from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2016, Issue No. 51
June 16, 2016
Secrecy News Blog: http://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/
RED TEAMS NEEDED TO CRITIQUE MILITARY OPERATIONS
U.S. military commanders would do well to make use of "red teams" composed of independent experts to evaluate and critique U.S. military operations as they are being planned, according to a new publication from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Red teams can "help commanders and staffs think critically and creatively; challenge assumptions; mitigate groupthink; reduce risks by serving as a check against complacency and surprise; and increase opportunities by helping the staff see situations, problems, and potential solutions from alternative perspectives." See Command Red Team, Joint Doctrine Note 1-16, 16 May 2016:
This may seem like a common sense approach, and it's not hard to think of current or past military operations that would have benefited from "alternative perspectives." But deliberately soliciting a critical evaluation of one's own efforts is not very common at all, inside or outside of military organizations.
A prerequisite to a successful red team effort is the independence of the red team from the primary planners and from the intelligence staff, said the non-binding Joint Doctrine Note.
"Red teams should be organizationally, physically, and intellectually separate from the intelligence function in order to ensure that products are not shaped by the same institutional factors that influence the output of the intelligence analysts. Even when the red team and the intelligence staff examine the same problem set, their products should be reviewed and approved through different product approval chains," the Note said.
The theory and practice of red teams were explored last year in the book "Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy" by Micah Zenko.
Other noteworthy new military doctrinal publications include:
Air Force Instruction 16-604, Implementation of, and Compliance with, the Treaty on Open Skies, updated 31 May 2016:
Air Force Instruction 16-608, Implementation of, and Compliance with, the New START Treaty, updated 31 May 2016:
ISLAMIC STATE ACOLYTES, AND MORE FROM CRS
Domestic supporters of the Islamic State "have accounted for 67 homegrown violent jihadist plots between 2014 and early June 2016" involving more than 100 individuals, according to a new analysis from the Congressional Research Service.
"In November 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reportedly had more than 900 investigations of IS suspects in the United States." See The Islamic State's Acolytes and the Challenges They Pose to U.S. Law Enforcement, June 13, 2016:
Other new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.
Sifting Domestic Terrorism from Hate Crime and Homegrown Violent Extremism, CRS Insight, updated June 13, 2016:
The Islamic State and U.S. Policy, updated June 14, 2016:
When Are Violent Crimes Federal Hate Crimes?, CRS Legal Sidebar, June 14, 2016:
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress, updated June 14, 2016:
A Patent/Innovation Box as a Tax Incentive for Domestic Research and Development, June 13, 2016:
Runaway and Homeless Youth: Demographics and Programs, updated June 13, 2016:
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons, updated June 14, 2016:
Iran's Nuclear Program: Status, updated June 13, 2016:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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