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Preparing for War: wargaming the NATO-Russia confrontation in the Baltics

Publié le 31 août 2023 Mis à jour le 1 février 2024

New article out by Cindy Regnier, Université de Liège (visiting researcher at REPI) in Critical Studies on Security

Abstract: The recent literature has inquired how media, official discourses, popular culture, or even sports and toys, can shape political imaginary into thinking that military intervention is the only relevant course of action. In this endeavour, the role of wargaming in justifying further militarisation remains largely understudied. By building upon the RAND Baltic 2014–2015 wargame and the subsequent NATO decision to deploy troops in the Baltics and Poland, I propose that certain wargames can legitimise the use of force in three ways: by reflecting the security community’s concerns in the storyline of the game, by designing the game in such a manner that preparation for war becomes the only well-founded means of tackling the issues posed by the game, and by enhancing its circulation in the defence field, notably by presenting the wargame as having the same level of credibility as science. Drawing upon assemblage theory, I propose that wargaming encompasses more than the individual experiences of its players. It encompasses the extensive sociotechnical assemblage of practices, technologies, networks of actors, and resulting emergent properties that together can amplify the conditions of possibility favourable to military deployment.

More information: Taylor & Francis Online
le 31 août 2023