Red Team

ISSP offers two Red Team simulations each year (fall and spring) for students concentrating in International Security Studies. Red Teaming is a cognitive approach to framing problems and planning using structured analytical tools that help individuals and teams ask good questions, expose and challenge assumptions, identify information gaps, and develop creative alternatives. The intent is to improve group understanding, develop a more diverse set of options, and mitigate individual and group biases that are inherent in problem solving and decision making.

Red Team tools were developed as a direct outgrowth of military lessons learned in the wake of mistakes made in the early years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The tools and methods are designed to help organizations ask better questions and develop creative solutions that take into account and mitigate organizational preferences, and individual and small group biases. A number of military and corporate entities have requested red team analysis including the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, NATO Headquarters, U.S. Strategic Command, as well as Verizon, Google, and Chevron.

Colonel (retired) Steve Rotkoff, the former director of the U.S. Army’s “Red Team University” at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and Ms. Whitney Hischer, Lecturer in strategy, entrepreneurship, and scenario planning at the Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley, serve as facilitators for “Red Team Thinking”.

In AY2022-2023, participants apply Red Team concepts to a scenario focused on the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, an informal dialogue among Australia, India, Japan, and the United States addressing issues related to Indo-Pacific security. In 2020, all Quad members participated in maritime joint exercises together. In 2021, the United States virtually, and found overlapping interests in forming working groups on COVID-19 vaccines, climate change, and issues of technology innovation and supply chain security.

Red Team scenario: In June 2023, the leaders of the Quad countries will meet again. What are the top 3-4 issues you advocate the Quad work together on? What specific initiatives or actions do you recommend your country take to encourage or facilitate cooperation? Each national leader will use your policy briefs at the summit. What policy advice will you give them?