In July 2030, China deploys civilians and military forces on one of the Senkaku Islands, declaring a no-fly, no-sail zone and threatening to use force if the perimeter is violated. Tokyo condemns Beijing and vows to defend its territory with its amphibious units — hopefully with U.S. military support.

That was the prelude to a Center for a New American Security (CNAS) online war game conducted July 22. Over 400 participants, including myself, fully enjoyed the exercise. The Canon Institute for Global Studies plays similar war games and I learned a lot from this well-organized event.

My views on what happened in the game are ambivalent. Red Team continued occupying the island and enforcing the exclusion zone. Blue Team sent its amphibious units to regain the island, which was now surrounded by Red Team’s cordon. Both teams attacked each other’s command and information systems.