In August, the Defense Department completed a major war game, Millennium Challenge 2002. Although details of the game were not revealed officially, some interesting ones leaked. The object of the game was to test new concepts of network-centric warfare. The venue was Iran, but the opposing regime was acting, apparently, more like that of Iraq. The choice of venue hardly reflected current political thinking, because the game had been in preparation for at least two years. Iran probably was chosen because, unlike Iraq, it stressed naval as well as ground forces. The opposing commander was retired Marine Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper. The major leaks about the game were about how well General van Riper was able to use his conventional forces to defeat the futuristic forces he faced. Although General Van Riper was said to have out-thought his opponents, ultimately the U.S. force won. It is a matter of contention whether the game was scripted to make this outcome inevitable. According to some reports, General Van Riper withdrew as opposition commander in protest against what he saw as a determination to rig the game.
World Naval Developments: War Game Raises Questions
By Norman Friedman