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IWP Students Participate in the George Washington University Strategic Annual Rising Tides Wargame

Rising Tides 2024 Group Photo: Team IWP (from the left): Mike Calderone (China Military), Carlos Alatorre (Japan Political), Liam Sigler (Japan Military), Jonathan Jarrett (China Military), Manu Trikha (Philippine Political), and Professor Aaron Danis (IWP Faculty Advisor and exercise mentor)
Rising Tides 2024 Team IWP (from the left): Mike Calderone (China Military), Carlos Alatorre (Japan Political), Liam Sigler (Japan Military), Jonathan Jarrett (China Military), Manu Trikha (Philippine Political), and Professor Aaron Danis (IWP Faculty Advisor and exercise mentor)

On Saturday, 20 April, five IWP students participated in the George Washington University (GWU) Strategic Crisis Simulations (SCS) group annual Rising Tides wargame.  The wargame postulates a buildup to conflict in the South China Sea and Taiwan Straits in the near future.  The teams represent the United States, China, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea.  It is a large exercise (60+ students, plus a large control cell), with a dozen mentors advising the groups. IWP Professor Aaron Danis said, “This is the SCS’ largest exercise of the year, and it draws students from other schools such as the U.S. Naval Academy.  I am a GWU alum, and I worked last year to have our students participate.”

The IWP students who participated were impressed. “[This was] a day well spent, [and it was] interesting to see different perspectives on the potential crisis in the SCS, both from students and mentors. I was surprised how many people didn’t think China would choose war,” said IWP student Mike Calderone, who was assigned to the China military team.

IWP student Manu Trikha, assigned to the Philippines, stated, “[The] biggest takeaway this time around was improvised adaptation to a team where I am the full stranger, as everyone else was a GW student or affiliate with varying levels of experience working with this system.”

“Rising Tides demonstrated the immense pressure governments experience in making rapid and accurate policy decisions during a crisis. Navigating differences of opinion among leadership and ensuring that all tools of the state are being brought to bear on an issue are some of these daunting challenges,” commented IWP student Liam Sigler.

“Our IWP students definitely are more experienced than their undergrad counterparts, and the exercise organizers appreciate them using their knowledge and experience in guiding some of the younger players,” said Professor Danis.  “Our students were great ambassadors for IWP, and we will have an opportunity to participate again next year.”

Manu Trikha (right), gets an update from the electronic situation map with other members of the Philippines team.
Manu Trikha (right), gets an update from the electronic situation map with other members of the Philippines team.