Business wargaming and today’s reality



Today the AIV (Adviesraad Internationale Vraagstukken) an independent advisory body to the Dutch governement) stated that NATO is ill prepared, or even incapable, to defend the Baltic states in case of a Russian takeover ( Without going into the details of how they have come to this, what triggers me is the overall approach. In scientific terms this would be a so-called meta-study in which research gather papers on other studies and aim to merge these into an overarching result. We’re looking at paperwork.

I think this is a very useful but incomplete study. In case of a real Russian offensive one of the key deciding factors will be the creative, adaptive and flexible minds of ours and Russia’s political and military leaders. A paper study is incapable of capturing that. A game is. A wargame to be precise.

Wargaming today is still very small and fragmented. Also in business and the link and overlap


between the two is much smaller than you may think. At the same time a lot needs to be done to further develop and mature (business) wargaming. One important driver for that will be market pull and I would like to invite all to pick this up.

Just consider this. What if indeed Russia launches an invasion into the Baltic states. What does that mean for your business and what can and can’t you do? The first is for a paper study, the latter only for a wargame.

Jan-Willem Boots is co-founder of Changing Games

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