January 25, 2017 | In The News | Defense One

A U.S. and a Polish think tank are running a defense-of-Europe simulation in Poland.

A former supreme allied commander is there to help run a wargame simulation complete with a map right out of a Cold War movie set with big red arrows of troop invasions coming west from Russia. Also participating were defense experts and government representatives from Poland, the United States, and the Baltic and Nordic countries.

Retired Gen. Phil Breedlove said the exercise, hosted jointly by the Potomac Foundation and the Warsaw Security Forum-hosting Casimir Pulaski Foundation, is meant to walk through how Poland and NATO allies would respond to Russian-threat scenarios. Organizers billed it as a “true simulation” with attrition and movement engines, the the first “full simulation” of a defense of Europe beyond a tabletop exercise.

“Here’s the bottom line,” Breedlove told Defense One. “This simulation that we’re doing here is really important because it allows us to test our doctrines, test our policies, and test our thought processes — can we react to and see what the enemy is doing and form good judgements from which then you can make in puts into your troop movements.”

As well, Poland is rebuilding and expanding its military, and Breedlove says this will help them determine what to purchase.

So how’d it go? Breedlove: “This wargame was excellent. It gave the game players from several nations and many of our Polish planners some tough problems to address: first, a confusing political situation and the need for not only Poland but the NATO alliance to be able to sort through what is fog and what is fiction and what is reality in order to to make those early and tough decisions. Second, that preparation is required today, because we will fight with the forces that we have as arriving forces come.”