Welcome to this special modeling and simulation (M&S) edition of the Journal of Cyber Security & Information Systems, published by the Cyber Security & Information Systems Information Analysis Center (CSIAC). This edition focuses on wargaming, a key cylinder of the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) innovative engine.
The Department wants to employ wargaming to develop new concepts which can integrate new capabilities, enrich programmatic and acquisition decision processes, and inform discussions on departmental strategies. In a February 2015 memo, Deputy Secretary of Defense (DepSecDef), Robert Work writes that he expects wargames to “pursue an innovative third offset strategy, avoid operational and technological surprise, and make the best use of our limited resources.” Most important the DepSecDef wants to “wargame the kinds of challenges that cross COCOM responsibilities in order to better address threats that would benefit from a more global strategic perspective.” Over the past year, the Department has encouraged more wargaming by hosting two wargaming summits, executing the senior leader wargaming series, developing the wargaming repository, forming the Defense Wargaming Alignment Group (DWAG), providing wargaming incentives, and publishing a monthly wargaming report. The wargaming repository (wargaming.osd.smil.mil) was created by Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) to provide the wargaming community of practice with a centralized hub for sharing of information as well as identifying number of wargames conducted (including upcoming games), capabilities, capacity, cost, and insights gained. The repository provides an interactive database of wargames, as well as points of contact and listing of support tools. To keep the repository current, in a December 2015 memo, the DepSecDef and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), Gen. Paul Selva, directed all organizations to “Update the wargaming repository monthly with future wargames and tabletop exercises, as well as executed games to include insights.” The repository allows users to post files including wargame final reports, tools, and data. Users can also comment on wargames to help the community understand the value of the insights. The wargaming repository currently contains over 550 wargames, 260 organizations and 212 support tools.
In his May 2015 memo (“Wargaming Summit Way Ahead”), the DepSecDef formed the DWAG to “better link wargames with senior leader priorities, with a strong focus on information dissemination.” In addition to these tasks, the DWAG assists the wargaming principle Quad-Chairs (CAPE, Policy, Office of Net Assessment, and JS-J8) with administrative and organization functions and acts as a conduit between the Department and the wargaming enterprise. The DWAG meets every two weeks and members include representatives from COCOMs, Services, NGB, JS-J7, JS-J4, OSD-AT&L, OSD-CAPE, OSD-Policy, Office of Net Assessment, and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.
As part of the Department’s wargaming efforts to institutionalize wargaming and better integrate wargaming results with budget development, the DepSecDef created a $10M per year wargaming incentive fund. This fund incentivizes strategic and programmatic wargames that address Department priorities. The DepSecDef February 2015 memo stated, “Wargaming, in concert with operational analysis, and experimentation, cannot stand apart from the budget process.” Understanding, wargames serve many purposes and vary in purpose, design, size, and scope; the incentive funds intent is to incentivize programmatic and strategic games that provide senior level insights. The incentives aren’t meant to supplement current wargames, but rather to expand wargames to address Department priorities and gaps across regions, Services, and COCOMs. The current criteria for wargaming incentive funds include:
- Addresses senior leader priorities
- Potential for programmatic/strategic insight
- Innovative concepts/capabilities
- Topical coverage gap
- Historical quality of game insights
- Incentive fund return on investment (ROI) and postgame assessment
Although, the Department emphasizes strategic and programmatic games, this is not meant to curtail other types of games. To request incentive funding, simply create an upcoming wargame in the repository with all fields completely filled in; then check the box for incentive funding and provide specific rationale on why funding is required, including the Department cost/benefit. Second quarter, 2017 wargaming incentive fund requests are due by November 28th, 2016.
At the Wargaming Summit II, Gen Selva stated “wargames must be games of consequence and the way to make games of consequence is to have senior leaders involved.” To help address this concern the Department created a wargaming monthly report. The report is populated directly from the repository, and its intent is to inform senior leaders of upcoming wargames and events, provide insights from past wargames, and provide repository summary statistics. The report is sent directly to Department 4-star level leadership, which places additional emphasis on organizations to keep the repository updated.
The cycle of innovation consists of the interaction of analysis, modeling and simulation, wargaming, and demonstrations/exercises. Used together they enable the Department to think outside the box and provide decision space for senior leaders. In the December 2015 “War on the Rocks” article, entitled, “Revitalizing Wargaming is Necessary to be Prepared for Future Wars,” the DepSecDef and VCJCS stated: “Wargame results are neither shared laterally across the defense enterprise nor up the chain to influence senior level decision-making.” Over the past year the Department has developed the wargaming repository, Defense Wargaming Alignment Group (DWAG), incentives, and a monthly report to better enable both lateral and horizontal information sharing. The Department focus on wargaming is welcomed news to the professional wargaming community; however, this renewed attention also demands results. The Department believes wargaming is an avenue for innovation through strategic and programmatic insights and now the wargaming community must produce. The days of completing a wargame outbrief and calling it good are over. The community must show its worth and be part of the cycle of innovation by producing actionable insights. The Department has provided the structure and resources, and now the wargaming community must showcase its capabilities.