This website uses cookies to ensure we can provide you with the best browsing experience.
NDC - News-SC 144: Negotiation, Mediation and Decision-Making Exercise (NDMX) at the NATO Defense College

SC 144: Negotiation, Mediation and Decision-Making Exercise (NDMX) at the NATO Defense College

  • 20 May. 2024
  • |
  • Last updated: 20 May. 2024 13:47

From 13 May to 17 May, Senior Course 144 participants at the NATO Defense College delved into the intricacies of crisis management, through the intensive Negotiation, Mediation and Decision-Making Exercise (NMDX). During the exercise, Course Members assumed pivotal roles within NATO's senior committees, including the North Atlantic Council, the Political Committee, the Military Committee and the Operations Policy Committee. Placed at the epicentre of an unfolding international crisis, participants navigated complex geopolitical landscapes while responding to a fictional UN Security Council mandate for a NATO-led crisis response operation in a simulated non-NATO country.

A NMDX Working group of Senior Course 144 in the Eisenhower Room

Following their assigned national positions, Course Members tailored their political and military strategies to address the evolving crisis dynamics. Throughout the week-long exercise, they remained immersed in the crisis scenario through bespoke fictional media coverage designed to heighten engagement and simulate real-world decision-making pressures. The NMDX serves as a cornerstone in the Senior Course curriculum, blending academic rigour with practical applications to prepare future leaders for the multifaceted challenges of crisis management and decision-making in a complex global landscape. Through immersive simulations and hands-on exercises, participants hone their negotiation skills, deepen their understanding of alliance dynamics, and develop the resilience necessary for effective leadership in high-stakes scenarios.

The NMDX benefited from the invaluable guidance and expertise of distinguished senior mentors, including Ambassador (Ret.) Tacan Ildem, Lieutenant General (Ret.) Jan Broeks, Lieutenant General (Ret.) Antonio Li Gobbi, Lieutenant General (Ret.) Hans-Werner Wiermann, and Mr Ted Whiteside. With extensive experience spanning the diplomatic, military and strategic realms, these mentors provided invaluable insights, strategic counsel and real-world perspectives to enrich the learning experience for course participants.

The exercise also included, a lecture on Strategic Communications, provided by Ms Simone De Manso; a highly experienced Press Officer from NATO HQ PAO. Her lecture combined with consultation across the working groups served to increase engagement in the simulation and offered pertinent insights into the communications threat faced by NATO. Amidst the strategic manoeuvres and diplomatic negotiations, the NMDX also served as a platform for pioneering research led by research fellow Jean-François Belanger and his assistant Antonio Martin. Their investigation focused on exploring the impact of sleep on decision-making in high-stakes situations. Leveraging the Senior Course cohort, comprised of individuals with extensive military and political experience, participants wore specially designed watches to track their sleep patterns. This innovative approach aims to uncover the physiological effects of sleep deprivation on decision-making processes.

Complemented by detailed questionnaires and data analysis techniques, the research endeavours to shed light on the nuanced interplay between sleep, cognition, and decision-making under pressure. By addressing a critical yet often overlooked aspect of decision-making in high-stakes environments, the findings of this research have the potential to inform and enhance strategic leadership and crisis management practices within military and political spheres.

NDC Public Affairs Office
(Prepared by Mr Jayesh BHARKHADA, GBR C)