By Colonel Gregory Fontenot, U.S. Army, Retired
Military Review, September-October 2005
In response to the difficulties the US Army was having in the Operational Environment in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Colonel Gregory Fontenot suggested that Red Teaming could better prepare the Army for the challenges they faced. He states that red teaming is “uniquely suited” for critical analysis when “executed by trained, educated, and practiced team members with access to relevant subject matter expertise.” Red teaming will also provide the soldier with a better understanding of the adversary through the adversary’s cultural lens.
Red Team Best Practices:
- Political and military cultures must embrace Red Teaming
- Embracing criticism is foremost among the internal cultural challenges
- Political and military organizations must prize intellectual assessments and value intellectual preparation as seriously as physical preparation
- All services must institutionalize red teaming by way of a doctrinal foundation and organizational support structure
- Leaders must provide the top cover to protect and mentor red teamers, charter the red team and the organization to solve problems, and encourage robust interaction between red and blue (in which blue learns).
- Leaders must balance red team independent action with accountability to the command
- Red teaming must be employed throughout the decision making process but with calculated application – not too heavy, not too light – so promising ideas can thrive without prejudging
- Red teams must be chartered to continue to learn and adapt
- Red team members must be highly qualified experts in their fields and have sound reputations and even temperaments
- Individuals and teams must be educated, trained, and certified in the context of doctrine on a recurring basis
- The red team member presenting the opposing or alternate view must be credible, perceptive, and articulate
- Red team members must be intellectually honest with a heavy dose of ego suppressant