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Trusting Security Assurances SIMULATION
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Trusting Security Assurances SIMULATION


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Source: Reuters/Stringer

About This Lesson

Use the following hypothetical simulation from Model Diplomacy to spark discussion and help students to think through what they would do if they were decision-makers.

Learning Goals

  • Students will understand that countries act in numerous ways to convince other governments not to develop nuclear weapons of their own, including by offering security assurances to ease their fears of an outside attack. 
  • Students will understand that if countries feel they are unable to rely on outside assurances for their security, they could be driven to develop nuclear weapons to increase their own protection.

The Situation

Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal in exchange for security assurances. Yet those assurances failed to prevent a Russian invasion, raising questions for other would-be nuclear powers about the reliability of outside security assurances and whether pursuing a nuclear program provides the best guarantee of their future security. How should a hypothetical country under threat decide its nuclear future?


Model Diplomacy is a free simulation program that invites students, educators, and professionals to step into the roles of decision-makers in the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) or UN Security Council (UNSC). Model Diplomacy simulations help students develop critical thinking, persuasive speaking and writing, and collaboration skills, all while giving them hands-on experience grappling with the challenges of our modern, globalized world.

CFR Education is an initiative within the Council on Foreign Relations that aims to make complex foreign policy and international issues accessible for middle, high school, and college students through its educational products: World101, Model Diplomacy, and Convene the Council.


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