At CNA, wargaming is an integral part of the analytical and operational support we provide to the Navy, Marine Corps, Joint Force, and Federal Interagency. The wargames we design incorporate the best of CNA: subject matter experts with a deep understanding of the people, processes and organizations that we support. We combine analytical rigor drawn from our academic backgrounds, cultural understanding that stems from our experience in military operations, and the breadth of capability that comes from our diverse team.

A recent War on the Rocks article highlighted the need for wargame practitioners to provide a comprehensive analytical methodology that includes wargaming as one part, instead of offering wargames as isolated events that end when the last player leaves the room. At CNA, our commitment to applying a rigorous analytical methodology to wargaming as a part of the analytically process has never wavered. We have consistently provided complete analytical solutions to our sponsors in which wargaming is complemented by broad array of analytical approaches.

As an example, we pioneered a method of using wargames to describe the workflow in planned organizations and developed a complete research cycle to fully analyze and implement the results. Several sponsors across the Navy and Marine Corps have leveraged our wargames and analyses to help adapt, design and optimize their organizations.

We have conducted and are currently conducting multiple efforts with sponsors in which the execution of the wargame is only one piece of our analytical effort. In one, CNA will analyze the conduct of a fleet exercise based on the outcome of a CNA wargame. Making the connection between wargaming results and real-world operations comes naturally to CNA; our analysts have supported almost every major operation and exercise since World War II.

CNA’s wargame design methodology, focused on data, analysis and real-world impact of the wargame as the event’s primary goals, is the subject of a recent trilogy of podcasts.

I agree with the War on the Rocks article’s author, Dr. Jon Compton, that the Navy, the Marine Corps and the whole of the Department of Defense need wargame practitioners that focus on the sponsor’s needs and design wargames that directly tackle the problems they are facing. Our philosophy at CNA has always been to design the range of bespoke, informed, immersive and diverse wargames that the Department of Defense needs — and to provide the analytic rigor needed to make the best use of the outcomes of those wargames.