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Wargame Reports
Aug 24, 2021 China Waging War in Space: An After-Action Report (Occasional Paper 2104)
Last Friday, Space News reported Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Hyten wanted to demonstrate a classified American anti-satellite capability before he left office this fall. Why? Because, he argued, keeping America's space capabilities secret is undermining its ability to deter Chinese and Russian attacks against key U.S. space-based nuclear and conventional military command, control, communications, and surveillance satellites. He’s got a point. In the space war game my center recently conducted, uncertainties about what space military capabilities the United States had and was willing to use caused serious confusion among our allies in responding to aggressive Chinese space actions. The game was perfected by Mark Herman, an internationally recognized war game designer that worked closely with the Pentagon for more than 30 years. The game’s play was further enhanced by the participation of some of the nation’s top military space experts, staff, and officials. The scenario had China using its anti-satellite capabilities to intimidate Japan. Beijing's plan was to keep Japan from helping Taiwan which China was about to blockade. The good news is China's ploy didn't work. The bad news is it was a close call. The game was played over two weeks and generated four key takeaways, which are posted below. For the full 100-page report, click here.
Oct 31, 2020 A China Wargame for the New Administration
As President Biden fills out his national security team, deterring Chinese adventurism, particularly towards Taiwan, will be necessary to keep the peace. Last October, NPEC conducted a series of wargames that had Beijing stopping all cargo ships bound for Taiwan and demanding that they pay a duty to Mainland China. Attached is a final report on these games, which engaged 20 Hill, Pentagon, State, and Intelligence Community staff. Although the United States and its Pacific allies did all they could to avoid military conflict in the games, a shooting war ensued. Fortunately, the U.S. and its allies were able to produce a stalemate without going nuclear. There were two important take-aways. The first is that the United States needs to work more vigorously with its Indo-Pacific allies to deter Beijing from using military force to intimidate Taiwan and China’s other neighbors. The report lists several ways to do this.  Second, the U.S. needs to revitalize its efforts to dissuade Japan and South Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons. This needs to begin now, before any regional crisis, such as an invasion of Taiwan, might prompt Japan or South Korea to get their own nuclear weapons. Any such U.S.-led nonproliferation effort must also address China’s nuclear materials and weapons build-up.   
The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC), is a 501 (c)3 nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization
founded in 1994 to promote a better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues. NPEC educates policymakers, journalists,
and university professors about proliferation threats and possible new policies and measures to meet them.
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