Sim City Baghdad

Friday, January 29, 2010


The U.S. Army has long used video games to train troops in conventional warfare. But the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are anything but conventional. US troops fighting insurgencies need a unique skill set, one they're learning from a simulator that resembles the popular game SimCity. Kim LeMasters, creative director of the Institute for Creative Technologies, describes how UrbanSim works.

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Comments [4]

Major Adam Peters from Fort Gordon, GA

(cont.)When these effects are discussed there is no prescriptive formula presented, rather some examples are provided and students, many of whom are just back from Iraq and Afghanistan, provide their experiences. Counter-insurgency and stability operations are highly uncertain environments and what works in one location may not work in another due to differences in local resources, cultures and many other variables.
I have not seen the Urban Sim City, but hope that it portrays the web of other government institutions, non-governmental institutions and host-nation institutions that the military must work along side in order to meet our strategic objectives in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti.
Thank you for covering this story,

Major Adam Peters
U. S. Army
Command and General Staff College – Intermediate Level Education
Section 31, Staff Group D

Feb. 01 2010 04:16 PM
Major Adam Peters from Fort Gordon, GA

Our doctrine, including “Stability Operations”, has been revised over the last several years to include guidelines for establishing objectives along several different ‘lines of effort’ to enhance the overall situation on the ground rather than just focusing on establishing a safe and secure environment. Security is a critical end state, but it is now a given that we must also establish or support rule of law, social well-being, a stable democracy and a sustainable economy to successfully terminate stability operations.
In addition to updating doctrine the Army has invested heavily in education on counter-insurgency operations and stability operations. At the Army’s Command and General Staff College a great deal of time is spent discussing the complex environment that the military faces. The second and third order effects of actions are also discussed in depth. (cont.)

Feb. 01 2010 04:10 PM
Major Adam Peters from Fort Gordon, GA

I enjoyed Sim City Baghdad piece on On The Media and wanted to provide some feedback regarding some of the interviewers questions. First, the interviewer asked “Is the modern army officer accepting of these simulations and the strategy that these simulations are training for?” I would say that we are very accepting of the strategy and the principles noted by Mr. LeMasters. In working with other U.S. Army officers these strategies are now more of an assumption than a change in thinking. Officer’s, and all soldiers, understand that an operation based strictly on bombs, bullets and kicking in doors will create even more enemies than we had at the outset. As noted in the recently released Quadrennial Defense Review, “we have seen that achieving operational military victory can only be the first step toward achieving our strategic objectives.”

Feb. 01 2010 04:04 PM
Dana Franchitto from S> wellfleet, Ma. USA

The story on SIm City Baghdad was yet another piece of de facto pro-war propaganda broadcast by NPR. Since when should an NPR program which prides iteslf on "objectivity" and "independence" uncritically employ such terms as "the bad guys"(often meaning anyone who resents the US occupying their country) or asked loaded questions such as "how can the US win the war?" Sgouldn't "public" radio be questioning the Bush administration's rationale for invading? Or why ,we're still occupying Iraq? Do we really have a moral right to "win"? Just what would we "win"? Remember you are "Naltional PUBLIC Radio" not "National pentagon Radio"

Jan. 31 2010 03:37 PM

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