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Defense Science Board Task Force on The Role and Status of DoD Red Teaming Activities

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Final rept.

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The Task Force was charged to examine the use of red teams in the Department of Defense and recommend ways that such teams could be of greater value to the department. Our Terms of Reference and task force membership are provided in Appendices 1 and 2. Our usage of the term red team includes not only playing adversaries or competitors, but also serving as devils advocates, offering alternative interpretations team B and otherwise challenging established thinking within an enterprise. We argue that red teaming is especially important now for the DoD. Current adversaries are tougher targets for intelligence than was the United States major cold war foe. Red teaming deepens understanding of options available to adaptive adversaries and both complements and informs intelligence collection and analysis. Aggressive red teams are needed to challenge emerging operational concepts in order to discover weaknesses before real adversaries do. In addition, in the wake of recent military operations, use of red teams can temper the complacency that often follows success. Chapter II elaborates on what we mean by red teams and red teaming. The attributes of effective red teams are discussed in Chapter III. A summary of some current red team activities in DoD is provided in Chapter IV. Chapter V and Appendix 3 discuss a special case of the use of red teams where the red team addresses issues fundamental to the existence of the enterprise and not just particular plans or programs. Conclusions and recommendations are offered in Chapters VI and VII. A draft Secretary of Defense memorandum implementing our recommendations is provided in Appendix 5. Appendix 4 contains historical examples of red team activities, and finally, there is a glossary provided in Appendix 6.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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