Able Archer 83: NATO v. USSR
It is November 1983. NATO has embarked on a new wargame exercise, code-named Able Archer 83, that simulates escalating conflict which culminates in a coordinated nuclear strike on an enemy. Deteriorating tensions between the USSR and NATO have put Moscow on high alert, and due to the realistic nature of the 40,000 troop demonstration, Soviet political leaders are increasingly convinced that the so-called exercise is actually a ruse for an imminent nuclear attack on their soil. Meanwhile, a war of espionage between the CIA and KGB continues to rage on behind the scenes. In a series of events that brought the two superpowers arguably the closest they have been to a nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis: will the Cold War finally turn hot?
War of Worlds: Literary Dystopias in 2200
For centuries, authors have crafted their own visions of our world in the future –– but what happens when these worlds collide? In 2200, the Earth and parts of her surrounding cosmos are dominated by three dystopian states: Mediterranea, Oceania, and the Republic of Gilead. While trying to maintain their grip on power, they must face the challenges and opportunities that the new century presents, including but not limited to: an escalating threat of climate change, the ethical implications of ever-advancing science and technology, and conflicts generated by rapid expansion of the galactic sovereigns. As the fight to shape the future of our world transcends, what will become of the Earth’s inhabitants in the new age of empires?
Each of the three superpower states is based on a nation from a famous dystopian novel. Although its holdings on Earth are in the Middle East, North Africa, and West Asia, Mediterranea is inspired by the World State in Huxley’s “Brave New World” in which the population is controlled through pleasure and a rigid class system. The nations of Oceania and the Republic of Gilead take after the countries of the same name from George Orwell’s “1984” and Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” respectively.
Note: Prior knowledge of the novels discussed are not required for these joint-crisis committees.