Effectiveness of using red-teams to identify maritime security vulnerabilities to terrorist attack
Culpepper, Anna M.
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As the United States continues to develop plans and policies to counter the threat of terrorism, it becomes increasingly more vital to understand the entire spectrum of the threat. Realistically assessing the capability of possible and probable terrorist groups helps federal and state agencies to establish potential methods and procedures for defense and maritime domain awareness. Yet, the avenues of attack and the varieties of terrorists far outnumber the available resources of most agencies concerned. Moreover, there have been no attacks on homeland U.S. targets since September 11. The red team concept provides an innovative method to examine these vulnerabilities from the terrorist perspective. The effectiveness of a red team can be measured in various ways and is dependent on key organizational and situational elements. In the end, the determination of effectiveness is based on the original intentions of the host enterprise, whether it is training, research, strategy, or analysis or a combination. We conducted a case study to utilize the red team concept as a tool for bringing a fresh awareness to a critical issue within the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism. The red teams identified vulnerabilities of possible targets, raised the awareness on the nature of terrorists, researched potential tactics and tools, and examined existing assumptions about maritime security. In applying the red team concept, the case study used military officers as surrogate terrorists planning a campaign to attack port cities. The case study effectively demonstrated the anticipated functions, while the follow-on actions ensured that the results were distributed to the appropriate agencies. Furthermore, civilian officials and the agencies concerned valued the red team reports as positive insights into the current situation.
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