytical wargame is not to answer any specific question with a point solution. Its purpose is to gain insight into complex questions in order to generate a better analytical focus, be it at the strategic, operational, tactical, or some other level of analysis. To wit: hypothesis generation within a cycle of research.

16 Question 3 Why and how you believe these will (or do) work to generate wargames that themselves produce innovative solutions to future, strategic security problems?

17 Good ideas are a dime-a-dozen; Execution is gold. Innovation happens all the time. But… There must be a culture receptive to it There must be a cycle of research to validate it There must be will to implement it Doctrinal conservatism must be shot in the head or we lose the war we fight tomorrow by fighting the war we fought yesterday. All of these things lie outside the capacity of wargames.

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