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PKSOI and USAWC Strategic Wargaming partner with UN, NATO, International Red Cross for innovative experiential education

Army War College experts in Stability Operations and Strategic Wargaming joined international partners for a first-ever course designed to integrate both NATO and United Nations operations into a single training environment.

Participants representing Austria, Belgium, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Netherland, Togo and Tunisia, United Kingdom and United States are engaged this week in Helsinki, Finland, in the pilot run of a Protection of Civilians Course at the FINCENT Headquarters.The course represents a collaboration among the two Army War College organizations -- the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute and the Center for Strategic Leadership – in concert with the Finnish Defense Forces International Centre, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Key issues incorporated into the course are the military role in protecting civilians, civil-military interaction, and international humanitarian law.These drive the intended learning outcomes: analysis of civilian vulnerabilities, perpetrators of violence, prevention and response to conflict related sexual and gender-based violence and crosscutting topics such as gender, children, and youth.

This course is highly experiential education, using interactive lectures, learning games, immersive training and role play. Each course participant plays an active role to learn about protection of civilians, and to do so while developing a population-centric mindset. Throughout the course, the participants have access to more than 20 subject matter experts from the Protection of Civilians community.

The course will highlight the complementarity between different approaches to Protection of Civilians.

The Army War College team developed and led implementation of the two-day table top exercise which will serve as the summative student evaluations for the course. The exercise development team included Col. Michael Adams, Lt. Col. Brad Foose, and Maj. Jacob Morano of USAWC Strategic Wargaming; and German Lt. Col. Andreas Heselschwerdt, Japanese Lt. Col. Kazu Shibasaki, and Lt. Col. Roar Michelsen from PKSOI. The team designed a comprehensive scenario that incorporates such cross-cutting topics as children and armed conflict, conflict-related sexual based violence, and women, peace and security. PKSOI’s John Winegardner teamed with FINCENT staff to develop the course and served as the course’s lead facilitator.