Truman National Security Project

Now Online: Tell Me How This Ends Iran War Simulation

By Stephanie Dreyer | 10.19.12

Groundbreaking game teaches Americans the cost of conflict with Iran

TV Ad to Run During Monday’s Presidential debate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Truman National Security Project released a groundbreaking new web-based Iran war simulation called Tell Me How This Ends, designed to teach users about the cost and consequences of military action with Iran. The game will be promoted by a television ad to run during Monday’s national security-focused presidential debate.

Play the simulation and watch the ad:

Tell Me How This Ends challenges players to deal with the aftermath of a decision to attack Iran, engaging the American people in an honest discussion of the likely costs and consequences of a war with Iran. The simulation was developed in close consultation with former senior Department of Defense officials and national security experts. It represents a realistic, if simplified, scenario for military engagement with Iran. The game is largely based upon the Iran Project Report which details the costs and benefits of military conflict with Iran.

The game is named after General David Petraeus’ famous quote expressing the reality that wars are easy to start, but the end game is often far from clear.

The accompanying television ad, which features US Army veteran Justin Ford, will run in various markets during the national security presidential debate on Monday, October 22. Ford emphasizes the risk of going into war without a plan to get out.

“Truman Project has produced a valuable tool for honestly assessing the costs of war with Iran and communicating it to the American people. It’s a public debate we need to have if we’re going to avoid the mistakes of the past,” said Janine Davidson, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans and current Professor of national security at George Mason University.

“At the start of the Iraq war in 2003, when General David Petraeus said, ‘Tell me how this ends,’ he was expressing the reality that wars are easy to start, but the end game is often far from clear. Iraq turned out to be the second longest war in America’s history; Afghanistan has been the longest. General Petraeus’ simple question is one that every leader should ask before committing U.S. troops to battle,” said Truman Project Executive Director Michael Breen, a former US Army officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Inside the beltway, a strong community of simulators has been educating policy makers and opinion leaders about Iran for years. This is an opportunity to take that approach to the American people so that our nation can make an informed decision about military action against Iran,” said Leigh O’Neill, Policy Director of the Truman Project.




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