Board Game Plays Out Israel-Iran Conflict
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
This week, a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency suggested that Iran has continued to develop its nuclear weapons program, provoking another round of threats from Israel. It also prompted Military Times editor Michael Peck to play a board game called Persian Incursion. It's a Risk-style strategy game, a paper simulation of just such a conflict between Iran and Israel.
MICHAEL PECK: There are two players in the game, and it's Iran and Israel. And then there's also a lot of other powers reflected in the game - Saudi Arabia, the United States, Russia, China and so on. The actions of the Iranian and Israeli players take causes these other nations, their support for the Israeli operation to go up or down. They may become more pro-Iranian. They may become more pro-Israeli.
WERTHEIMER: The Persian Incursion board game unfolds along two tracks. There's an aerial campaign, but there's also a political aspect. You can gain or lose points based on the support of other countries, public opinion and general morale. There is no military victory without a political one. And even simulated decision making is hard work.
PECK: I think it's valuable to at least understand the difficulties that decision makers face. Now, it's a game. No one gets hurt, and no one has to bear the moral responsibility of life and death. But just being able to step into the shoes of a Netanyahu or Ahmadinejad or Obama, you learn a lot.
WERTHEIMER: That's Michael Peck. He's an editor at Military Times. He reviewed the board game Persian Incursion for the Foreign Policy website.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
WERTHEIMER: You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.