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Red Teaming 'Smartcard'

Red Teaming 'Smartcard'

The “smartcard” seeks to display the essential concepts of red-teaming visually, in a way that is accessible to military planners at all levels.

Red Teaming “Smartcard” (See text for description)

Red Teaming “Smartcard” (See text for description)

The red teamer’s goal is to see the “true picture” and avoid the blind spots that develop either due to groupthink or due to ignorance of important facts. As indicated in the legend across the top of the card, this involves the use of both (1) techniques that allow the red teamer to challenge groupthink within his or her own organization as well as (2) information that lets him or her more accurately understand the enemy’s desired end state, and thereby the strategy and tactics that the enemy may adopt to achieve that end state (and, furthermore, the metrics the enemy may adopt to determine whether its tactics are being effective).       

The smartcard displays the friendly (blue) worldview on the left and the enemy (red) worldview on the right. Both the friendly and enemy worldviews contain assumptions of varying degrees of importance, up to and including the “holy truths” that underpin those worldviews and will not be easily challenged. Understanding these, the red teamer must always be searching for the piece of the overall puzzle that the friendly command needs to see and is failing to see, either due to its own (faulty) assumptions or because some crucial piece of information about the enemy is lacking.       

The enemy’s worldview is identified as the red teamer’s primary NAI (named area of interest). As a general matter, a profound understanding of the enemy allows the friendly planner to out-think the enemy and get inside the enemy’s decision-making cycle. Specifically, understanding the enemy’s worldview allows the friendly planner to identify opportunities for action by exploiting enemy assumptions (what friendly acts would be considered “impossible” by the enemy and therefore be unexpected when executed by friendly forces) as well as to be sensitive to the enemy’s attempts at deception (how is the enemy leveraging friendly assumptions to manipulate our view of the operating environment?).       

Insights from red-teaming are shared with the friendly planning staff and the friendly commander as necessary to improve the friendly plan.

Garri Benjamin Hendell is the commander of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry (currently designated as A Troop, 1st Squadron, 104th Cavalry). He previously served as a battalion plans officer, on assignment to the Maryland Joint Forces Headquarters, and as a civilian Department of the Army branch chief in the Army National Guard G-1 Personnel Policy Division (National Guard Bureau). He has deployed overseas with Army National Guard units from Maryland and Pennsylvania.

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