The Deterrence and Horizontal Escalation Project 2024

The Swedish Defence University (SEDU) has the pleasure to invite you to the Deterrence and Escalation Game in Stockholm, Sweden 19-20 March 2024. The event is part of the Deterrence and Horizontal Escalation Project 2024.

This effort is a continuation of The High North Deterrence Games that the Swedish Defence University’s (SEDU) Strategic Implications and Innovation Center (SIIC) and the US National Defense University’s (NDU) Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), Center for Applied Strategic Learning (CASL), and National War College (NWC) conducted in 2023. The games aimed to raise awareness of the evolving strategic situation in Europe and the associated deterrence challenges and opportunities for NATO members.

One lesson of the High North Deterrence Games was the need for a wider perspective of European security and the necessity to reach common views on deterrence and integrated deterrence in a wider context. We hope the Deterrence and Horizontal Escalation Project 2024 will highlight how the Arctic, High North, Baltic Sea, and Black Sea are interrelated and their importance to the rest of Europe. These perspectives will allow us to further discuss the concept of deterrence and the US concept of integrated deterrence.

The war in Ukraine, in its second year and with little hope of an end soon, has had a dramatic effect on European security. The war led Sweden and Finland to seek NATO membership and assimilate their defense policies and valuable military capabilities into the alliance. More broadly, all High North countries are in the midst of substantial rearmament programs, creating a new military reality across the region, a region that stretches from the European parts of the Arctic to the Baltic Sea.

The ongoing war is also fought in the Black Sea and the whole region is affected directly by the war in Ukraine. A region that encompasses the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean with members of NATO, Russia, nations in the Caucasus, and parts of the Middle East with no lack of security challenges. The North and the Black Sea Region are linked in several ways. The most obvious is that both are within NATO area of responsibility, and both are theaters for Russian ambitions and actions.

Russia has faced severe military, economic and political challenges as it prosecuted the war in Ukraine. But Russia still has the ability to continue the war in Ukraine and the development both in the war and in a wider conflict between Russia and the West is difficult to predict; the unpredictability is profound and dangerous.

China is also investing heavily in both regions and has been trying for a long time to gain footholds. More recently, Beijing has sought deeper connections with Moscow to jointly oppose U.S. influence.

The situation in the Black Sea Region and in Northern Europe offers challenges and possibilities to achieve deterrence for the West.

The Deterrence and Horizontal Escalation Project 2024 aims to discuss and illustrate these challenges and possibilities with several events during 2024, among them the Deterrence and Horizontal Escalation Game in Stockholm 19-20 March 2024. The game on Northern Europe and the Black Sea Region aims to explore and/or to verify how to adapt and maintain deterrence, necessary actions and desired effects and security implications when the center of gravity shifts between the Black Sea Region and Northern Europe.

The game also intends to explore how (politically, economically, and militarily) driving forces like trade, cyber, energy, corruption and information will affect actors in the region and the interdependencies between the regions.

Due to the current, unpredictable security situation, the workshop will be executed in the framework of worst-case scenarios and in the timeframe 2026.

The event in Stockholm will bring together decision makers and experts from both the actors in the regions and driving forces.

We hope that you will be able to participate in the game Tuesday 19 March (planned start at 0830) and Wednesday 20 March at Swedish Defence University, Drottning Kristinas väg 37, Stockholm.

The workshop will be held under Chatham house rules.

With kind regards,

Date: 19-20 March (Northern Europe)
Location: Swedish Defence University, Drottning Kristinas väg 37 Stockholm
Host: SEDU, Lars Hedström
Time: 08.30-16.30, registration at 8 am at SEDU

Invited are defence attache, experts in the field of area
Lunch and coffee will be served
Accomendation and travels will be on your own expenses

If you have any questions, please contact Maria Jontén, Project Coordinator, +46 72 704 3055, maria.jonten@fhs.se

If you are interested in attending, please apply to be considered as a participant by filling in the online application form below. The organizers will review your request and will inform you if you have been selected to participate.

I would like to apply to participate in the Deterrence and Horizontal Escalation Game 19-20 March 2024
I would like to apply to participate in the Deterrence and Horizontal Escalation Game 19-20 March 2024