Red teaming is a white light that takes on various characteristics as it shines through the prism of different organizations. Some teams focus on physical intrusions, while others strive for projections or emulations; and the cyber realm has ushered in a whole host of new challenges. None is “right” or “wrong.”
But as the community of interest pursues the incorporation of red teaming into joint doctrine over the next year, there is a danger that the concept may be unhelpfully described as a tool best used to emulate and understand an operating environment and its human terrain. If this happens, it will lead to the end of independent red teams, and perhaps the greater idea of red teaming as a whole.
Instead, we must spread the word that red teams serve commanders best when they scrutinize not just adversaries and partners, but also “blue” forces — including their own units. At its core, the red team mission is about challenging the organization to make it better; its motto is “per provocatio roboratus,” or “strengthened through the challenge.”