A military exercise or war game is the employment of military resources in training for military operations, either exploring the effects of warfare or testing strategies without actual combat. This also serves the purpose of ensuring the combat readiness of garrisoned or deployable forces prior to deployment from a home base.
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War games involving two or more countries allows for better coordination between militaries, observation of enemy's tactics, and is a visible show of strength for the participating countries. According to a 2021 study, joint military exercises within well-defined alliances usually deter adversaries without producing a moral hazard because the narrow scope of the alliance, while joint military exercises outside of an alliance (which are extremely rare) usually lead to conflict escalation.
Exercises in the 20th and 21st centuries have often been identified by a unique codename, such as Cobra Gold, in the same manner as military contingency operations and combat operations like Operation Phantom Fury.