As the world watches the many conflicts rage across the globe, the SIS 415 class has brought one to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Following the last several years, the capstone of the Global Security and Intelligence Studies program has been an intelligence scenario of epic proportions. This semester is a familiar scenario to most, Israel and Iran. The class switches back and forth between domestic disturbances and international situations that affect a global arena.

Starting at the beginning of April, the class was divided. Twenty-two students were divided into 12 nation teams under the guidance of Dr. Phil Jones who said, “This is a great class, but the game has taken a different aspect than I thought would happen.” The scenario was supposed to be Israel and Iran nuclear situation, but things have changed. It was not long before the game shifted to the Syrian civil war that currently rages in the Middle East.

“We try to keep it all intelligence gathering,” Jones said, “But armed conflict is about to begin.” In the game itself, Iraq has become a client state of Iran as hundreds of thousands of troops were moved to the Syrian border. Meanwhile, Israel is preparing to intervene in Lebanon to fight Hezbollah. “The game has taken a whole different turn than I planned,” Dr. Jones explained, “But this is to resemble the real world and nothing is guaranteed.”

GSIS majors and ROTC cadets are squaring off with four years of intelligence training that shows the world in the gray areas. The GSIS students are learning first hand about logistics and movements in an international situation. However, this year a new part was added into the mix: diplomacy.

The teams meet on Tuesdays to discuss the movement phases and combat, if any, but on Thursdays the United Nations meets. This is where the teams or nations meet to try and solve things diplomatically rather than pure brute force. “This year has become very interesting,” Dr. Jones said. “It will be interesting to see if a resolution is passed before all out war breaks out in the Middle East.” As the groups meet for their final briefings, their semester will soon come to a close with the final orders issued as the seniors now understand the complexity of the very field they are entering.

 

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