13 June 2012

Wrapping Up Unified Quest

Looking back at the now-wrapped up Unified Quest futures wargame.

"I was initially skeptical," said retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, who started the annual wargame when he was commandant of the Army War College and had been displeased by its direction. "I've been very much a stern critic of this game over the years," he told AOL Defense, but this time, the players portraying the enemy -- the "Red Team" -- were once again given freedom to wreak havoc on the good guys in innovative ways, forcing the US and its allies -- "Blue" -- to innovate in turn. Said Scales, "that led to a lot of legitimacy and credibility in the game, which I found frankly very refreshing."

Though the wargame addressed issues ranging from cyberwar to terrorism, from interagency coordination to public relations, central to the scenario was the challenge of deploying US forces to countries where they have not operated before. That's a problem the real-world Army struggled with in Kosovo in 1999 and Afghanistan in 2001 but has largely avoided since, only to realize belatedly that the other services have gotten ahead on the issue with a concept called "AirSea Battle." So the Army deliberately set this year's game in fictional countries where there was no prior US presence. The adversary knew that only a handful of major ports and airfields could accommodate US transports, and it targeted them mercilessly.

By: Brant

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seems as bit odd that he hated the game when he had to the "blue", but when "red" and got to throw doctrine and other service parochialisms to the wind he enjoyed the game and found value.