Following Accounts of Statecraft provided by guest bloggers: Kelsey Sakumoto and Tom Scott-Sharoni
May 20, 2013
I look upon Monday, May 20, 2013 as a day of expectation, disappointment, trust and betrayal. This was a day that brought some National Security Fellows closer; yet tore countless friendships apart. It was a pivotal day.
Okay, so enough with the dramatics – this is what happened: the National Security Institute participated in Statecraft, an online simulation of international politics. It normally runs for seven to eight weeks, but our class got to test the brand new Statecraft Live, which runs the whole simulation in one day. We were split into “countries” and then given the monumental task of developing our militaries, negotiating foreign policy and improving the economy – all while pleasing our various domestic populations. There were six countries: NoVA, Canadia, the Kingdom of Alistar, Disneyworld, People’s Republic of the Cape, and N.K.A.C. (an acronym whose meaning was never made clear to me). Everything was great at first, with the trading and the United Nations meetings; but circumstances turned sour in no time at all.
We discovered how detrimental the lack of transparency truly is, as nations refused to trust one another, and all started moving towards a nuclear arms race. The day culminated with Canadia forcefully overtaking a neutral territory, high in resources, sparking unity amongst all other nations with plans for nuclear war. Of course, that’s when our class time ended, so we didn’t go any further than that (no war stories here, folks) – but we all ended the day with fond memories and the realization of how real international theories can be.
It was such a valuable experience, being in the position of an actual leader, with actual consequences. It was also beneficial to distinguish the diplomats from the war hawks – a distinction that will haunt classmates for years to come, as I refuse to let Canadia forget their destructive behavior!
Okay, now I’m officially done with the dramatics.