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DEGRE 10 logoNEWPORT, R.I. - The Naval War College conducted the Deterrence and Escalation Game and Review 2010 (DEGRE-10), April 18-23, 2010. 

Sponsored by the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), the purpose of DEGRE-10 was to explore how the four facets of U.S. strategic escalation (i.e., Nuclear, Space Cyber, and Conventional Forces) interrelate in a conflict against a peer competitor. The game also enhanced stakeholders’ understanding of the complexities of escalation dynamics and strived to prepare senior decision makers for ongoing and future nuclear policy and force structure discussions.

The DEGRE series leverages the Warfare, Analysis & Research Department’s Mahan Scholars year-long research project into strategic deterrence and escalation with new and innovative design and analysis techniques provided in partnership with the War Gaming Department.

This year’s event expanded upon the successful war game and research project undertaken by the Mahan Scholars in 2009 (DEGRE-09). At that time, the DEGRE-09 Team looked at strategic escalation within the nuclear domain. The findings of that project ultimately led the Director of the Mahan Scholars to seek to understand deterrence and escalation across multiple domains, including nuclear, space, cyber, and conventional force.

Approximately 75 participants from a variety of military commands and intelligence community agencies engaged in this robust, two-sided game, which consisted of a total of 11 moves played over four days, and employed a variety of cutting-edge design techniques such as asymmetric hyper-gaming with an agile computer network built specifically for the DEGRE-10 event. In order to ensure that the outcomes of the game would prove useful to USSTRATCOM leadership, a comprehensive approach to capturing information was combined with a multi-pronged data analysis technique known as triangulation.

Findings and implications of the DEGRE-10 Game will be briefed by the Naval War College to the Commander, USSTRATCOM, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Service Components, and Intelligence Community Leaders at two events that will be held on May 14 and 19 in Omaha and Washington, D.C., respectively.

From War Gaming Department and Warfare Analysis and Research Department