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NEWS | April 8, 2022

DEGRE-22 WarGame Focuses on Strategic Deterrence, Assurance, Escalation Management


NEWPORT, R.I. – U.S. Strategic Command, in association with the U.S. Naval War College, conducted a Deterrence and Escalation Game and Review WarGame April 4-8.

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 DEGRE wargames allow us to assess strategic risks and examine how those assessments inform our planning and execution,” said Lt. Gen. Tom Bussiere, USSTRATCOM deputy commander. "We are not living in the Cold War era anymore, and we must adapt to today's strategic environment by understanding our opponents' threats and their decision calculus.”

DEGRE is not a nuclear wargame, but a strategic wargame that addresses high stakes conflicts with nuclear¬ armed adversaries. The wargame matches a blue team of senior government officials with seven other allied and adversary teams as they seek to resolve a realistic crisis or conflict scenario. 

"Recent international events highlight the critical need for us to better understand deterrence and escalation management, potential adversaries' strategies, and all available means to pursue vital U.S. interests,” said Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, President of the Naval War College. “We will continue to develop our wargaming capabilities here at the Naval War College to meet that challenge and to allow us to fully explore the range of strategic deterrent options available to national decision-makers.”

This year's iteration of the wargame included participation by U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Space Command, U.S. Cyber Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. European Command, a former NATO secretary general for operations, 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. DEGRE now focuses on strategic deterrence, assurance, and escalation management. USSTRATCOM J5 sets the game objectives and the U.S. Naval War College has designed, developed, and executed the DEGRE game annually since 2009.