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For All Worldwide, A Holistic View

(All chapters are intended for continuing revision)

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Volume II - Chapter Seven

(Updated June 1, 2008)


 People come together in temporary work teams and networks which dissolve when a problem is solved or redefined. --Gibbons (1994)

At any rate, what's needed is imagination and a different style of thinking...in the interest of the planet. --Jean Francois Rischard.  

 I invite all the nations of the world to use this technology to bring about international peace and universal brotherhood. --Pres. J. F. Kennedy 

I am discouraged as a diplomat because recurrent conflagrations result from a failure of diplomacy and diplomats. -- Afif Safieh.

We wish to promote among young would-be decision-makers around the world the use of globally collaborative gaming. See the Multi-Entity Game on the the web site of the Millennium Institute  <http://www.millennium-institute.org>.-- Tak Utsumi

 THINK BIG! Huge sums are spent on research to develop instruments of war and to train people to use them and conduct wars. What about a global strategy, comparable research on how to solve the problems that lead to war? Efforts have been made to interconnect peace research institutes and  university departments of peace studies all over the world. And the time has come to develop a global plan to use emerging new technologies; for example for what here is called peace gaming, but gaming in the sense that business corporations `play games' to try new strategies before actually putting a plan into operation. However, this chapter introduces but one approach to a global peace research plan . The context is underlined in the MiniGuide, Security and Peace in the 21st Century: Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism and Other Threats (Marien 2007)

New technology can also be used to involve people globally and to reach out to teach people who do not have time to go to a campus, such as is done at the School of Peace and Conflict Management at Royal Roads University that, for example, has offered interdisciplinary Master's programs with a focus on creating sustainable peace in a world of turmoil and managing conflict while constructing solutions; and offeering online degrees in "Human Security and Peacebuilding," and  in Conflict Analysis and Management.  http://www.comminit.com/redirect.cgi?r=http://www.royalroads.ca/pcs  Isn't it time to end to offer a global curriculum on better ways to settling disputes? But how might that be done?

Johnson (2005) described the video game World of Warcraft  in which thousands of players connect in "an immensely complicated world" via the Internet. Couldn't thousands of minds similarly connect to explore alternatives to war for solving disputes? See the Transcend Peace University project's courses and plans see: <http://www.transcend.org/>.

The Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California has collaborated with the entertainment industry in ways that "advance   the `state-of-the-art' in virtual reality and immersive environments. <http://www.ict.usc.edu>. (Foreman 2004) Some propose a grand-scale peace game that would be something like an on campus mock United Nations Assembly with Internet connections to students and faculty in the countries involved in a potential crisis. Also see the Journal of Game Development. <http://www.jogd.com/>.

As yet there are few scholarly `peace games' on how to deal with the new kind of war--terrorism--that is enabling the powerless, even small groups and individuals,  to wage war on the most  powerful. Nor on the other hand are individuals in many disciplines involved in global-strategy planning with the military on new strategies that must involve many disciplines; for example military conflicts may be caused by water or food shortages, or economic crises, so global military planning should also include global economic planning and economic justice. An adequate long range strategy for dealing with this kind of war--global-scale terrorism--must involve allies and many disciplines in planning strategies. The University of Chicago magazine, October 2004,. reported current war experience by some alumni, telling what they were learning on the ground in Iraq. One noted the neglect of hunger, another of economics during a war as well as afterwards in winning the peace. Another noted `how naive some are about politics' and` the difference between textbook strategy and reality. Another pointed out that `all strategy is global.' What we call terrorism involves guerilla tactics that are as old as the Roman empire and the American revolution and as recent as the Vietnam war, yet in the Middle East "we completely underestimated the ability of guerilla forces against a conventional army."

So terrorists provide kind of threat that could be helped  by peace gaming to bring together many minds from every continent to search for new ideas Notice  the book on the context of peace gaming and its possibilities:: 
 <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Global_University/Global%20University%20System/UNESCO_Chair_Book/Publishing/Press%20Release/Press_Rel_web/PR-F4.htm> on a `global university' plan for achieving world peace. Dean Nye of the Harvard University School of Government (2004) worried that, like Rome succumbed to waves of invading barbarians, modern high-tech terrorists are becoming the new kind of barbarians that threaten the developed world. The USA, for example, has been spending a hundred times more money on nuclear submarines, missiles and other weapons that are generally useless against terrorists, but also have been spending very little on the technology that can make possible an adequate new ways to deal with terrorism, to new kinds of research and imaginative planning. Also see: <http://www.stanleyfoundation.org/>. Doesn't terrorism, like inner city gang drive-by shootings, reveal a lack of civilization? The Forum Foundation in Seattle sponsors `civilization building' efforts through `Building Community through Communications."      

So how can simulation and related tools  be applied to a major global problem such as : wars, and violence, including increasingly serious youth gang violence and international crime syndicates that cooperate with terrorists  in exchange for drugs. Civil warring within many countires aggravate other problems, keeping children out of school and that absorb financial resources needed to bring education and health care to everyone in the world. We will return to war in 2.15, but first here we introduce some uses of technology that can enable a larger-scale globe research strategy to explore alternatives to violence as a way to solve problems. We report clues from `computer gaming' and simulations that  could involve and link researchers worldwide because no one in the world is secure from threat and no place in the world enemy free. Therefore completely new alternatives should be debated by everyone.

Herz (2001) in "Gaming the System," for example (more in 3.7) described large scale `computer games' as a way of learning and solving problems and learning. One of the first games enabled groups of participants to program physics simulations, allocate resources, represent scale and perspective and develop a "collaborative, highly social context." If a `gamer' doesn't understand something, "a continuously updated, distributed knowledge base maintained by a sprawling community of players is available from which to learn." Teamwork is developed and "constructive  capabilities built into games allow players to stretch their experiences in new and unexpected directions." A `networked ecosystem" can develop as players critique. construct and reconstruct . Such games have involved space wars and personal violence, but  a `game'  on an international crisis might begin with networking to brainstorm about how to deal with one of humanity's most intractable crises.

War' has changed many times across the centuries, from hand-to-hand combat, to army against army, to missiles and robot planes. As predicted by Pentagon researchers in the 1980's, the style of warfare is again undergoing transformational change. The only way a weak nation or terrorist group can fight a global power  is to use kinds of invisible guerrilla tactics--such as terrorism or Palestinian suicide bombers--in which the invaded country, or one where there is serious injustice,  may not even know who is attacking them or what nation equips this invisible `army' that fights cyber war, invading computer systems and electricity grids. Perhaps now the ever-present danger caused by global cells of terrorists will again require a `citizen army' in which everyone in the country is educated to participate in `neighborhood justice patrols'  wherever they are, and perhaps especially on the Web and Internet. So `new defense strategies' and games are needed to discover new kinds of `offense' against terrorists which may require providing education and job skills, for example, to the impoverished unemployed of the world who are vulnerable to terrorist recruiters. Now (Economist Sept. 2005) can the Dupuy Institute's highly sophisticated system-- now used effectively to predict war and the outcome--become a warning system to foresee terrorist attacks? 

Also, perhaps larger-scale research and simulations are needed to define what we mean by peace, which like the word `love' is hard to define to everyone's satisfaction. Here, certainly, we do not just mean the absence of war, or pacifism, or the actions of protesters who often find it easier to tell what they are against than what they are for. Perhaps it is easier to illustrate peace than to define it. For example, the Marshall Plan at the end of World War II turned former enemies into friends . We see constructive peace efforts when law students meet with violence-prone youth gangs to teach them negotiation skills to use instead of shooting guns at each other. Peace research and peace gaming must seek ways to solve the problems that cause wars and violence, to find ways to prevent terrorist attacks and war before they occur and educational programs or institutions must teach them. See <http://www.globalactionpw.org> The importance of such `preventive peace efforts' in 2005 were also seen in the Middle East and in threats of nuclear war between India and Pakistan that could bring disaster to the whole planet.

Second, what is the opposite of peace? Unlawful violence, yes, but is that all?. To attack another person with murderous intent, or someone's house or business is clearly against the law and it is the job of police to try to prevent such acts and to find and arrest such offenders. Human society seems now to be moving towards the view that for one nation to attack another is also a crime, that disputes between nations should also where possible be negotiated and settled in court. However, the global human community is only just now beginning to establish world law and courts, and that any aggressive war is unlawful and even that a police action against a rogue state is unlawful unless the United Nations authorizes it. However, human society has no global police to enforce global law. It often suggested that the world is like the USA frontier where disputes were settled with guns and a posse of volunteer citizens hunted down a horse thief to hang him without a trial. Domestic law no longer holds the view that a   `man's house is his castle and no one has the right to interfere if he beats his wife.  However, many assert that the international community has no right to interfere if a dictator massacres 200,000 of his country's citizens; for that is interfering in `internal affairs.' (See 2.13)

There now is a larger `gray area' between war and peace, seen in the potential explosive violence that is predicted by a hundred Nobel Prize winners (Editorial 2002) as a result of social injustice, and hunger caused by illness and poverty of hundreds of millions of people who increasingly have access to weapons.  Isn't global education essential to the solution? Perhaps every university should conduct annual peace games, maybe for example a mock United Nations Assembly in which local students are electronically connected to simlate alternatives to violence with students from other counties all over the world.  

Bremer (1977) expressed the hope that his decision-making computer model was "the first pier" for a much needed bridge in the field of international relations. Many more piers have since been constructed that increase the potential role of modeling, gaming, and simulations for resolving international crises. Gaming can explore alternatives to violence and ways to replace short-term patchwork solutions that are put together for each new global crisis. To replace war, conflicts must be resolved through better diplomacy, probably virtual diplomacy defined as "decision-making, coordination, communication and implementing of activities to prevent, manage and resolve international conflict, relying on information and communication technologies adopted by citizens, non-governmental organizations, international bodies, and nation-states. Virtual diplomacy recognizes the growing relevance of nonstate actors and the intensification and diversification of transnational conflicts resulting in new ways of managing current and potential international conflicts."  

That quotation is from volume 2 in the U.S. Institute of Peace's Virtual Diplomacy Series, "Net Diplomacy Beyond Old Borders." Sequest (2002) predicted there that "a profound transformation in the very nature of war and peace is bringing with it a profound change in the nature of peacemaking." Even in 2015, he worries, many `macho diplomats' will still want to use war and the threat of war to apply pressure. Peace, however, is going to require a `prevention mode ' to keep minor conflicts from becoming global cancers. NATO and nuclear weapons are no longer preventing wars and "even a policy of prevention is not enough" because it is still tinged by reaction.  Real peace building will require a "locally led long term strategy" wherein a combination of  of citizen leaders, officials, nongovernmental organizations  and diplomats can collaborate." A genuinely `peace-able' society will, he says, be built on more than politics. A successful strategy will involve the whole community, business, education, women and youth, students and especially women's organizations,--all aided by "a skillful tuned-in (diplomatic) profession." (Certainly all these must be brought together in peace negotiations in the Middle East.)

And peace building strategy will "use advanced  simulation as a real-life local laboratory in which all kinds of alternatives can be explored in terms of their consequences. ." Peace Games and Peace Labs, the Virtual Diplomacy document says: "are upside down war games especially constructed to  to help map all the players in a potential conflict or the stakeholders in a durable peace. With those maps the role-playing participants design...a workable path to a long term peace.--something that the last-minute, coercive unilateral interventions , no matter how dramatic, cannot achieve. The next sections of this effort to achieve UNESCO's goal of a `culture of peace' moves into the need for universities to develop the leadership to make such preventive peace building possible. .

What might be simulated and played out? First, perhaps new forms of global decision-making and  governance (see 2.15). A second type is suggested by British Prime Minister Brown (Brown 2001)--after the terrorist attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center--that the United States should lead in the creation of a new `Marshall Plan, involving many nations...since the last Marshall plan successfully turned enemies into friends. Could various scenarios for a global `alliance for prosperity' be examined through computer modeling? The idea is explored in these chapters on how to provide education, health care, minimum income and security for everyone in the world. This might be the best avenue to peace in the entire south Asia and Middle East region. Using large data bases and computer modeling, those playing the role of international decision makers change  possible national policy actions with their counterparts in other countries, using e-mail or videoconferencing. The each country player pretends to take all the actions to see what the good or bad consequences might be.

Another powerful tool for maintaining peace will be enhanced remote sensing warning system. (Livingston 2002) Barbara Marx Hubbard (2000)  has discussed with the White House the creation of a `peace room there,' somewhat like the war room. (Also at the United Nations ) On the Internet it would map problems and breakthroughs, with experts designing and monitoring  "vital signs and solutions." Other nations would be invited to create similar `situation rooms,' interconnecting to work together to "have a full picture of the world's potential conflicts" One of many new technologies that could power such a `peace room,' for example, is EarthViewer 3-D software (O'Brien 2002) which can provide a realistic "map of the world" that can "pan from the Himalayas to Mount Ranier in 10 seconds, using digital elevation models and 4.5 terabytes of fused satellite and aerial imagery of troop movements." It can give a `bird's eye view' of any locale, providing "a map that is interactive and realistic.' zooming in and out with the speed of light."


Politicians often miss a whole range of possibilities because awesome complexity complicates human thought and action about war and peace, as seen in 2001 concerns about terrorism. Violent `wars' may at times seem simpler than solving massive human problems and crises that cause conflict. It has often been easier to use violence against those who threaten war or terrorism (13.2)--when they are hungry or suffer injustice--than it is to feed them or give them justice. War games, the nations feel, must be secret and official, where the quest for justice and  peace can be a more open process. Also, peace gaming can include a wider range of issues, disciplines and complexities in an effort to understand chaos, turbulence, disorder and other symptoms of planetary anger. The enlarging capability for organizing and managing a great deal of sophisticated data (2.1) can possibly help negotiators overcome what Barbara Tuchman has called the pursuit of folly, as when political weakness leads to tragic blunders. The value of computer peace simulations will be decided by their success in helping us ask the most fundamental questions and solve the most desperate of human global problems.

Can peace games--to try out alternatives without risk--be played on the scale of Pentagon war games that use radar, battleships, and satellites? In 1997 the USA military and allies conducted the Joint Warrior Interpretability Demonstration. Thousands of military and civilian personnel were involved in testing information systems and satellite communications under simulated warfare conditions. Previous games like that had already profoundly changed many ways of doing things, and in 1997 the project coordinated the messaging systems of the USA. Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand and Spain. If this simulation, as reported, was possible with "commercial off-the-shelf equipment" then civilians could also explore alternatives to terrorism on a comparable scale. Why not also simulations of important possibilities, such as: systems to monitor situations that may become crises, of an enlarged UN Security Council that would have representation from a global people's assembly, of other ways in which the UN system might be improved,  of how a global UN peace force might function, of better use of military spending, and of many other less explored ideas. (See 2.15) The European Union has successfully demonstrate the value of inter-connecting all levels of government among various countries, for example inter-connecting legislators and police departments. 

In April, 1997, the United States government's Institute of Peace's (USIP) conference on `virtual diplomacy' began with the presupposition that new information technologies are dramatically changing how diplomats can negotiate to prevent war. Digital communications "now link diverse cultures, economies and create new relationships that disregard conventional boundaries, hierarchies, time zones and geopolitical boundaries.' (USIP 1996). New technologies also enable more people to cause conflicts, however, and the speed at which events move from potential problem to crisis. So the American government's Peace Institute has  held a conference on managing chaos. It explored "the pivotal role that "new `conflict managers' can play in international conflict resolution. Also, pertinent to the new century's concern about terrorism, it asked how global-scale tools might be used more effectively in preventing crises through conflict resolution, peacekeeping, preventive diplomacy and humanitarian assistance in turbulent regions. A preparatory meeting examined case studies. A series of online conversations between experts in the United States and Japan on Asian policy issues used an online human rights database, a system to monitor human rights treaties, a computer-based negotiating training model, software developed at MIT on patterns in regional conflicts, and a data base on the role of nongovernmental organizations in peacekeeping operations.

Tens of millions of people are trained and equipped to wage war where very few are trained to win the peace afterwards, including methods for the peaceful resolution of disputes. Even fewer are equipped to monitor possible terrorist activities in their own neighborhoods. Military forces are increasingly used as peacekeepers, but the art is still very primitive. Now suppose there could be (a) a large online coalition of university departments and experts in many fields, (b) supported by massive data bases of all the information needed for a war-preventing simulation, (c) software to implement the use of collective intelligence for more creative and imaginative networking about alternatives to war."

How then--in a vast World Wide Web co-laboratory--would they play a peace game on the scale of Pentagon war games? And do so with computer simulations and modeling to play out all alternatives without risk and at modest expense? <http://dn3.gjhost.com/~cgi/mt/netweaverarchive/peace_games_with_globally_interconnected_computers_486.html> However, new ideas are needed, more creative altenatives to propose. So it is interesting to note (Johnson 2005) evidence that playing powerful new video games is enlarging the intelligence and creativity of players.  


Online collaborative peace gaming began in 1972 when Professor Bob Nol of the University of California, Santa Barbara, planned a political game over ARPANET. the predecessor of the Internet. He assigned other schools to play the roles of diplomats of the Soviet Union, etc. When he assigned California participants to play Japan, Takeshi Utsumi protested: "No matter how much Americans study Japan they cannot understand the Japanese," he said. He proposed that the University of Tokyo should play the role of the Japanese government. This was done and then participants in London and Brussels were also enlisted.

The scenario for that 1972 game assumed a border incident between Iran and Iraq. During e-mail negotiations the Japanese team proposed, among other things, that the USA withdraw the 7th fleet from the Indian Ocean and that the United Nations act to secure Middle East oil by making the Maraca Strait an international zone. Some political scientists have since noted that when Iran and Iraq did later go to war, the plan proposed by this peace game might have been successful.

One participant in that 1972 game was Jonathan Wickenfeld. He later enlarged that first peace gaming simulation into the "International Communications in Negotiation with Simulation" (ICONS) project at the University of Maryland. ICONS engaged in simulation/negotiation games to play out scenarios--some prepared by the U.S. State Department--in arms control, nuclear proliferation, human rights issues, etc. (Wickenfeld 1983.)

Leopoldo Schapira of the University of Cordoba, Argentina, used e-mail for a similar gaming simulation with colleagues around Latin America on drug trafficking. E-mail alone was found to be inadequate for such gaming and international satellites were expensive. So Utsumi began to experiment with real-time computer conferencing, using slow-scan TV over `plain old telephone lines' (POTs). Participating in some of his experimental demonstrations were Robert Muller, Honorary Chancellor of the United Nations University of Peace and Wassily Leontief, Noble Laureate in Economics.

By 1986 Utsumi was proposing a global peace game to train negotiators for dealing with environmental/economic conflicts, perhaps seeing ahead to the time when terrorists would be bred by poverty. He felt that such gaming should be conducted by a global university consortium. It should "promote peace through joint research" and experimentation to create "a globally distributed decision-support system." It would explore win/win alternatives to conflict and war. Its design phase would use computer networks for planning by experts in various countries. Also, technologists would test `state of the art' systems--hardware and software--for a project as large as a Pentagon war game. Plans and technologies for synergistic convergence are described by Utsumi (1996).


Utsumi's first major successful experiment with global-scale peace gaming was at the World Future Society's 1986 conference on complexity. Discussions there about scientific and technological explorations were noting new ways to deal with complexities in many fields and disciplines. There were reports, for example, about how Mandelbrot and others were implementing a new understanding of chaos, the study of turbulence and disorder in a whole range of phenomena. There was discussion of McCorduck's The Universal Machine, of the use of computers to empower human intelligence, and on modeling for use in global politics and in medical research.

Suppose, it was asked, society spent as much on peace as is spent on defense and war. That was seen to be a futile question because more hundreds of billions of dollars would not be available. However, Utsumi's panelists suggested, there was a new alternative. Computer networking and simulations could be used to explore alternatives to war and help disillusioned young people find effective political alternatives to terrorism, without much cost and risk. Online negotiators could: (a) create and use mutually agreed-upon data bases; (b) define and clarify areas of disagreement and agreement; (c) model historic decisions and actions such as those that have led to war and tragedy or to peace; (d) simulate alternative ways to resolve disagreements. International online forums could give voice to the embittered.

Instead of arguing theoretically with skeptics at the complexity conference, Utsumi and Parker Rossman conducted a demonstration of a global-scale peace game. It began with an online experiment in using collective intelligence--in advance of the complexity conference--to develop ideas, theory and procedures. The resulting demonstration involved connections between experts at several universities. American negotiators in the game--Provost William Nordhaus of Yale and Dean Lester Thurow of MIT--were electronically interconnected with counterparts at Japanese universities for three days of computer -assisted negotiations on a crisis scenario.

The game used the sophisticated FUGI `world computer model' at Soka University in Japan that included vast amounts of information on more than sixty-two nations. Klein (1995) reported that the FUGI global model contained a simulation of the relationship between arms reduction and growth in the global economy. In New York Utsumi brought together combinations of technology-- including slow-scan TV and computer conferencing--to create a kind of co-laboratory. New York was linked with Honolulu, Tokyo and Vancouver, B.C. Participants from Asia and Canada were linked for real time participation in the peace game.


A United Nations staff member prepared a scenario for the game which, however, was not the one used: The Japanese navy would be on its way to the mid-Pacific to stop by force an American company that was mining on the sea floor. The American navy was coming to stop the Japanese navy. Negotiators online would need to resolve the crisis before the navies confronted each another. (Has anyone yet simulated possible types of terrorist action and alternatives for countering them?)

The actual peace game negotiations on an economic problem did not follow that scenario, but they were so successful that they attracted the attention of the Japanese government. The game showed how the United Nations--facing an emergency that had to be resolved quickly--could make immediate use of such interconnected tools. They could be used to test and try alternative strategies for dealing with global issues; to enable more creativity and imagination in the process of global decision-making; for better political management; and, most important, to involve scholars and researchers of at least three countries, interactively, in the process.

Computer conferencing made it possible for a large numbers of participants on two continents to comment, make suggestions and ask questions. All could be read on large electronic screens by the negotiators and observers. Those in all of the locations, or on computer screens at home, could read the contributions and comments of all participants. Now the Inernet has greatly expanded those possibilities. So what is the possibility of a much larger peace game--on the scale of Pentagon war games--as a mega-research project on, say, terrorism? What now might be feasible and useful as research? Monitoring systems are being put in place to give advance warning of possible conflicts and terrorist activities. What resources and technologies might be used to keep potential warring parties at the table to try out win-win methods to resolve the crisis? Many of the world's diplomats are already sitting at the table, virtually if not in person. Can gaming, for example, help the United Nations discover new alternatives to ineffective sanctions or ways to make sanctions more effective? Other such ideas and questions were proposed at the U.S. Institute of Peace virtual diplomacy conference--and subsequent online discussion--in April, 1997. More such conferences were being planned.


The first phase of a Pentagon-scale peace game--phases of which might last for years--would be conversations and planning via computer networking. Morton Kaplan in Toward Professionalism in International Theory said that although great individual minds may have been responsible for spectacular human advances at times, from now on human progress will require a community of minds in which theories are collectively developed, criticized, applied, and tested. Until that process is empowered, he said, human thought in the areas of war, peace, and international relationships will continue to be too simplistic and inadequate. As the bulldozer becomes one component in a system for empowering human hands to move mountains, so now the Internet/Web--especially in the next decades as they grow more  intelligent-- can be used to empower human minds to deal with overwhelmingly complex "mental mountains" that limit the human vision and constructive decision-making.

It is important to see the difference between a game and a simulation. A simulation seeks to represent reality so that one can understand a system and manipulate it in various ways. The word game is not used here in a frivolous way but to focus "on presenting broader, less quantifiable concepts" than most simulations have yet done. A game, he says, also expresses feelings and is closer to an artistic message. Such a "game should lift the player up to higher levels of understanding."

Millions of brains are mobilized to wage war. We here propose a game-for-peace research. It can mobilize as many brains, especially of experts in the universities of many countries, to plan skills-training for political leaders and to create computerized political models of the often unconscious processes that have led to war and terrorism. Utsumi proposes gaming simulations on a very large scale to help decision makers deal with interwoven problems. He wants a "Globally Distributed Decision Support System" with autonomously managed simulation sub models at distributed locations. He sees the possibility for mind-empowerment tools to help people do better thinking. He used computer networking to develop ideas for his smaller-scale peace game. PeaceNet has been able to mobilize tens of thousands of people simultaneously for peace actions. It also demonstrates a venue for use networking for large-scale planning.


A second phase of global-scale peace gaming would be that of providing comprehensive databases. (2.1) International conflict and poor decisions often result from complexity and inaccurate or inadequate data. Despite the vast sums spent on intelligence (Steele 1997), no president or head of government has comprehensive enough information for adequate decision-making. Legislators and citizens are less well informed. This can now change. Better managed and more comprehensive data bases can bolster the process of discovering, elaborating, and testing new alternatives for diplomatic and peace action.

If conflict often results from disagreement over fact or bad information, new research tools can now provide adequate data bases. Peace gaming can be under girded with resources from university departments of peace studies, from peace research institutes in many countries, from the National Security Network Virtual Library and many other sources. What do our leaders and people know, and what do they need to know that they do not know?

PeaceNet--one of the computer networks of the Institute for Global Understanding--reached to every continent to coordinate data bases and hundreds of peace organizations. It was established to bring online all peace data bases, such as those on arms control, international law, human rights, ecology, migration and terrorism. It has included a Peace Law cases data base, work and plans for peace research and action groups, news and conferences of the peace research and action organizations, planning mobilization for peace actions, etc. Existing data, in many places, is organized as a decentralized catalog. It is hosted at the Center for Security Studies and Conflict Research in Switzerland and is part of the World Wide Web meta-library system.

The value of building simulations upon more competent data bases was demonstrated when graduate students at MIT, for example, developed a computer model that made it possible for United Nations "Law of the Sea" negotiations to be more successful than otherwise might have been possible (McCorduck 1985). The MIT computer model made it possible for all countries, even the poorest and weakest, to participate with the major powers as equals in the negotiations. All nations had equal access to sophisticated data and to modeling which examined the probable results of various alternatives (Antrim 1986). Even if negotiations are totally secret, scholars everywhere can continue to add alternative suggestions to the data banks. Their computers can continue to cross-index and process all such information, passing on ideas for the negotiators to consider.


Central to a mega-research peace game would be many kinds of modeling and simulations. Models could be created in many universities and nations and gradually be linked together. Carroll (1987) left IBM to explore the use of simulations at a Catholic Peace Center. He proposed models of how human minds function--especially those of diplomats but would be interesting on the minds of terrorists--in matters of peace and war. He also proposed modeling a control system, as an alterative to war, like the system of ground control that regulates air traffic.

A major obstacle to effective use of large-scale modeling is that even the most sophisticated computer model is not sufficient if it is disconnected from the real world. Exploration can be carried out within simulated environments, of course, but validation is impossible without real world connections. The network model can feature cooperation, sharing, meetings of minds across space and time in a context of responsive programs and readily available information. Or it can be characterized by supervision, regulation, constraint, and control. Using modeling and simulations in a global-scale game will require a long, hard process of deliberate study, experiment, analysis, and development.

A very large simulation and game might model possible ways to transform the war system itself into a more successful peace and justice development system, armies into United Nations peace forces.. Symbolic processing has been called a sleeping giant that in the future can make it possible for problems to be examined and solved on a larger and larger scale. It could it be used to discover and explore new kinds of power which can be used in defense of justice, human rights, and against aggressors. Suellentrop (2006) reports that the Swedish Defense College  has developed a game to train UN peacekeepers. Also students at Carnegie Mellon University at one point ere developing Peacemaker, a game that seeks a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

One missing element in Utsumi's 1986 peace game was software such as that for a global problem-solving program developed at Case Western Reserve University (Mesarovic 1996). Demonstrations at the United Nations showed that the system could be used to explore alternatives and the consequences of various kinds of actions that might be taken to solve a particular crisis. In time, negotiators on specific international conflicts can continue to fine tune such computer models, tailoring them for use in that particular conflict. Systems for Computer-Aided-Negotiations can include the counsel of experts with expert systems as one component is a computer-conferencing think tank. Easier-to-use software programs for peace gaming have been  illustrated by the UNESCO sponsored GENIe project at Case Western Reserve University and the ICONS project at the University of Maryland. Also software has been proposed for simulations of United Nations restructure and assemblies, for mock world court simulations to air grievances that may lead to conflict; for diagnosis and dramatization of potential crises through `global TV political theater' and for simulations of crisis management alternatives.

Utsumi has proposed to construct a "Globally Distributed Decision Support System" for a plus sum peace game. This system would draw together many computers, in various locations, to share in the development of--and gaming with--already prepared simulation sub models. His system would include: a "meta-language" for improved communication among users of sub models; the development of distributed systems; a new scheduling algorithm--the Virtual Time concept that allows for the organization and exchange of information among dispersed, dissimilar computers--and other technological developments to make this possible.

When legislation was proposed for a U.S. Peace Academy, like West Point and Annapolis, many asked what peacemaking skills it would teach. In its 1997 conference on `virtual diplomacy' that United States Institute of Peace was exploring the use of information technology. Can it in the future facilitate holistic peace making research? One of many small beginnings can be seen, for example, might be seen in projects like the GaDia research group (Governance and Democracy in the Information Age). Growing out of a 1996 effort of the European Consortium for Political Research, scholars in many countries produced reports and were in 1998 hoping to expand research efforts with funding from the European Union's project for network/collaborative research activities. A truly global co-laboratory can come into existence if peace institutes, university peace studies departments and academies in many countries link in a global research design and strategy. A research co-lab for peace might then be central to the global virtual university itself, since true peace will require a wide range of research in areas discussed in the next chapters, such as how to secure food and justice for all.

Some USA senators suggested that it was unlikely that a negotiated peace can be achieved in advance of stopping the fighting between Israel and Palestine  unless such a plan involves something like a massive Marshall Plan (See Brown 2001) for the region.   A long-range comprehensive plan would have to provide both sides with economic and political security. How can such a plan be developed, involving many Middle Eastern nations, without playing out all possible consequences of each phase of the proposal to see what the good and bad consequences might be? Rooting out terrorism globally is likely to require draining the swamps of ignorance, poverty and injustice that breed terrorists. Hinde (2003) and Nobel-prize winner physicist Rotblat, in a book with a foreword by Robert McNamara warned that humanity may not survive unless war of all kinds is abolished and peaceful means found to solve disputes that may occur over  joblessness, hunger, oil and water.

Otherwise new kinds of war (or nuclear and weapons in space) could mean that humanity may not survive.

Return to Chapter 2.6  |  Go to Chapter 2.8

Bibliographical Notes

Antrim, Lance  1986. "Computer Models as an Aid to Negotiation." Office of Technology Management, U.S. Congress.

Bremer, Stuart. 1977. Simulated Worlds. Princeton University Press.

Brown, Gordon. (2001) "Marshall Plan for the Next Fifty Years." Washington Post, Dec, 17.

Carroll, A.D.  (n.d.)  "A Modest Proposal." New York: Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

Crawford, Chris. 1986 "Balance of Power." Richmond WA: Microsoft.

Dean, Jonathan. 2002. "Global Action to Prevent War." http://www.globalactionpw.org

Economist. 2005. "And Now the War Forcast." September 17.

Foreman, Joel. 2004. "Game-based Learning." Educause, Sept./Oct.

Herz. J.C. 2001. "Gaming the System. "From "The Internet and the University," Educause Forum on the Future of Higher Education. <http://www.educause.edu/pub/>.

Hinde, R., and J. Rotblat, 2003. War No More. London: Pluto Press.

Johnson, Steven. 2005 "Your Brain on Video Games. Discover.  July..

Jones, Scott. 2000. "Center for Sustainable Peace and Development." http://www.peaceroom.com 

Marien, Michael. May 2007. Security and Peace in the 21st Century. Sponsored by the World Academy of Art and Science.
Washington DC: World Future Society.

O'Brien, J. M. 2002.  "3-d Worldview." Wired, February.

Rossman, Parker and T. Utsumi. 1986. "Waging Peace With Globally-Interconnected Computers." In Didsbury, H. F. (Ed.)1986.  Challenges and Opportunities. Bethesda MD: World Future Society.

Rossman, Parker. 1998. "Using Global-Scale Tools to Solve Global Scale Problems. Simulation, January.

Rubin, B. R. 2002. Blood on the Doorstep: The Politics of Preventive Action. New York: Century Foundation Press.

Sequist, Larry. 2002. "Real Diplomats Do Peace." Washington DC. U.S. Institute of Peace, number 15, Virtual Diplomacy Series,  15, August..

Steele, Robert. (ed.) 1996. "Open Source Intelligence." Washington DC: Open Source Solutions.

Suellentrop, Chris. 2006. "Playing With Our Minds." (video games). Wilson Quarterly.  Summer.

University of Missouri Peace Studies: <http://web.missouri.edu/~peacewww/>.

USIP 1996."Special Focus on Virtual Diplomacy." Washington DC: U.S. Institute of Peace.

Utsumi, Takeshi and Parker Rossman.. 1982. "Peace Gaming." In Shoemaker, S.(ed.) Computer Networks and Simulation. Amsterdam: North Holland Publishing Company. Online book on peace and global university: <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Global_University/Global%20University%20System/UNESCO_Chair_Book/Bk_outline-D13.html>

Utsumi, T. et al. (Eds.) 2003. "Global Peace and the Global University System." Draft online at <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Global_University/Global%20University%20System/UNESCO_Chair_Book/Bk_outline-D13.html>


Wickenfeld, J. and B. Starkey.  1989. "Project ICONS." Teaching Notes, Winter.  

The Future of Higher (Lifelong) Education: For All Worldwide: A Holistic View
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