2009 Georgetown University International Strategic Crisis Negotiation Exercise



For a number of years now the Center for Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Army War College has partnered with the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University to conduct a strategic-level negotiations exercise, intended to provide a experiential educational opportunity that helps illuminate and reinforce many of the concepts of policymaking, diplomacy, negotiation and strategy development taught at the school. Once again this year, members of the Operations and Gaming Division of the Center lent their support to the conduct of the International Strategic Crisis Negotiation Exercise (ISCNE).

The ISCNE exercise at Georgetown is a voluntary event, but clearly popular. Its student participants, largely drawn from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, come from a broad cross section of foreign nations as well as from the United States.

The Strategic Negotiation exercise is scenario-driven, this year set in 2020, and is focused on the determination of national objectives and the development and execution of negotiation strategies to achieve them. Students are divided into seven teams representing nations with competing interests and are required to attempt to negotiate a consensus international response to an unstable situation in the region of the South Caucasus. During the exercise the teams initially have to formulate a strategy to both uphold the positions of their respective governments and acheive their objectives within the region while at the same time maintaining or improving relations with other nations involved in the region. Then the teams engage in an extended series of student-initiated bilateral and multi-lateral negotiations. Negotiating goals may include to end hostilities, to introduce international peacekeeping forces, to resolve various long-standing national and regional sovereignty issues, to acheive military withdrawal or even disarmament, to effect resettlement and to resolve different compensation issues, all in an effort to bring peace to the troubled region.

The Center for Strategic Leadership supports the Georgetown ISCNE exercise with scenario development, the provision of mentors for the student player cells, and a control team to manage overall execution of the two-half days' activities, as part of the US Army War College's overall strategic communication effort aimed at helping emerging strategic advisors and leaders better understand relationships and interactions between, and capabilities and limitations of, the various elements of national power (e.g., Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economics).

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The ISCNE simulation replicates a UN-sponsored negotiation conference at The Hague focused on resolving the continuing confrontation in the Caucasus region over the status of Nagorno-Karabakh.

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COL Fenton opens the ISCNE at an initial plenary session to introduce the student and control team participants and expand upon the objectives, scenario, and process previously provided in a read-ahead packet.

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Students role-playing as part of the Armenian delegation conduct an initial delegation strategy session

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Students role-playing as part of the Iranian delegation conduct an initial delegation strategy session.

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Students role-playing as part of the U.S. delegation conduct an initial delegation strategy session. Controllers/Mentors visible: LtCol Thomas Hensley (left), USAF Fellow at GU-ISD

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Members of the ISCNE control team monitor activities and interact with student delegations as necessary to schedule negotiation sessions, publish press releases, and replicate national governments when required. Controllers/Mentors visible: Professor James Kievit (left), CSL, U.S. Army War College; Mr. Brent Bankus (center), CSL, U.S. Army War College; COL Bryan Fenton, U.S. Army Fellow at GU-ISD

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Mentors observe as students role-playing as part of the Armenian (left) and Turkey (right) delegations engage in a multi-lateral negotiation session. Controllers/Mentors visible: LtCol Thomas Hensley (center), USAF Fellow at GU-ISD; Mrs. Tiffany Murphy, DOS Fellow at GU-ISD

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Students participate in a multi-lateral negotiation session, role-playing as part of the Turkish (right), Azerbaijani (center), and U.S. (left) delegations. Controllers/Mentors visible: COL Phil Evans (seated in back, center), CSL, U.S. Army War College

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Students role-playing as part of the Armenian (facing camera) and Azerbaijani (backs to camera) delegations participate in a multi-lateral negotiation session with the U.S. and Turkish delegations (not shown). Controllers/Mentors visible: LtCol Thomas Hensley (center), USAF Fellow at GU-ISD; Mrs. Tiffany Murphy, DOS Fellow at GU-ISD

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Students role-playing as part of the Armenian delegation work to refine their delegation strategy between negotiations sessions.

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Mr. Dion, role-playing the President of Armenia, agrees to selected recommendations from the students role-playing the Armenian delegation for revision to the Confidential Instructions previously provided to the delegation. Controllers/Mentors visible: Mr. Ritchie Dion, ISCNE Developer, CSL, U.S. Army War College

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Students role-playing as part of the Armenian (backs to camera), Azerbaijani (left), and U.S. (right) delegations participate in a multi-lateral negotiation session.

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Students role-playing as part of the Azerbaijani (center), Iranian (far right), and Armenian (near right) delegations participate in a multi-lateral negotiation session with Russia and Turkey (not shown). Controllers/Mentors visible: Ambassador Cynthia Efird (back row, center),DOS Fellow at GU-ISD

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Students role-playing as part of the Iranian (far right) and Russian (right and left) delegations pay close attention to the presentation by a student role-playing a member of the Azerbaijani delegation during a multi-lateral negotiation session.

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During the same multi-lateral negotiation session, a student role-playing as part of the Armenian delegation addresses the delegations, while the student role-playing as part of the Russian delegation continues to make sure she will be able to back brief her entire delegation during the subsequent team meeting period.

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The mentor for the Russian delegation role-players observes a multi-lateral negotiation session.
Controllers/Mentors visible: Mr. Tony Olcott (far left), CIA Fellow at GU-ISD

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Students role-playing as part of the Turkish (left), Azerbaijani (center), and Iranian (right) delegations participate in a multi-lateral negotiation session.
Controllers/Mentors visible: Ambassador Cynthia Efird (seated in back, center) DOS Fellow at GU-ISD

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Students role-playing as part of the U.S. delegation participate in a Bilateral negotiation session.

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Students role-playing as part of the Turkish delegation participate in a Bilateral negotiation session.

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The mentor for the the Nagorno-Karabakh delegation role-players observes as a student participates in a Bilateral negotiation session.

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Ambassador Hill, role-playing the European Union Special Representative, participates in a negotiation session with students role-playing as part of the Armenian and Azerbaijani delegations.
Controllers/Mentors visible: Ambassador William Hill (right) DOS, retired

Last update: 20130606