28
May

Four students of International Relations at IE University have been invited to participate in a crisis management and armed conflict simulation, organized by the The Higher Staff College of The Armed Forces (ESFAS) of Spain. During this simulation more than 250 people were involved in a Computer Assisted Exercise (CAX) that simulates joint, combined, and coalition civil-military operations at the operational level.

Following a demanding selection process IE School of International Relations and the The Higher Staff College of The Armed Forces invited Ana Barrenechea, Marco Pastor, Pilar Arenas and Thitivut Ekphaisansup to participate in the computer-based simulation that is taking place in Madrid from May 21st to May 28th.

In this series of blog posts IEU students will share their experience during the simulation!

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“This means war!” – These where the words which came out of the Coalition Secretary General’s mouth after the UN and the members of the Alliance sank one of their boats in the Celtique Straits without any reason. Immediately after this action, politicians, diplomats and the military where coming in their masses to our Headquarters to ask for Political and Legal advice. We officially shifted from phase 2.1, which was offensive but more defensive, to 2.2, which was totally offensive. 2015-CAX (27)Throughout the day, we were able to see how this simulation had created a binomial relationship with reality. Moreover, we saw how war is not that simple and that it implies much more than shooting weapons and dropping bombs.

Firstly, it is important to explain that for an army to attack or take ANY action they need the approval from the Political level through what is called the Rules of Engagement (ROEs). This is where the LEGAD comes in and tells both the military and the politicians which ROEs they need to implement or remove and change for other ones (always following the parameters given by International Law).

In addition, we discovered how war is not only fought in the battlefield but in many other places. An example of it is the Media War, which is fought to obtain a positive view from the International and National public opinion. Sometimes your country is seen as the aggressor when you are really not. This makes people to not cooperate and for other countries to condemn you and can make it hard for you to take any action. However, if your Media centre is able of turning this around appealing to the emotions of people (i.e. showing the sufferment inside the Refugee Camps) it may give you the upper hand and lead you towards victory.

Therefore, war is not only about the Military and the Politicians but everybody and everything surrounding it.

 

Written by Pilar Arenas Merino

You can read more blog posts about the simulation and our students’ experience here.

27
May

Four students of International Relations at IE University have been invited to participate in a crisis management and armed conflict simulation, organized by the The Higher Staff College of The Armed Forces (ESFAS) of Spain. During this simulation more than 250 people were involved in a Computer Assisted Exercise (CAX) that simulates joint, combined, and coalition civil-military operations at the operational level.

Following a demanding selection process IE School of International Relations and the The Higher Staff College of The Armed Forces invited Ana Barrenechea, Marco Pastor, Pilar Arenas and Thitivut Ekphaisansup to participate in the computer-based simulation that is taking place in Madrid from May 21st to May 28th.

In this new series of blog posts IEU students will share their experience during the simulation!

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2015-CAX (19)The situation on the continent of Atlantis has taken a turn for the worse, as heightening tension between the states of KYMRIC and OGHAM leads to greater political mistrust and risk of physical conflict. Over the past few days, various elements have been introduced into the CAX Simulation by the DIREX to reflect the geopolitical realities which dictate and constrain the behavior of states and their military. These elements are comprehensive because they add multiple dimensions to the exercise – economic, social and political. For instance, the fictional state of KYMRIC controls territories that are contested by the Coalition forces on two fronts. In the northern province of Manghalour, there is a struggle between OGIVAL and KYMRIC to control vast reserves of oil and gas, while on its southern frontier, ethnic divide and control for a crucial waterway (Celtic Strait) preoccupies KYMRIC’s geopolitical ambitions with OGHAM. This highlights the complexity of various factors that must be accounted when the military makes operational decisions.2015-CAX (22)

We also learnt that the military has various models of strategic thinking and decision making, and I would like to share one of them. In many instances, Operational Intelligence in association with the Assessment team conducts a prognosis of the situation at hand and classify events into two distinct categories: Most Likely and Most Dangerous. On the one hand are events with the highest probability of happening, while on the other, are event that could have grave consequences for the military, should they manifest. It is not always easy to predict the circumstances under which these events occur, and often times, they can take us by surprise. For instance, today there had been a communication delay of only 15 minutes between the strategic and the operational level. Nevertheless, within those 15 minutes two warships from opposing camps attacked one another, constituting as an act of war. The military must always be prepared for such events, and this is why various decision making tools are resourceful.

As students of International Relations, taking part in this simulation has exposed us to the practical side of what is taught in the classroom. The political and legal complexities in military operations are very challenging, and over the coming days we will see how the event unfolds.

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Written by Vinny

You can read more blog posts about the simulation and our students’ experience here.

27
May

The LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology is an innovative process designed to enhance innovation and business performance. Based on research which shows that this kind of hands-on, minds-on learning produces a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the world and its possibilities

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Written by Grace Elizabeth Brookes, BBA Student and IR Lab Member (2014/2015) 

IE_LAB_LSP_MAY-19-15 (1)

Upon arriving at IE to start the workshop I was puzzled to how playing with Lego could possibly help our team progress in the project. Like many others I was sceptical about the day ahead.  Once started, it was indicated that Lego would be used as a shared language to communicate with each other as well as a tool to demonstrate out ideas.

The first task was to illustrate your personality using the lego blocks. To do this we were given boxes and boxes of an eclectic range of Lego, ranging from animals to steering wheels. I spent the  first five minutes of the task amazed by the plethora of Lego, an amount which would have made any child salivate. Once completed, we presented our personality models to each other, revealing sides to the groups personality that I would never have fathomed. This first task was a perfect ice breaker, dissipating the cloud of awkward tension that loomed ever so subtly in the mist of our first exchanges. Having served to establish a rapport among us, it was the perfect gateway to get the gears going and start with task two.

The second task involved sculpturing an aspect of the team in order to then make a train connecting all these ideas together. This was the perfect way to highlight any niggles team members had with any aspect of the project while creating a platform for everyone to voice their opinion.

The final task was by far the most enjoyable. We were given a mountain of Lego once again but this time we were secretly given a team member to build. This revealed how well the group had gotten to know each other in such a short space of time and highlighted the warm bond we had all formed.

Overall, my reservations about the workshop were unfounded, as actually it was a great way to meet the teams and fully encompassed the words of Plato “you can learn more about a person in an hour of play than you can from a lifetime of conversation.”

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22
May

Four students of International Relations at IE University have been invited to participate in a crisis management and armed conflict simulation, organized by the The Higher Staff College of The Armed Forces (ESFAS) of Spain. During this simulation more than 250 people were involved in a Computer Assisted Exercise (CAX) that simulates joint, combined, and coalition civil-military operations at the operational level.

Following a demanding selection process IE School of International Relations and the The Higher Staff College of The Armed Forces invited Ana Barrenechea, Marco Pastor, Pilar Arenas and Thitivut Ekphaisansup to participate in the computer-based simulation that is taking place in Madrid from May 21st to May 28th.

In this new series of blog posts IEU students will share their experience during the simulation!

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PIC6The four of us arrived at the beautiful historical building where the simulation is run at 8:15am sharp on Thursday 21st. We received our badges amidst a crowd of military personnel. You would expect such a multitude of people dressed in formal military attire to be rather intimidating, but upon conversing with the various students, teachers and military professionals throughout the morning we became aware of the friendly yet official nature of the environment we found ourselves in. As the four of us were escorted into the building, we were able to appreciate the wide variety of military artifacts and mementos of the Spanish army’s operations that lined the walls of this commemorated institution.

Upon arrival, we witnessed a wave of members of the Mexican army who were attending a conference. The sight made all of us feel the authenticity of the event, as if we were becoming part of history! Being surrounded by so many military scholars and soldiers of all ranks drew us further into the military atmosphere and whet our appetite for the CAX simulation that was to begin. Before the briefing of the simulation on the Atlantis case of International Conflict, we met with the founding Dean of IE School of International Relations, Dr. Arantza de Areilza and received a few encouraging words from the main architect in the introduction of the International Relations Master and Bachelor programs at IE.

Read more…

22
May

Written by Matthew Pelton (MIR 2014-15)

The September 11, 2001 attacks by the radical Al-Qaeda Islamist group shocked the world.  Earlier attacks occurred at U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi in 1998, but few expected the global jihadists to take new tactics to American soil.  Since fame grew for Al-Qaeda in the radical world, branches of their ideology have blossomed elsewhere (e.g., Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and Al-Shabaab in Somalia).  In the past decade, Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden,” has waged war against Western education and ideology in Nigeria killing thousands of people.  Similarly, Al-Shabaab has carried out attacks in Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and Djibouti since 2006 due to military intervention in Somali affairs through the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) and their endorsement of Western ideology.

Read more…

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