The Josef Korbel School of International Studies’ Crisis Engagement and Negotiation Exercise, (CENEX), is a major crisis-management exercise in which participants assume the roles of states or organizations in an international crisis scenario. The exercise gives participants hands-on experience with true-to-life crisis negotiation. Held for a one-day period, the exercise focuses on a highly realistic scenario, such as a crisis erupting in the Taiwan Strait or a military confrontation on the Korean Peninsula. CENEX exposes students to some of the constraints and opportunities facing policymakers during crisis engagement and negotiation. As representatives of various countries and non-governmental organizations, participants are asked to make critical decisions in the interest of their respective countries and organizations as they attempt to resolve the crisis.
Participating in CENEX 2012 were 41 students from the Josef Korbel School and 11 Air Force Academy Cadets. Josef Korbel School students were pulled from all of the degree programs of the school and assigned to four country teams (Pakistan, India, China and the United States) and two Non-Governmental Organizations, (NGO), teams (the International Committee of the Red Cross and terrorists). The CENEX control cell was made up of Josef Korbel School faculty, the Air Force Academy, the Air Command Staff College, employees of the ICRC and the private sector. The scenario was focused on an earthquake in Kashmir and the ensuing humanitarian crisis. Additional inject were in the form of terrorist attacks throughout Pakistan that took advantage of the situation. The country teams successfully worked together to resolve the humanitarian crisis and manage the instability caused by the terrorist team.
CENEX 2012 was planned by a student led Executive Committee. Dr. Lewis Griffith of the International Security program served as the Faculty Chair and Master Control during the Day of Play. Funding was provided from multiple sources, including the Organization of Security Students, Denver Women in International Security, the Association of Students for Human Rights, Future International Administration Professional, and the Josef Korbel School’s Office of Dean Christopher Hill.
The scenario was reviewed by Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Dr. Madeleine Albright, and Gen. George Casey and received positive feedback from all three. For the first time, CENEX hosted wine and cheese reception the night prior to the simulation where Ambassador Gary Grappo spoke to the participants about his experience in conflict diplomacy. This is the first step towards the goal of making CENEX a multi-day event. All the participants enjoyed the event and were already discussing what next year’s scenario will be. The new CENEX Executive Committee will be announced in mid-May when planning will once again begin for the simulation.