May 16, 2022

CNAS Gaming Lab Leads Wargame on NBC's Meet the Press

Washington, May 16, 2022—The Gaming Lab at CNAS recently led a strategic-operational wargame, "Dangerous Straits: Battle for Taiwan 2027," in partnership with NBC's Meet the Press. The wargame aimed to provide critical insight into how a potential war with China over Taiwan could unfold, and how the United States and its allies and partners could defeat an attack on Taiwan by China.

The wargame first appeared as an episode of Meet the Press Reports on Thursday, May 12. It also received coverage on MSNBC's Meet the Press Daily and a highlight on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, May 15.

The wargame divided experts into teams, set in a hypothetical scenario in the year 2027. Blue team participants acted as U.S. defense officials while red team participants portrayed members of the Chinese Central Military Commission. The game also included a white cell to lead and adjudicate the scenario.

Blue team participants included Michèle Flournoy, Chris Dougherty, Mike Holmes, Congressman Mike Gallagher, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, and Ryan Evans. Red team participants included Richard Fontaine, Becca Wasser, Cristina Garafola, Dr. Bonny Lin, Bryce Barros, and Dr. Joel Wuthnow. White Cell participants included Dr. Stacie Pettyjohn, Dr. ED McGrady, Hannah Dennis, Lily Schlieman, and John O'Malley.

“The CNAS Gaming Lab held an illuminating and instructive wargame simulating an attack on Taiwan," said Richard Fontaine, Chief Executive Officer of CNAS. “By bringing together a number of national security leaders and thinkers, and with the partnership of NBC's Meet the Press, it charted the high stakes and hard decisions generated by a such a crisis. We hope that a public audience will find the exercise informative and insightful."

"We play serious games to teach or learn," said Stacie Pettyjohn, Senior Fellow and Director of the CNAS Defense Program. "Games are good for exploring what if something terrible happened (such as the use of nuclear weapons or a war) in a safe environment so that one can hopefully prevent the terrible thing from occurring or be better prepared to respond if it were to occur."

The Gaming Lab at CNAS, nested under the Defense Program, develops and runs innovative unclassified games and exercises on a range of challenging national security issues.

For more information or to request an interview, contact Cameron Edinburgh at or 202-457-9425.