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LTC Stephen F.
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That is an interesting idea PO1 Tony Holland. Board war games and video games may be diversions but actual war games that involve military forces allow for training, demonstration and forging of relationships among allies.
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Col Joseph Lenertz
Col Joseph Lenertz
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Yes, exactly. And those relationships, built on trust, can help us avoid war. Settimo "Mino" Caputo was in my seminar class at ICAF and I consider him a friend. Mino was appointed the Deputy Chief of Staff of Italy's Air Force last year. The ability to keep unofficial comms open with other nations is one reason we have international exercises, war games, and senior service schools.
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LTC Thomas F.
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War games are nothing new. But first you might separate between what BBC is talking about and what we in the military do. The article is talking about a purely geo-political exercise with people who don't fill those actual positions. Its more a familiarization to show lay-men what goes on behind the scenes of a politically sensitive issues (like N. Korea). I did that back I my political science class in high school. It was fun but really just skimmed the surface. Simulations Operations officers like me put together real "war games" in a live, virtual and/or constructive environments assembling units from the tactical to the operational, sometimes even our sister services. Remember, anything other than simulations is called war. Point being is that real exercises don't usually get into the geo-political as we in uniform don't mess with that. We are pointed in a direction by our civilian over-lords and we go an break things. It's more important to understand how we take those orders, develop our plans, coordinate across the joint, service and operational environments to complete the tasks required.

But to get to the meat of the answer, conducting exercises provides two things. First is the ability for units to increase their readiness through exercising their battle plans and SOPs. Second, its a show of force to our advisories that we are preparing to go into harm's way and do a Mattis knife-hand chop on someone. Think UFG in Korea each year. Notice how NK gets all bent out of shape? By the way, those "live inserts" care called injects and are the driving force to push staffs and units to take action.
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Sgt Brendan Bigney
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Monopoly. You learn to be reasonable to avoid unnecessary conflicts and make deals.
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