International Crisis Management


While nation states and regional political groupings complete and sometimes clash, no one seeks conflict per se.  Common objectives, however, often imply different approaches toward an endpoint of peace, security, and prosperity.  Human and natural disasters bring disruption to human well-being.  Drawing on simulations from U.S. Army War College tabletop exercises and matrices developed for the Bureau of Conflict Stabilization Operations of the Department of State, and USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives, this course brings students to role play exercises demonstrating conflict mitigation techniques commonly used by USG and international organizations.  Entities such as the UN Security Council, the European Union, ASEAN, the African Union, the U.S. Department of Defense Combatant Commands, USAID, humanitarian organizations, and U.S. diplomatic agencies work at the same table to achieve mutual outcomes – but from different institutional equities. These equities are built into the conflict/crisis scenarios, and require thorough grounding in geographic, political, military, historic, cultural, and economic factors.  Working together, students will discuss and seek mutual solutions to problems such as ethnic conflict, natural disaster, political rivalry and economic disruption.  The course will present methodologies used in U.S. government and UN entities, then enact dramatized exercises bringing cooperative but competing factors and individuals.  The course draws on real world experience in South Sudan, Haiti, Cyprus, The South China Sea, Nagorno-Karabakh, and others. Conflicts and discrepancies will be managed, not "solved" – reflecting an awareness of how these situations play out in real life situations.