NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

King’s NATO Wargaming Week 2024: Advancing Analytic Excellence at King’s College London

April 18, 2024

This week, King’s College London is hosting the King’s NATO Wargaming Week 2024, a prestigious event that brings together professional wargaming practitioners from NATO, academia and industry. The event aims to share best practices and improve wargaming methods and procedures, with a focus on increasing professional understanding and proficiency in wargaming.

The target audience for the event includes wargamers within NATO as well as partners who design, execute, and support professional wargames. The week-long event features panels, workshops, speakers, and demonstrations designed to improve wargaming proficiency for the attendees.

The King’s Wargaming Week, an annual event initiated and organised by the King’s Wargaming Network, underscores the Network’s commitment to advancing the theory and application of wargaming. As a research group within the School of Security Studies, the Network serves as a focal point for King’s students and staff engaged in studying, researching, and applying wargames and simulations. These activities extend beyond modelling war and conflict to encompass a wide array of domains, including land, sea, air, cyber, space, politics, business, and health. The Network’s work builds on King’s College’s rich history of wargaming and aims to promote wargaming as a method of inquiry and as a tool for learning and teaching.

One of the highlights of the event will be a wargame on strategic competition designed by King’s College’s Wargaming Network. This wargame will provide an example of a professional analytic wargame and instruction on the methodology used to design and produce it. Workshops will then be conducted on how to properly conduct analysis built around that wargame.

“Leaders and staff are starting to realize that even the simplest wargames can generate understanding and insights into complex issues and problems. Well crafted wargames, which is the purpose of this event, can generate profound leaps in understanding and analytic opportunities that will push the NATO alliance forward and allow us to maintain a competitive edge in an increasingly chaotic and multi-polar world” said Lieutenant Colonel Aaron Beam, Wargaming Lead at NATO Allied Command Transformation.

Representatives involved with wargaming at Allied Command Transformation are in attendance and will serve in panellist roles. The event will also feature a commissioned analytic wargame from King’s College that looks at long-term strategic competition between the world’s great powers, including the United States, Europe, NATO, China, and Russia. This wargame will provide analysis of these trends that will be incorporated into future strategic studies at Allied Command Transformation.

The agenda for the week includes a range of activities such as academic wargaming, professional wargaming panels, wargame design workshops, keynote lectures, and receptions. The event is a valuable opportunity for NATO wargamers to enhance their skills and knowledge in the field of wargaming, ultimately contributing to the Alliance’s strategic capabilities and preparedness.

The final day of the event will be dedicated exclusively to NATO participants, providing them with updates on forthcoming capability milestones and deliverables. It will also serve as a platform to gather feedback from the community regarding near-term projects. These projects include the development of a revised wargaming handbook, the establishment of a standardized NATO Wargaming System, and discussions on the future direction of NATO wargaming conferences, events, and educational initiatives.

The King’s NATO Wargaming Week 2024 will serve as a testament to the growing importance of wargaming as a tool for strategic analysis and preparedness. By fostering collaboration between NATO, academia, and industry, this event contributes significantly to refining wargaming methodologies and ultimately strengthens the Alliance’s ability to navigate the complexities of the contemporary security landscape. The knowledge and best practices exchanged during this week will undoubtedly equip NATO wargamers with the skills necessary to tackle future challenges and ensure the Alliance’s continued effectiveness.