Admissions Blog

International Security Policy Concentration Presents: Wargaming Seminar, Dangerous Straits

By Quan Yi Yeo '23
Posted Mar 10 2023

Note: Thank you to Quan Yi Yeo '23 for guest writing a blog piece for us! Yeo is a current MIA student studying a concentration in International Security Policy and specialization in International Conflict Resolution

The ISP Concentration hosts a range of events every semester for ISP-concentrators. Examples of past events include a panel for second-year students to share their summer internship experiences and a conflict resolution negotiation simulation. Most recently, ISP organized a wargaming seminar around a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

ISP Wargaming Seminar 2023: Dangerous Straits - February 10, 2023

With rising tensions between the United States and China over Taiwan, this seminar came at an opportune time, allowing ISP-concentrators to engage with experts on the technical aspects of wargaming, the varying assumptions behind simulations ran, and to delve deeper into the possibility of an actual conflict arising in the Taiwan Strait. Held under Chatham House rules, students listened to and interacted with speakers on the realm of cyber conflict, the history and utility of running wargaming simulations, and China’s foreign policy and its position on Taiwan.

The ISP Concentration strives to ensure that students are able to hear from leading experts in their respective fields. Besides inviting Columbia-affiliated faculty such as Tom Christensen (Director of the China and the World Program at Columbia) and Jay Healey (Director of the Cybersecurity Program at SIPA), ISP also reached out to U.S. military institutions, with COL Mike Stinchfield (Head of Wargaming Operations Division) and Matthew Cancian (Scholar of Military Operations) representing the U.S. Army and Naval War Colleges respectively.

One of ISP’s very own alumnus, Kitsch Liao (Assistant Director of the Global China Hub at the Atlantic Council) was also invited to share his thoughts on China’s foreign policy. Wanting to ensure a diversity of perspectives, Yisuo Tzeng (Assistant Research Fellow in the Division of Cybersecurity and Decision-making Simulation) from the Institute for Defense and Security Research in Taipei was also present via Zoom to share his thoughts on Taiwan’s state of readiness for any potential outbreak of conflict.

Overall, the event was a huge success! As a student hoping to work in the field, having the opportunity to network with incredible guest speakers is one part of SIPA that I will be eternally grateful for!

Consider ISP as your Concentration!

Students who choose ISP as their concentration will be able to participate in a diverse range of events, to prepare them for a broad range of career paths. This includes professional positions in the U.S. government and their counterparts in foreign governments, international/multilateral organizations, political risk consulting firms, public interest and advocacy organizations, and other areas. More information on ISP can be found here.