GAME '99 - GENEVA
Occasional Paper of
Center for Naval
James T. Harrington, U. S. Navy
States Naval War College
report was prepared for the Strategic Research Department of the Center for
Naval Warfare Studies. The contents of the report, however, reflect the author's
views and are not necessarily endorsed by the Naval War College, the Department
of the Navy or any other department or agency of the United States Government.
The Naval War College gratefully acknowledges the support of the Geneva Center for Security Policy and the game participants, moderators, rapporteurs and controllers, as well as that of Dr. John Finney throughout his tenure as Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations.
The author additionally expresses his gratitude to Dr. Don Daniel and Captain George Kasten for their guidance during this project and thoughtful review of this paper.
Geneva Game '99
Tremors in the Transcaucasus
Geneva Game '99, part of the U. S. Naval War College International Game series, was conducted at the Geneva Center for Security Policy from 16-19 March. Fifty mid-level military officers, diplomats and civil servants, from 25 NATO/PfP countries and Bosnia-Herzegovina, participated in this political-military simulation, in which a large humanitarian disaster in the Republic of Georgia was compounded by a need to protect the delivery of humanitarian aid, government succession and political instability. The players simulated policy makers from their own countries in the year 2009. They were asked to develop national positions in response to a series of events occurring in the Caucasus region and to represent those positions in one of six international cells to which they were assigned. The game revealed a number of foreign policy opportunities and constraints, which have been presented in a series of briefings at headquarters located in Europe, Washington DC and elsewhere. These issues will be examined further when the game is repeated at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch, Germany during the last week of July 1999, in which approximately 90 players from 30 countries will participate.
The scenario posited Georgia as an important transit route for Caspian oil, which was assumed to be important to Europe. Further assumptions included robust Partnership for Peace interactions in the Caspian/Black Sea region, good relations between Russia and the West and a mature European Security and Defense Identity. General game observations included a reluctance of most Europeans to place their forces in harm's way without an international mandate, NATO's continued primacy as a European military actor, Russian pragmatism as it attempted to limit the influence of the West while avoiding the appearance of being the "spoiler", Nordic and traditionally neutral country aversion to the use of military force, humanitarian assistance organization reluctance to accept military protection, a tendency of most Europeans to overlook some Turkish concerns and capabilities, and a tendency for international organizations to align themselves to work in a complementary fashion. While some of the game assumptions apparently were not fully accepted by all of the players, humanitarian concern and skepticism regarding Russian (or Western, in the case of the Russians) intentions were clearly galvanizing factors in player response.
Geneva Game '99 was conducted on the eve of NATO's Operation Allied Force in Kosovo. The Marshall Center game in July 1999 is expected to provide additional interesting insights into the perceptions of future international policy makers and leaders in view of this current event. Additional information on either of these games, or on the International Game series in general, is available through the Strategic Research Department of the U. S. Naval War College's Center for Naval Warfare Studies at (401) 841-4274 or DSN 948-4274.
Geneva Game '99 was a three day politico-military simulation, conducted at the Geneva Center for Security Policy in concert with their faculty. The game was a capstone event for the Geneva Center's International Training Course and European Training Course. The participants from these courses were assigned to one of six cells: United Nations (UN), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council/Partnership for Peace (EAPC/PfP), European Union/Western European Union (EU/WEU), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and humanitarian assistance and non-governmental organizations (HA/NGO). Composition of the cells, shown in Appendix A, reflected key countries in each forum.
The countries represented in the Geneva Center's courses were: Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic (2), Denmark, Estonia, Finland (2), France (3), Germany (3), Greece, Hungary (2), Kazakhstan, Latvia (2), Lithuania (2), Poland (2), Romania (2), Russia (3), Slovak Republic, Sweden (2), Switzerland (6), Ukraine (2), United Kingdom (4) and United States (3). Additionally, there were five observers from the Russian General Staff Academy and twelve Swiss observers from various international humanitarian organizations and Swiss government agencies.
The participants simulated policy makers from their own countries in determining national positions and representing them in the various European security and humanitarian assistance organizations listed above. Prior to the game, they were provided the basic scenario, game assumptions, and fact sheets on relevant international organizations and selected countries. They were then asked to prepare fact sheets on their own countries, including such factors as gross national product, military capabilities, political orientation and other factors relevant to the game projected for the year 2010, for distribution to their fellow players. The Control cell played those countries and areas of expertise not represented by participants in the courses, employing subject matter experts. For example, the Caucasus countries (Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan), Turkey and Iran were played by members of Control from the region and there were other Caucasus regional experts and advisors on matters related to international law, energy resources and economics in the cell.
Players elected a chairperson in each cell to moderate their discussions and represent them in the plenary sessions, which control conducted at the end of each game move. Participants were encouraged throughout the game to talk between cells to determine their national positions, form coalitions and coordinate actions taken or contemplated for their cells.
The scenario events, based primarily in the republic of Georgia, were placed ten years in the future in order to free the players from current policies and personalities and to minimize sensitivities for those from the Caucasus region and neighboring countries. A natural disaster was used as the catalyst for these events for this latter reason as well. The scenario included two game moves; with the first having mainly a humanitarian focus and the second more of a political nature. The scenario, provided in Appendix B, addressed the following main issues:
- Humanitarian assistance
- Peace support (plus political support in move 2)
- Pipeline politics
- Ethnic unrest
- Access to region and resources
- Roles of international organizations and regional countries
- New Independent State entry into the international community
Additionally, the game was designed to examine whether Europe would take a strategic interest in the region, given certain assumptions and events. These assumptions were:
- Caspian energy sources, primarily oil, are important to Europe and Georgia is an important transit route because of the Baku-Supsa and Baku-Ceyhan main export pipelines, in which oil is transported from the Caspian to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. These routes are shown in Appendix C.
- Persian Gulf energy sources are unreliable as tensions are rising between Iran and Iraq.
- PfP interactions among the nations in the region are healthy, with a robust exercise program in place and on-call forces available for use in a crisis.
- The European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI), which began to emerge in the 1990s has matured, with a mechanism for forces "separable but not separate" from NATO available to the players.
- There are no major contentious issues impeding cooperation between Russia and the Western nations. Thus, there is an opportunity to leverage Russian participation and cooperation in such operations as the peace implementation and stabilization forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Caucasus region.
- U. S. force levels in the Mediterranean are generally the same as those of the late 1990s, with new construction such as the San Antonio Class dock landing ship (LPD-17) entering the inventory as scheduled, and these forces are not tied up in any regional crisis elsewhere.
As winter approaches in September 2009, a series of massive earthquakes hits the Caucasus region (primarily Georgia), causing huge death tolls, destruction of infrastructure and disruption of logistics. The Georgian President, a western-oriented leader who has continued Shevardnadze's economic and democratic reforms in the face of a narrowing political base, comes to the international community for help. His request for humanitarian aid is coupled with a requirement to protect that aid from interdiction by separatists, criminals and nationalists (see political map in Appendix C) who oppose the current government and have access to weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Neighbors, concerned about refugee flows and environmental and economic impacts, are joined by other investment partners (mainly oil/gas pipeline interests) in the desire to see the situation stabilized. The media and world religious leaders echo the Georgian President's plea for help.
Later that month, the Georgian President is killed while surveying recovery efforts and pipeline vulnerability. Initially, there is confusion regarding the President's safety, and later the manner in which he has met his death, but it is eventually learned that he was killed in a subsequent earthquake. The Chairman of the Parliament succeeds as President, with an election to follow in 90 days, in accordance with constitutional provisions. The new President vows to continue the pro-western, anti-crime and anti-separatist initiatives of his predecessor, while the fledgling government comes under siege from a coalition of anti-government forces in a series of embarrassing incidents (hostage taking, pipeline attacks/seizure, etc.) and he asks for help.
In general, the players were opposed to placing their forces in harm's way to protect humanitarian aid in an unstable environment without a mandate from an international organization, such as the UN. The Russians considered the Georgian situation to be a crisis in their backyard, where they were best positioned to lead given past experience and current forces in the region. They also were interested in limiting the activities of non-Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) players. While all players saw Russian participation as key, they were skeptical with regard to their motives and intentions. This factor of proximity to Russia, perhaps, also contributed to the desire for a mandate in each of the cells.
UN: Many players waited for the UN to produce a mandate before pushing for action within their syndicates. Although NATO was more proactive than the other cells in this regard, possibly because it saw itself as the likely choice for such a mandate, there was a strong feeling within that cell as well that a UN (or other) mandate was a prerequisite for action in Georgia.
The UN Security Council (UNSC) produced a mandate that would allow the other actors to assist in providing an international response to the crisis in Georgia. NATO was given the lead and Chapter VI, limiting the authority and types of activities for the force, was the price of Russian acquiescence. Later, in move two, the UNSC became deadlocked, as the Russians would not permit an expansion of the mandate.
NATO: NATO was still the central military actor in Europe, as it is today. Other cells followed NATO's lead, particularly after the UN gave them the mandate. No other organization was seen as having the necessary leadership, resources, experience and reputation to coordinate management of this crisis.
EAPC: With no mechanism for separate action, the EAPC waited to hear
what NATO wanted them to do.
Russia: Players were moved to act whenever it appeared the Russians would gain leverage in the affairs of Georgia through a position of leadership or introduction of a significant military force. Similarly, the Russians were generally opposed to a NATO role in the region, despite the good relations posited in the scenario.
Russia concentrated its efforts primarily in the UN and OSCE, where Russian play was generally seen by Control as pragmatic, adapting to the reactions of the other players and pushing from various angles to advance their position and avoid being seen as a spoiler. It is interesting, though, that they did not attempt to influence play significantly through their ties to NATO (e. g., leading under a PfP framework).
HA/NGO: The humanitarian dimension to the problem galvanized the players resolve to do something to relieve the suffering of the Georgians. The humanitarian organizations worked to keep such issues in front of the players throughout the game.
The view of the humanitarian organizations toward security for aid and personnel was interesting. These organizations seemed to view loss of life or materiel as the cost of doing business. They also expressed reluctance to accept military protection, for fear it would jeopardize their ability to continue to operate with the warlords who ruled sections of the country. Eventually, the deteriorating political situation and the emphasis placed security by the other cells caused the HA/NGOs to become more concerned about this issue.
Nordics and neutrals: The Nordics and neutrals (to use an old cold war term, referring to such groups as the Swiss, Swedes, Finns and Austrians) were another interesting group in this game. They were generally opposed to committing their forces to a UN Chapter VII mission in Georgia and particularly averse to the use of their troops to guard the pipeline. It was clear that they saw this crisis primarily from a humanitarian aspect and that they wished to maintain their distance from Georgia's political and security problems.
OSCE: The OSCE sought a niche as the "long term" agency, focusing on such issues as preventive diplomacy and reconstruction. Later in the game, once the UN became deadlocked near the end of move two, the OSCE attempted to assume a leading role by issuing a mandate as a regional organization.
EU: The EU assumed a passive role when a pro-active minority in the cell was outvoted. France was the most pro-active member of the cell, attempting to convince his colleagues that, while still lacking a common foreign and security policy (CFSP) in 2009, the EU would have significantly evolved along a unified security path toward a more mature European security and defense identity (ESDI). The Czech representative also held this view of a more dynamic EU, while the others were either neutral and swayed toward the passive stance or disposed toward taking a back seat.
Some key players were often
Other than Russia, regional players were often overlooked. Some of this can be explained by the fact that control played those countries not represented in the Geneva Center course (e. g., Turkey, Iran). Nevertheless, the Turkish representative conducted an active campaign in each of the cells and he still was not consulted on a number of matters which would impact Turkey. Likewise, he was not always approached on issues in which Turkey could provide assistance. Many participants did not seem to have an appreciation for the impact events would have elsewhere and the ability of regional players to influence the outcomes of these events.
Political, legal, organizational and command relationship issues delayed
implementation and delivery of forces and funds:
This describes difficulties in attaining international agreement on terms and conditions for employment or distribution of assets. This situation may be healthy or it may indicate a need for institutional changes. It was apparent early in the game, when nations generated a list of forces, funds or equipment they were willing to contribute, that they lacked an agreed mechanism to get them where needed. Some of the reasons for this were:
- Political: Which types of assistance or forces a nation would be able to contribute because of domestic concerns.
- Legal: Under whose mandate and what authority (Chapter VI or Chapter VII)?
- Organizational: Consensus requirements or veto power in decision making.
- Command relationships: What are the relationships within and between organizations?
International organizations tended to act in a complementary fashion:
The various organizations worked together, with the players never losing sight of the humanitarian dimension to the problem, despite competing concerns (oil, security) in move 1 and especially move 2 (political stability). Each organization found a niche in which they could contribute. This tendency to act in an interlocking fashion has been observed in previous games. For example, in Geneva Game '97 (Kosovo scenario) the OSCE sought a niche as it did in this game. For Geneva Game '99, that niche was to initially act as the long-term agency, expanding an existing 19-person mission in Georgia to deal with preventive diplomacy and long term reconstruction concerns. Previous players have also demonstrated the contrary, as in last year's game (N. Africa scenario), when the WEU and NATO acted as competing entities, with much duplication of effort.
Coalition force composition was contentious:
The following points of contention surrounded the development of the UN mandate and subsequent force generation activities:
- Russian desire to lead versus general skepticism on Russian motives and intentions.
- Chapter VI versus Chapter VII authority.
- Lack of clarity in the resolution regarding force composition.
- Reluctance to contribute certain types of forces.
The Russian play was particularly interesting in this game. As mentioned earlier, Russian efforts to lead were universally met with national and international attempts to limit their role and vice versa. This was most evident in the dialog leading to compromise wording in the UNSC resolution (UNSCR). This became more intense later as Russian behavior appeared to be directed at extracting themselves from a situation in which a NATO-led operation was being conducted on their doorstep, in a former Soviet republic, where they still had forces present. There was wide speculation among the players that the Russian UN player's change of heart stemmed from a meeting with the Russian observers that evening.
Much was left to the NATO-led coalition to determine regarding force composition and there were differences within that coalition regarding which types of forces would be provided. For example, some countries, notably the Nordics and neutrals referred to earlier, opposed the use of force to guard the aid in move 1 and would not contribute troops to guard the pipeline in move 2.
The key segment of the UNSCR enacted under Chapter VI of the UN Charter
".NATO form a coalition of European (including the Russian
Federation) forces together with the forces of the interested states, to be
known as United Nations Force Georgia (UNFOG), to provide security of the safe
delivery of humanitarian assistance in coordination with the aforementioned
Special Representative, reporting to the Security Council."
In the preceding paragraph, the UNSC requested the UN Secretary General to appoint a special representative, responsible for coordinating humanitarian assistance, including its safe delivery.
The following points are noteworthy concerning the resolution:
- It reflected a reluctance to use force, hence Chapter VI.
- When questioned about the "European" aspect in the wording, the UNSC Chairman stated that there was no intent to exclude the transatlantic link. Rather, the view was that US assets would be needed for certain functions (e. g., intelligence assessments). Room was left open for additional American participation as an "interested state".
- The language was somewhat convoluted and perhaps regional organizations, such as the OSCE, would have come up with a mandate sooner than the UN. Nonetheless, it seemed the only way to avoid deadlock and it got the ball rolling.
- Russian efforts in the UN ultimately resulted in a deadlock, as Russia would not support an expanded mandate for the NATO-led force when things went from bad to worse in move 2.
Regarding this last point, the Russians insisted on an expansion of the mandate to the OSCE (long term reconstruction and preventive diplomacy) to encompass a Russian-led force, separate from the UN force and under OSCE auspices, to deal with non-HA security issues. Later in the game, when it appeared such an arrangement would not be acceptable to the other players, Russia pushed for a CIS-led force or a multi-national force, consisting of Black Sea and Caspian Sea forces, to which Russia would contribute 20,000 troops. Russia solicited the support of Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Bulgaria in this latter initiative. The former two did not agree to this arrangement however, Bulgaria (a NATO country in 2009 according to the scenario) had no objection. It is not clear whether the Russian player realized that Bulgaria was a NATO country for game purposes.
Ultimately, Russia agreed to give the OSCE mandate to the UN-mandated force, UNFOG. The OSCE was concerned about the additional assets a separate force would entail and, since Russia had agreed to establish this force in move 1, it was difficult for them to argue against mandating the UN force. The key segment of the OSCE resolution presented at the end of the final plenary session follows:
"OSCE requests the coalition of European forces.known as.UNFOG
- Stabilize the
security situation in Georgia by assuring the delivery of humanitarian
aid, the safety of the populace to include refugees and displaced persons,
the security and protection of the central infrastructure of Georgia and
the maintenance of law and order within the territory of Georgia
- Include in its
operations the forces of the Russian federation currently in Georgia
- Establish command
and control arrangements and such procedures (including rules of
engagement) as are necessary
- Establish liaison
with both the OSCE Chairman in Office and with the Special Representative
of the UN Secretary General."
As a compromise, the term "NATO" was removed from the earlier draft language of this resolution in deference to Russian desires however, the term "CIS" was not inserted in its place. It may have been an oversight on the Russian player's part, but removal of the term "NATO" from the mandate changed nothing, since providing a mandate to UNFOG kept NATO in a leading role.
The resolution, which some thought to be somewhat unrealistic, does help to further illuminate the contentious aspects in building and mandating a coalition to deal with the crisis. For most of the players, the final plenary session was the first time they had seen the resolution. To a certain extent, it reflected a rushed effort by the OSCE cell, which felt compelled to take such action in order to conclude the game. In that respect it may be seen as a game artifact.
Organizational decision-making procedures and norms influenced outcomes:
How organizations operate, whether it be based on a charter or generally accepted practices or preferences, influence if not determine the product of that organization. Use of veto has already been alluded to in the convoluted, ambiguous UNSCR and later UNSC deadlock. For other organizations, degree of consensus is similarly the determining factor in what action, if any, is taken.
With regard to the humanitarian organizations, although the UN's Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) was designated as HA coordinating agency early in the game; it could not be considered an umbrella organization in the true sense. This may reflect the diversity and preference to act independently among HA organizations.
While neighboring countries may view the Caucasus region in terms of vital
strategic interests, most of Europe does not. (However, it appears they do not
want to see the Russians regain influence there.):
While neighboring countries, specifically Russia and Turkey, clearly viewed the Caucasus as a region in which they had vital strategic interests, European players in general rejected or ignored the game assumptions that this was an important region for them. These players were generally spurred on to action only when it appeared the Russians might act or because of humanitarian concerns. Nonetheless, they still were reluctant to be drawn into regional political and security problems.
Certain key assumptions never took root, such as game date, amount of energy reserves, importance of Caspian oil to Europe, mature ESDI:
One factor which did not help the game assumption on the importance of Caspian oil to Europe take root was the cover of the 6-12 March edition of The Economist, in which oil workers were shown "Drowning in Oil", and the accompanying article. Another was a presentation, provided to the group by an expert from the oil industry the Friday before the game, which took dim views of oil futures in the region as well as demand for this resource. The cover of the edition of The Economist that I referred to is contained in Appendix C.
Non-acceptance of key game assumptions, despite agreement to do so at game start, could also help explain why the European Union opted for a back seat for most of the game. Many Europeans simply did not see the events in Georgia to be of strategic importance to them. Hence, the EU was reluctant to support Chapter VII authority and it did not see a role for the WEU until late in the game.
The basic reason the Naval War College conducts the international game series is to illuminate possible opportunities and constraints for US Policy. This section of the report contains those implications identified in post-game analysis.
Greater institutionalization of an international division of labor:
The tendency for international organizations to find a mutually supporting "fit" in pursuing a common purpose holds promise. The US may be able to facilitate this by helping to identify what each organization may do best in a given situation and then use its influence in the various international organizations to build such coalitions of coalitions. Encouraging this tendency may enhance efficiencies and overcome gridlock.
Turkey's unique position as a NATO ally and regional power:
Support for Turkish regional PfP initiatives and those in the spirit of PfP reinforce NATO's stabilizing presence in this part of the world. Reinforcing Turkey's unique position offers a chance to leverage Turkish ties to the region to advance NATO's goals and possibly to bring Turkey closer to its European partners.
Russia must be part of the solution:
Russia will clearly exhibit an interest and some degree of leverage in areas it considers to be of strategic importance, such as the former Soviet republics. The following are some suggestions on how to involve Russia as part of the solution to problems in this region:
- Explore now all avenues for Russian participation in resolving crises in their "near abroad".
- Expand bilateral and multi-lateral exercises, including those under NATO/PfP and CIS frameworks and develop memorandums of understanding (MOUs).
- Explore working through alternative organizations.
The first bullet does not imply a negotiation with the Russians, but rather, it refers to an internal dialog with US allies or friends, including those regional players most affected (such as Georgia in the case of this game), on how to accommodate the Russian perspective. This dialog needs to occur in advance of the crisis for its benefits to be fully realized.
The game designers were hoping to see some leveraging of the NATO-Russia cooperation in Bosnia. Instead, they witnessed a clear Russian opposition to using this means to resolve a crisis in the Caucasus. One Russian player advised a US player that, while Bosnia was handled under NATO rules and leadership, the Caucasus would be handled under the rules and leadership of the Russians. While one can see where the Russians would take a different strategic view of the Caucasus, as opposed to the Balkans, (with proximity, former Soviet republic, forces currently engaged, etc. as key factors) perhaps there is more to their reluctance to work with NATO in this game than that. Possibly, the Kosovo experience or something else was at play here.
Russia needs to be brought into the planning and exercise pieces of international crisis management in a realistic and meaningful way in order to provide the necessary mechanisms and leverage for rapid and effective crisis resolution in this part of the world. Additionally, if NATO is a "show stopper" or the US and Russia can not work together in the UN for some reason, they should seek to work through some other arrangement. This may occur, for example, in the sense of a Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) or through another organization, such as the OSCE.
NATO's successes may continue to be built upon:
PfP, partnership activities in the spirit of PfP, regional initiatives such as the Mediterranean Dialog and coalition efforts with non-NATO members, such as the one in Bosnia, offer a mechanism to provide a stabilizing presence and a means for action in troubled places. NATO should continue to pursue and expand such efforts, as well as its immediate response capabilities, such as the CJTF framework and immediate and rapid reaction forces.
Europeans may overcome reluctance toward having a mature ESDI:
The US should also support current initiatives for European leadership in regional matters, building upon such European-led successes as 1997's Operation Alba in the aftermath of the Albanian government's failed pyramid scheme. This should help to overcome the reluctance of some Europeans toward an ESDI and taking charge in matters where European leadership is needed and more appropriate than US leadership. This does not imply that there are not cases in which the US would desire to lead.
Regional initiatives enhance stability and facilitate early action:
Turkish initiatives, such as the on-call forces in the spirit of PfP known as BlackSeaFor and Southeast European Brigade (SEEBRIG) and other such bilateral and multi-lateral efforts should be encouraged. At the very least, enhancement of such regional initiatives provides a stabilizing influence and an early reaction force, easing demands on US assets stretched due to employment elsewhere.
Relations and interoperability with humanitarian assistance organizations:
HA organizations and the military must understand each other's needs and viewpoints in order to work together effectively. Continued efforts toward standard procedures, MOUs, liaison, etc., developed in advance of crises and refined later as necessary, can improve the ability of military and humanitarian assistance groups to work together.
As long as Russia remains contained, most Europeans do not view the
Caucasus to be of strategic importance:
At the actual game date of March 1999, which many players had much difficulty escaping, most Europeans apparently did not feel the Caucasus region held strategic importance for them. It also appeared that there remains a general reluctance, based on past failures, to get involved beyond humanitarian assistance in crises of this nature. Perhaps, this will change with time, particularly as European investment in the region increases or they become more dependent on Caspian energy sources and Caucasus transit routes. Until then, these appear to be the US options:
- Work harder to convince the
- Rethink the analysis, or
- Plan to go it alone or with minimal help
Player Cell Composition
UNSC: Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States
NATO: Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Romania, United Kingdom, United States
EAPC/PfP: Finland, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Russia, Switzerland (2), Ukraine, United Kingdom
EU/WEU: Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, United Kingdom
OSCE: Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, United States
HA/NGO: Canada, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Switzerland
Naval War College:
Game supervision: Dr. Donald Daniel
Game Director and Control Team Leader: CAPT James Harrington USN
Game controllers and advisors: Dr. Peter Dombrowski, Dr. John Finney, Mr. Charles Floyd, CAPT Deniz Kutluk TUN, Mr. Geoffrey Lyon, LTC Thomas Wilhelm USA
Rapporteurs: MAJ Peter DeLuca USA, CDR Michael Evans RN, Prof. William Piersig, Dr. Ronald Senykoff, CDR Paul Stanley RN, Prof. Ruth Wedgwood
Geneva Center for Security Policy
Game supervision: Amb. Ulrich Lehner
Game controllers and advisors: Mr. Vicken Cheterian, Dr. Sharam Chubin, Mr. Jan Hyllander, Mr. Leo Michel, Dr. Fred Tanner
Moderators: Dr. Pal Dunay, COL Michael Huber German Army, COL Nils Forander Swedish Army, Amb. Jacques Leclerc, Amb. Yuri Nazarkin, Dr. Tapani Vaahtoranta
International Game Series '99
"Tremors in the
It is early September 2009. The Caspian Region remains one of significant social, political and environmental challenges. Its economic potential is great, but has only just begun to be fully realized. Gas and oil development in the region has proceeded in fits and spurts, following the ups and downs of the world oil market. While estimates of the region's oil reserves still vary, recent explorations in the southern end of the Caspian Sea have been very promising. Many oil experts now believe Caspian reserves will significantly exceed those of the North Sea. Most analysts agree that the region's oil and gas reserves are substantial and that the worldwide demand for oil is going up.
Economic development of the Caspian states has long been overshadowed by regional politics. Internal and international politics, often acrimonious, have left the countries in the region unsettled. While oil and gas, the region's primary strategic assets, have largely dominated the political scene since the 19th century, there are other, often destabilizing factors that have contributed to fierce competition and heightened tensions in the region. These include rising nationalism, ethnic and religious animosities, organized crime, and disputes over non-petroleum resources like water.
While the countries in the Caspian region face significant challenges, there have been a number of positive developments since the turn of the century. An increasing number of Caspian wells are producing. Several new oil and gas pipelines have been built or are being built, and the capacity of other pipelines has been increased. Demand for Caspian oil and gas is increasing, spurred by robust economies in Europe, China and the US. The Paris-based International Energy Agency forecasts that oil demand will exceed 90 million barrels a day this year, and will continue to grow at an annual rate of 2% for the next decade. Oil prices, which had been flat for more than a decade, have slowly risen since 2004 and currently stand at $17 per barrel. Revenues resulting from increased demand and rising prices are providing much needed hard currency to many countries in the region. Several regional organizations (e.g., the EU, NATO and EAPC) and their member countries have successfully established a number of programs aimed at fostering international harmony and cooperation. NATO/PfP interactions include a robust military-to-military exchange program, an innovative "distributive learning and wargaming" network, and frequent training exercises that focus on disaster response, search and rescue, peacekeeping and environmental cleanup. Additionally, multinational regional land and maritime on-call forces have been established. These forces have successfully pursued an ambitious regime of exercises in the spirit of PfP.
The US has remained actively engaged in the region. US, European and Asian (including Chinese) firms have made huge capital investments in the region and provided much of the needed technology to extract and transport oil. These companies and their international partners are just now beginning to see a return on their investment. Although overall US military force structure and overseas presence has fluctuated somewhat over the past 15 years, military forces continue to play a key role in the US strategy of engagement. US Sixth Fleet forces, along with national forces belonging to NATO Southern Region countries and NATO's standing destroyer/frigate and mine countermeasures forces (STANAVFORMED and MCMFORMED), continue to provide the bulk of NATO naval presence in the Mediterranean. These forces have played an increasingly active role in the Black Sea since the late 1990s, exercising and training with regional countries in PfP activities under NATO sponsorship, or in activities in the spirit of the partnership on a bilateral or multi-lateral basis. The European Security and Defense Identity within NATO has matured, with "separable but not separate" European forces available for EU operations under the command of NATO's Deputy SACEUR. Currently, US and NATO forces are not engaged in any major crises.
Russia continues to struggle politically and economically, although the recent upswing in the oil market and two years of ample harvests have helped bolster the Russian economy. The country continues to have unresolved debt problems. Relations with EU nations and the US, though strained at times, have been mostly positive for the past 15 years, building upon the peace support partnership established in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the mid-1990s. While most Russians remain wary of NATO's continued expansion into the former Warsaw Pact countries, they have become increasingly more concerned over the continued rise of China's power and its spreading influence in the Caucasus region. Russian Federation borders remain the same as in the 1990s, with the North Caucasus opting for increased autonomy rather than full independence. Russia and its southern autonomous regions have profited greatly in the transport of Caspian oil through their territory.
China is, in fact, exerting increasingly greater influence throughout Eurasia. The Chinese economy has been very impressive, and its growth has outpaced that of its Asian neighbors, the EU and the US. China represents a huge market for western goods, has become a major exporter to Central Asia, and is increasingly looking for oil and gas to fuel its booming economy. While few talk publicly about China's military might, the growth and sophistication of Chinese military capabilities has been keeping intelligence analysts busy.
Since Saddam Hussein, long time nemesis of the US and his Persian Gulf neighbors, died of natural causes in 2006, Iraq's moderate Islamic government has focused on stabilizing its political base, rebuilding the country's economy and reestablishing links with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, friction between Iran and Iraq has increased over disputed borders between the two countries. This situation has been exacerbated by transborder ethnic conflict (primarily involving Kurdish separatists). Skirmishes have become increasingly common between ground forces. Additionally, cross border air raids have raised uncertainty around the world about the prospects for continued uninterrupted flow of oil from the Persian Gulf.
Iran-US relations remain strained. Both countries still have different strategic views of the world, but have moderated their positions toward each other. Although the US lobbied hard for years to shut Iran out of the Caspian, new pipelines were built from Turkmenistan (gas) and Kazakhstan (oil) to the Iranian ports of Kangan and Kharg Island respectively. These pipelines now appear to be highly vulnerable in view of recent Iraqi raids. The threat of instability in the Gulf has led nervous customers to identify alternative sources and has further increased demand for Caspian energy reserves.
Turkey remains a key player in the region. The Turks have taken the lead for NATO involvement there, building upon their instrumental role in establishing the Black Sea Maritime Force and the Southeast European Brigade (SEEBRIG). New NATO members Romania and Bulgaria have continued their strong support for such regional initiatives. Turkish ties to Georgia and Azerbaijan have grown tremendously as a result of the three-way collaboration on Baku-Ceyhan pipeline and US-Turkish relations have never been stronger. (US efforts to ensure construction of the cross-Turkey pipeline clearly irritated the Iranians and the Russians.)
Georgia is representative of the promise and problems of the region. Oil and gas transit fee revenues are up, especially since the capacity of the Baku-Supsa pipelines was increased in 2003 and the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline was completed last year. Relations with the west have been extremely positive, and western investment (especially from the EU countries) has stimulated and diversified the country's economy. While Georgia's economy and democratic processes have continued to mature, there are a number of internal challenges that threaten stability. Last year, contentious local elections reinforced the belief that President Bradze's political base is narrowing. Most observers predict he will be hard- pressed to implement the economic and political reforms he recently announced as key parts of his presidential election campaign platform. Abkhaz, Ajarian and South Ossetian separatists are still seeking independence and nationalist supporters of the late former President Zviad Gamsakhurdia (Zviadists) continue to vie for power, maintaining strong centers of support in Mingrelia, Immeretia, Svanetia and Ajaria. Additionally, organized crime remains prevalent in Ajaria. Separatist group and other ethnic minority dissatisfaction is fueled in part by a feeling that they have not benefited from the oil transshipment revenues to the same extent as mainstream ethnic Georgians and those who live directly in the path of the pipeline.
Georgian relations with Russia have been problematic at times. A brigade of Russian troops remains in Georgia under a 25-year agreement signed in the early 1990s. They are primarily employed in border patrol activities in the separatist regions, although they are available for other tasking and may be augmented as mutually agreed by the Georgian and Russian governments.
In the post-Shevardnadze period, various radical minority separatist, criminal and other anti-government factions have joined in efforts to discredit the current administration, hoping to achieve their aims for independence, increased autonomy or reduced interference. While such coalitions have characteristically been of a limited, ad hoc nature, this new dynamic poses a serious threat to governance. Oil transport is a particular vulnerability, given the terrain traversed by the pipeline. Major concerns are its proximity to separatist South Ossetia, as well as various nationalist enclaves, and the proximity of the major transshipment port of Supsa to the separatist coastal province of Abkhazia, the organized crime stronghold in separatist Ajaria and the Mingrelian nationalist power center. Pipeline vulnerability is not limited to Georgia. Anti-Georgian government entities could produce the same effect by interdiction of the pipeline in Azerbaijan. The President of Azerbaijan recently expressed this concern in discussions with his Georgian counterpart. The Turkish government has also expressed anxiety regarding pipeline vulnerability in Georgia and Azerbaijan.
One particularly troubling development in recent years has been the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the region. Chemical weapons are especially prevalent and are readily obtainable, if not already in the hands of terrorists or any other group considering their employment.
International Game Series '99:
A series of major earthquakes has hit the region. Georgia, Armenia, northwestern Azerbaijan and eastern Turkey are affected, with Georgia hardest hit in terms of human casualties. Preliminary reports there indicate over 10 thousand dead, 80 thousand injured and many thousands missing or unaccounted for. Homeless estimates range to 850 thousand people and there has been tremendous damage to infrastructure. Reports from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia have been very sketchy so far, but indicate that the scope of the crisis in those countries, although significant, is not nearly as severe as it is in Georgia. However, the main supply routes and airports into Georgia from the humanitarian aid staging areas in Yerevan, Trabzon, Kars and Ganca have been severely disrupted, requiring months of restoration work. Within Georgia, the main road and rail connections from the port of Poti to the national capital in Tbilisi have also sustained significant damage. Fortunately, the road from the Georgian port city of Batumi to Tbilisi is passable.
Initial assessments by the Georgian government, and echoed by ICRC representatives in the region, are bleak. Medical facilities in the region are woefully inadequate for a crisis of this magnitude, in which disease is expected to follow the initial onslaught of injured victims. Drought, which has affected the region for the past two years, complicates the problem. Food reserves and water supplies are low. As winter approaches, the plight of the Georgians is desperate. Many land routes for humanitarian relief are blocked due to damaged or destroyed roads and bridges. Strong aftershocks continue, further complicating the problems and slowing disaster relief efforts. Gas and oil pipelines have been disrupted in some areas, causing local environmental problems and threatening to contaminate water supplies. Refugees are seeking shelter in neighboring countries and in the more temperate climate along the Georgian coast. With coastal areas less severely damaged than those inland, refugees have begun to mass in the major port cities. Large numbers of refugees have been observed fleeing in all manner of craft, many of which are unseaworthy.
The international news media has drawn world attention to the plight of the people of Georgia, as religious leaders and the UN Secretary General have called for immediate and massive relief in this humanitarian catastrophe. The major oil and gas companies have added their call for urgent action. Requests for humanitarian assistance are being responded to by NGOs and PVOs currently involved in relief efforts in Georgia, but logistics challenges beg for military involvement. Additionally, there is a need to protect the aid from criminal elements seeking to sell the supplies on the black market, as well as separatists wishing to advance their standing at the expense of the central government. Accordingly, the Georgian President has petitioned the UN, NATO, OSCE, EU, and the governments of countries with vested Caspian interests (North American, European, Asian and regional capitals) for humanitarian, economic and military assistance in relieving the suffering of his people.
International Game Series '99:
Move 2 (Some days later)
While touring the country assessing earthquake recovery efforts and pipeline vulnerability, Georgian President Bradze is killed in a subsequent earthquake. Initially, the reports are sketchy and there is confusion regarding the President's status and, later, the cause of death. Ultimately, it is learned that there is no foul play and the Chairman of the Parliament, Tedo Giorgvili, succeeds him in accordance with constitutional provisions. The new president promises to continue the pro-western, anti-separatist and anti-crime initiatives of his predecessor. His government comes under siege however, as political opponents, separatists and criminal elements coordinate their efforts and take advantage of his fledgling government in a series of embarrassing incidents, which include:
a. Twenty-two German, French and Swedish humanitarian aid workers taken hostage in the Ajarian port city of Batumi by separatist elements. The attention gained on the world stage prompts similar events in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, in which citizens from the U. S., Canada and various Western European nations are held hostage.
b. Organized criminal elements continue seizure of humanitarian supplies at food storage sites and along transit routes throughout Georgia for sale on the black market.
c. Organized criminal elements attempt to seize an oil tanker (Ukrainian registry) shortly after its departure from Batumi. In the struggle, a collision occurs with a Russian freighter off the coast of Turkey and a huge oil spill results.
d. South Ossetian separatists conduct a series of attacks on oil and gas pipelines to the west and southeast of Tbilisi, destroying sections of pipe and pumping stations. Huge fires result in one incident, destroying a large section of forested land and setting the stage for land slides during the coming rainy season. In another incident, the Kura River is contaminated with oil, posing health and environmental problems in Georgia and in Azerbaijan. The latter country is particularly affected, as the Kura is the irrigation source for its central field.
e. Transnational criminal elements (drug trade) and separatists from the provinces of Ajaria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia seize the pipeline at the junction of the routes to Supsa and Ceyhan.
There is extensive coverage of these, and similar, events in the international media and world religious leaders call for increased international intervention to relieve the suffering of the people of Georgia and to protect members of their humanitarian assistance agencies currently in the region. On the economic front, the spot price of oil spikes as producers in other parts of the world seek to take advantage of political and economic uncertainties. Retailers in the West pass the increased prices, resulting from the uncertainty of supply and increased cost from the producers, along to their consumers at the pump. Panic buying results in local shortages, which are highly publicized in the mass media and on the internet. Transnational oil and gas companies call for military intervention to protect wellheads, pipelines and their associated pumping, processing, storage and transfer facilities. The new Georgian President asks the UN, NATO, OSCE, the EU, and the capitals of countries vested in Caspian oil enterprises (all North American, European, Asian and regional capitals) for increased economic and military assistance in restoring public order.
Oil and Gas Routes in 2010
This map shows the Caspian oil transit routes the scenario posited. Essentially, the scenario held that all routes currently under consideration in 1999 were constructed and in use in 2010.
This map shows some of the secessionist and nationalist strongholds within the Caucasus, many of which coincide with ethnic and religious groups in the region. It should be noted that this map, while useful in illustrating the various sub-regions of the Caucasus, does not correctly reflect the internationally recognized borders for Armenia and Azerbaijan.
This map shows the Caucasus population centers, transportation network and topographic features.
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