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News | April 16, 2021

USSTRATCOM & U.S. Naval War College Conducted DEGRE Series of Wargames

U.S. Strategic Command





U.S. Strategic Command, in association with the U.S. Naval War College, conducted a Deterrence and Escalation Game and Review Exercise April 12 to 16 in Newport, RI.


The DEGRE series of wargames examines the dynamics of strategic deterrence, assurance, and escalation management to inform Whole of Government, combatant commands and allies on full spectrum warfighting against a reactive nuclear-armed adversary.


“The importance of DEGRE in this new era of great power competition cannot be undersold,” stated Adm. Charles Richard, USSTRATCOM commander. “The world has fundamentally changed since the Cold War. Understanding the characteristics, communication barriers and dynamics of deterring two peer capable adversaries at the same time is vital. This wargame helps us to gain knowledge and insight into the role of nuclear weapons in achieving national deterrence objectives.”


DEGRE is not a “nuclear wargame,” but a strategic wargame that addresses high stakes conflicts with nuclear armed adversaries. The game matches a blue team of senior government officials against a red team of country experts as the two teams seek to resolve a realistic crisis or conflict scenario.


“In this era of great power competition, we must better understand our competitors' behavior,” said Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, President of the Naval War College. “Our wargaming capabilities here at the Naval War College allow us to fully explore the range of strategic deterrent options available to decision-makers and provide the venue and gifted researchers to enable experiential learning through wargaming.


This year's iteration of the series included participation by U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. lndo-Pacific Command, U.S. Space Command, U.S. Cyber Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. personnel from North Atlantic Treaty Organization Headquarters and the U.S. Naval War College.


The DEGRE series was initiated following the release of the 2008 Schlesinger Reports upon recommendations to develop nuclear wargaming to address atrophy of strategic deterrence experts. USSTRATCOM Plans and Policy Directorate has led the planning and execution since 2009.


For more information, contact the USSTRATCOM Public Affairs Office at 402-912-0020 or or visit