Friday, October 31: Syria Simulation Round One

Happy Halloween! What a perfect occasion to practice inhabiting someone else’s perspective. Following the rules of the game,  your teams will be introduced to your cards and will have a short 10 minutes to research and plan an action. The actions you take will be recorded on this leader board. As we play over the next three class meetings, continue reading the assigned chapters from Controversies in Globalization and reflect on how the issues those chapters debate affect the dynamics of our game.

Here is the list of teams:

  • Western Powers——————Sheldon & Alex
  • UN———————————Briana & Emily
  • Turkey—————————–Andrea & Krista
  • Salafi Jihadists——————-Zac and Kevin
  • Russia—————————–Coco & Marie
  • Syrian population—————-Leslie & Meeta
  • Islamist Rebels——————-Mohammed & Nicole & Diamond
  • Iran ——————————-Jo Anna, Allie & Ben
  • Syrian Regime——————–Natalie & Haitham
  • FSA——————————–Katelyn & Danny & Katharina

And the results of our first round of play! The FSA and Moderate Islamists formed an alliance, while the Salafis raided a regime chemical weapons depot and can use their new weapons in the next round. (Someone needs to convince them not to, somehow.) Turkey responded to all of these actions by building shelters in anticipation of an influx of refugees. Lo and behold,  the regime carried out a heavy military assault on Salafis after the theft of their weapons and caused a severe uptick in the flow of refugees, with 200 casualties.

The non-actors weighed in with a lot of rhetoric. China and Russia used social media psy ops to spread propaganda in support of Assad, trying to convince the Syrian people to lend their support. Iran gave a public speech along the same lines–blaming Western imperialism for creating chaos in Syria. The Western Powers took the high road; their humanitarian aid stemmed the flow of refugees and made it possible for that win condition to be met, maybe, by the end of the third round. The United Nations sent a communique to the Assad regime requesting permission for arms inspectors to enter Syria. The non-militarized Syrian population expressed their support for the alliance between the FSA and the Moderate Islamists.

Update for round two! The second round started with the FSA and the moderate Islamist rebels requesting military aid to combat the Salafi jihadists. An ominous first move that proved to be a minor prelude to the death and destruction to come. The Salafi jihadists deployed the chemical weapons they seized in round one against the Assad regime, targeting government buildings in the capital, Damascus. 750 casualties were reported, and the flow of refugees tripled. Turkey responded with aid to refugees which temporarily brought their numbers back down, until the Assad regime responded to the Salafi attack by striking with their remaining chemical weapons. The casualties were fewer at 200, but the flow of refugees tripled again. At this point the game has exceeded the maximum casualty rate for a total win, but hopefully things won’t get worse in round three.

The Syrian population responded to the violence between Assad and the Salafis by pledging their support for the FSA and the moderate Islamists to form a coalition government with hopes that it would be recognized by the world community. China offered humanitarian aid to the Assad regime, which temporarily removed all multipliers on refugees, but Russia and Iran followed by pledging military aid to the FSA and Assad regime respectively; now any armed attack by either group will have 50 percent more casualties. The Western Powers sought and won popular approval for a military strike against the Assad regime, and the United Nations succeeded in passing a resolution setting conditions on the combatants in Syria, which could trigger the Western Powers to enforce a Security Council resolution in round three.

We overlooked the votes of confidence/contempt on Monday, so we’ll start with that phase on Wednesday before officially moving into round three.

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