chapter  14
16 Pages

Strategic Simulation and the American Military Imaginary

ByMichael Clair

This chapter provides several lenses on military strategic simulation that elucidate its place in post-World War II American power and consciousness. It considers the performativity of innovative strategic simulation in the post-World War II American context, particularly via the RAND Corporation's crisis games of the 1950s and '60s. The chapter discusses two major concepts. The first is that strategic simulation play forms a critical node in militarized culture. The second concept is that strategic simulation is a kind of therapeutic performance. Moreover, strategic simulation is not only play; it is also an exemplar of the kind of therapeutic and visionary performance near to the hearts of many art scholars and practitioners. In retrospect, SIERRA appears as a foundational precursor of American attempts to game strategy in Southeast Asia over the course of the subsequent two decades, and low-intensity war up to the present day.