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Limited Nuclear Conflict WargameS

enlightening senior leaders for real-world, real-time crisis

Decision-Making Experience

NSRI offers a series of novel tabletop wargames to help military leaders explore nuclear escalation dynamics in the context of limited nuclear conflict.



A “limited nuclear conflict” is the detonation of low-yield, non-strategic nuclear weapons (NSNW) in a tactical battle.

Dr. Christopher Yeaw, NSRI associate executive director for strategic deterrence and nuclear programs, developed the game with colleagues. He has also published two papers explaining in detail the world's NSNW arsenals and the potential for their use:

The Games

Originally developed in 2019, our tabletop exercise illustrates how events along the Russian-Ukrainian border could unwittingly escalate into a limited nuclear conflict between Russia and the U.S. Current events have significantly increased the utility of this exercise.

There are dozens of wargames available within this experience, which can last anywhere between a few hours to a few days, depending on the objectives and parameters.

It is available for leaders across the DOD and USG, provided by NSRI either in person or virtually. Our institute also proudly offers this experience to students who are seriously considering careers in national security.


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