U.S. Naval War College Hosts U.S. Strategic Command for War Game

Faculty and staff at the U.S. Naval War College

U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), in association with the U.S. Naval War College, conducted a Deterrence and Escalation Game and Review (DEGRE) War Game April 4th-8th in Newport, RI.

The DEGRE series of war games examines the dynamics of strategic deterrence, assurance, and escalation management to inform Whole of Government, combatant commands and allies on full spectrum warfighting against a reactive nuclear-armed adversary.

"The DEGRE war games allow us to assess strategic risks and examine how those assessments inform our planning and execution," said Lt. Gen. Tom Bussiere, USSTRATCOM deputy commander. "We are not living in the Cold War era anymore, and we must adapt to today's strategic environment by understanding our opponents' threats and their decision calculus."

DEGRE is not a "nuclear war game," but a strategic war game that addresses high stakes conflicts with nuclear-­armed adversaries. The war game matches a blue team of senior government officials with seven other allied and adversary teams they seek to resolve a realistic crisis or conflict scenario.

"Recent international events highlight the critical need for us to better understand deterrence and escalation management, potential adversaries' strategies, and all available means to pursue vital U.S. interests," said Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield, president of the U.S. Naval War College. "We will continue to develop our wargaming capabilities here at the Naval War College to meet that challenge and to allow us to fully explore the range of strategic deterrent options available to national decision-makers."

This year's iteration of the war game included participation by U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. lndo-Pacific Command, U.S. Space Command, U.S. Cyber Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, a former NATO secretary general for operations, and the U.S. Naval War College.

The DEGRE series was initiated following the release of the 2008 Schlesinger Reports upon recommendations to develop nuclear wargaming to address atrophy of strategic deterrence experts. USSTRATCOM J5 sets the game objectives and the U.S. Naval War College has designed, developed, and executed the DEGRE game annually since 2009.

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U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
April 11, 2022

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