Multinational Arctic Security Simulation for Cadets



Intent and context

  1. This exercise seeks to provide experiential learning to cadets enrolled in undergraduate courses in international relations, defence and foreign policy, crisis management, decision making, and related subject areas.  It should fit within a normal one semester course as a module taking up about ten contact hours, although this can be adjusted by assigning more or less class activity.  It also permits cadet-led participation as part of a club or voluntary activity, although some faculty supervision is recommended.

  2. The simulation will be conducted online without any cost. Individual national teams may incur costs at their own discretion.  Interactions will be asynchronous, online, on free and open-source platforms (principally email, Skype, or comparable platforms accessible to all teams)

  3. We hope that the simulation will be conducted over several weeks, sometime between January and March 2019.  Practitioner research and participant observation will be applied to develop a report on transnational learning about security responses. We hope that this would be presented by participating cadets at the International Symposium of Military Academies to be held in Stockholm,  20-24 May 2019.

  4. Member institutions of the International Association of Military Academies (IAMA) and the International Society of Military Sciences (ISMS) will be invited to participate in developing the concept for future multinational collaborative security simulations. 


  1. This simulation is a pilot project, or educational experiment, and is expected to consist of the following phases:

  2. Preparation

  3. Identify points of contact in each participating institution. Points of contact may be professors, military staff, cadets, or civilians, who will coordinate and oversee their national team’s participation.

  4. Each national point of contact will identify a group of participants in their participating institution, probably cadets in their third or fourth year. Participants may be members of a class, members of a club (e.g. an international affairs club), or volunteers from the general population. We think the exercise could accommodate a group between three and 30, depending on the arrangements made in each institution.

  5. Participants will identify and assemble resources and experts suitable to support their contribution to the exercise.  A principal advantage of the exercise is that each national team will draw on materials from its own linguistic, cultural, and policy background, which would otherwise be inaccessible to other national teams.

  6. sic

  7. Conduct

  8. phase 1 - study national policy and decision-making relevant to arctic issues. This includes awareness of national positions in the Arctic Council, formal agreements, and general national security policies and decision-making processes. Specific attention should be paid to national assets available for a response, and the decision processes involved in mobilizing or deploying those assets.  The Teams will divide and share the effort, creating leadership and coordination opportunities within each group.

  9. phase 2 - present those policies and processes to the other national teams. This is expected to involve shared documents and slide shows in a common language (probably English, but others may work depending on participants) and links to commonly accessible references.

  10. phase 3 - respond to a crisis or incident in the arctic which calls for a collaborative response. The conduct of the response will be asynchronous, allowing each team to work normally within its own time zone.

  11. phase 4 - reflect on the conduct of the exercise and the key learning points about national and international responses.

  12. Reporting

  1. Each national point of contact will keep track of exercise comments as the exercise progresses. These will be posted to a common web site for continuous learning during the exercise

  2. On completion of the “Respond” phase, each national team will prepare a summary of key learning points and suggestions for future iterations.

  3. Points of contact and participating cadets will prepare a consolidated report, which might be presented as a discussion panel with multiple national representatives at the International Symposium on Military Academies (ISOMA, formerly ISoDoMA) planned for Stockholm in May 2019.

  1. Institutional contacts

  2. Please contact David Last for contacts at Norwegian Military Academy (Krigskole), Royal Military College of Canada, and Norwich University, Vermont, for the 2019 iteration of the simulation.

  3. Supporting resources

  4. Arctic Simulation DRAFT Guide for faculty advisors v1.1 (February 2019)

  5. ANNEX A DRAFT Arctic Simulation Scenarios V1.0

  6. Arctic Simulation 2019 References v1.1

If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, please contact

David Last

Associate Professor, Political Science

Royal Military College of Canada

+1 (613) 532 3002


Cadets from Arctic nations will explore and explain national security decision-making and action in a collaborative context.

This is a draft concept for an online, no-cost, international experiential learning opportunity for pre-commission officer cadets in military academies of Arctic Nations. Comments and engagement welcome!