from Politics, Power, and Preventive Action and Center for Preventive Action

Red Team Reading List

October 26, 2015

Blog Post

In the course of researching and writing my bookRed Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy, over five years, I read (or skimmed) everything I could find about the subject—within the limits of human endurance, book budgets, and the tolerance of the inter-library loan system. In total, this amounted to roughly 150 books or reports that date back decades, with many originating within academic disciplines and industry fields that I had never explored before. While few books speak directly to the subject, many provide the structural reasons why red teaming is often needed through case studies, or offer broad guidance for how red teams—when empowered and used correctly—can improve institutional performance.

I had been meaning to compile this list for some time, but was finally prompted by the call by Mark Mateski from the indispensable Red Team Journal to form an online book club. This list is provided with the understanding that it is limited to my personal awareness, undeniably incomplete, and missing what will be some excellent forthcoming works, such as the yet-to-be released book by Chris Nickerson, David Kennedy, and Chris Gates, Red Team Testing: Offensive Security Techniques for Network Defense (Rockland, MA: Syngress, 2016). Ultimately, researching red teams makes you conscious that everything you thought you learned further reveals how little you know. With those caveats in mind, here are my top twelve favorite red team books or reports, and top ten red team articles. I look forward to hearing what books, reports, and articles you would propose.

Top Twelve Books

University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies, The Applied Critical Thinking Handbook, version 7.0, January 2015.

David Dunning, Self-Insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the Path to Knowing Thyself (New York, NY: Psychology Press, 2005).

Irving L. Janis, Victims of Groupthink: A Psychological Study of Foreign-Policy Decisions and Fiascoes (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1972).

Karl E. Weick, Sensemaking in Organizations (Sage Publications, 1995).

William R. Tolbert, The Power of Balance: Transforming Self, Society, and Scientific Inquiry (London, UK: Sage, 1991).

Amy C. Edmondson, Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2012).

Stephen Sloan, Simulating Terrorism (Oklahoma, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1981). (3PA: For an updated version, see, Sloan and Robert J. Bunker, Red Teams and Counterterrorism Training (Oklahoma, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011).)

Anton R. Valukas, Report to Board of Directors of General Motors Company Regarding Ignition Switch Recalls, Jenner&Block, May 29, 2014.

Paul B. Carroll and Chunka Mui, Billion Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn from the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years (New York, NY: Penguin Putnam, 2009).

Benjamin Gilad, Business War Games: How Large, Small, and New Companies Can Vastly Improve Their Strategies and Outmaneuver the Competition (Pompton Plains, NJ: Career Press, 2008).

E. Gabriella Coleman, Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013).

Central Intelligence Agency, “A Tradecraft Primer: Structured Analytic Techniques for Improving Intelligence Analysis,” March 2009.

Top Ten Articles

Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, “Judgement Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases,” Science, 185(4157), September 27, 1974, pp. 1124-1131.

Lt. Gen. Paul K. Van Riper, “An Introduction to System Theory and Decision-Making,” U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, 2012.

Jack Davis, “Combatting Mind-Set,” Studies in Intelligence, 35(4), 1992, pp. 33-38.

Martin Lanau and Donald Chisholm, “The Arrogance of Optimism: Notes on Failure-Avoidance Management,” Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 3(2), June 1995, pp. 67-80.

James R. Detert and Linda K. Trevino, “Speaking Up to Higher-Ups: How Supervisors and Skip-Level Leaders Influence Employee Voice,” Organization Science, 21(1), pp. 249-270.

Martin Lanau, “On the Concept of a Self-Correcting Organization,” Public Administration Review, 33(6), November-December 1973, pp. 533-542.

Jennifer S. Mueller, Shimul Melwani, and Jack A. Goncalo, “The Bias Against Creativity: Why People Desire But Reject Creative Ideas,” Cornell University, 2011.

Dr. Williamson Murray, “Thoughts on Red Teaming,” Defense Adaptive Red Team, 2003.

David P. Duggan, et al., “Categorizing Threat: Building and Using a Generic Threat Matrix,” Sandia Report SAND 2007-5791, Sandia National Laboratories, September 2007.

Michael J. Skroch, “Part 1: Why Red Team M&S?” in Modeling and Simulation of Red Teaming, Sandia National Laboratories, November 2, 2009.