How Do You Move A Bureaucracy?

Terrorism Games


Red Team Blue Team

Performance Management in the Public Sector

1.  Study the Problem

2.  Find a vulnerability

3.  Imagine a terrorist event to exploit the vulnerability

4.  Set up the event - red team, blue team

5.  Prepare the solution for after action

6.  "Test" the system - execute the event

7.  Evaluate the performance   "We Failed You"

8.  Implement the solution

September 11, 2001

Pre-planning for the events

1.  Secret Energy Policy Meetings - dividing up Iraqi Oil Fields - January 2001

2.  Fabricated evidence of WMD - Italian Letter

2.  Patriot Act - Ready to implement Sept. 12, 2001

3.  Total Information Awareness - Ready to go Sept. 12, 2001

4.  Media Stories written - "experts on scene for cover story"

"To be honest with ya, we arrived on late Monday night and went into action on Tuesday morning" Tom Kenney, FEMA, morning of Wednesday, September 12, 2001

BBC Announces Salomon Building (WTC 7 ) collapse BEFORE IT HAPPENED!

Why was there no investigation immediately following?   Why did the widows and families of 9/11 victims have to force an investigation - and why are we still waiting?

Conclusion of 9/11 Commission?   "Failure of imagination"

Delusions of Empire


“The aide said that guys like me were  "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued.  "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."  Without A Doubt, Ron Suskind - quote from Administration Official

"Let's Roll"

Terrorism Games

Practice Armageddon - September 11, 2001


Ashton B. Carter - Aspen Strategy Group, Global Technology Partners LLC an affiliate of Rothschild North America,  2002


There is considerable debate in Washington over whether the United States could plausibly have “connected the dots” leading to September 11. Useful insights have emerged from this debate. One insight is the danger of continuing to separate foreign and domestic intelligence related to terrorism, the institutional reflection of which is the separation of the national security and law enforcement functions. Steps are underway to bridge this historical chasm. Another insight, stressed by the attorney general and FBI director, is the need to encourage and reward FBI agents to prevent terror crimes from happening in the first place rather than “solving” them after they have occurred.

However, these important insights, and most of the debate over intelligence, conceive of intelligence as perpetrator-centered and event-focused: locating individuals associated with terrorism and uncovering their plots. Debate centers on whether those collecting such intelligence, chiefly the CIA and FBI, are sharing the information. There are, however, other concepts of “intelligence” of great potential importance to homeland security which, at first approximation, are not currently accomplished anywhere in the federal government. A clear and valuable role for the new DHS would be to develop and practice some of these “intelligence” techniques, among them red teaming, intelligence of means, countersurveillance, and risk assessment. red team/blue team

Most Americans were probably not shocked to learn on September 12 that the U.S. government did not have advance information about the dozen or so individuals residing in the country who plotted and took part in the airline suicide bombings of September 11. They probably were deeply disturbed to learn, however, that the government was as heedless of the tactic used as it was of the perpetrators. The airline security system inspected for guns and bombs, not knives; aircrews were trained to deal with hijackers who sought hostages or conveyance to Cuba, not kamikaze attack. In retrospect, a huge gap existed in the U.S. air safety system. Terrorists detected it before the security system did—and exploited it.

To avoid tactical surprise of this kind, the homeland security effort needs to adopt a standard mechanism of military organizations: competing red and blue teams. The red team projects itself imaginatively into the terrorist’s shoes and tries to devise attack tactics. The blue team tries to design countermeasures. When the United States developed the first stealth aircraft, for example, the air force created a red team to try to detect and shoot it down. When the red team identified a weakness in the stealth design, the blue team was charged to fix it, systematically balancing risk of detection against the cost and inconvenience of countermeasures

A comparable red/blue team mechanism should be the central feature of the program for homeland security. To work, the mechanism must be systematic and institutionalized, not ad hoc. It must be independent of the interests—airlines, for example—that stand to be inconvenienced by its findings. It must have the money to conduct experiments, tests, and inspections, not just paper studies. It must be knowledgeable about the technologies of terrorism and protection. Above all, it must be inventive. These criteria all argue for a new institutional founding outside of, but close to, government—a sort of “national laboratory” for homeland security.



Suspected System "Tests"

Ruby Ridge



Oklahoma City

DC Sniper

WTC 1993

WTC 2001

Anthrax Attacks

West Nile Virus

Poisoned Pet Food

  Excerpts from the Catastrophic Terrorism Elements of a National Policy pub.1998

The result is a world today seemingly without a major threat to the United States, and the U.S. is now enjoying a period of peace and influence as never before. But while this situation is to be savored by the public, foreign policy and defense leaders should not be complacent. This period of an absence of threat challenges these leaders to find the vision and foresight to act strategically, even when events and imminent threats do not compel them to do so.

To understand the dangers and opportunities that will define our nation’s strategy in the new era, we must see the post-Cold War world the way George Marshall looked upon Europe after World War II, and return to prevention. In essence, we now have another chance to realize Marshall’s vision: a world not of threats to be deterred, but a world united in peace, freedom, and prosperity. To realize this vision, we should return to Marshall’s strategy of preventive defense.

Preventive Defense is a concept of defense strategy for the United States in the post-Cold War Era. It stresses the need to anticipate security dangers which, if mismanaged, have the potential to re-create Cold War-scale threats to U.S. interests and survival. The foci of Preventive Defense are: proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, catastrophic terrorism, "loose nukes" and other military technology from the former Soviet Union, Russia’s post-Cold War security identity, and the peaceful rise of China.

Preventive Defense is the most important mission of national security leaders and of the defense establishment. They must dedicate themselves to Preventive Defense while they deter lesser but existing threats—in Iraq and North Korea—and conduct peacekeeping and humanitarian missions—in Bosnia, Haiti, Rwanda, and so on—where aggression occurs but where American vital interests are not directly threatened.


What is certainly new is that terrorists may today gain access to weapons of mass destruction (WMD). These can come in a variety of forms: nuclear explosive devices, germ dispensers, poison gas weapons, or even the novel destructive power of computers turned against the societies that rely on them. What is also new is an unprecedented level of national and global interdependence on an invisible infrastructure of energy and information distribution.


Readers should imagine the possibilities for themselves, because the most serious constraint on current policy is lack of imagination. An act of catastrophic terrorism that killed thousands or tens of thousands of people and/or disrupted the necessities of life for hundreds of thousands, or even millions, would be a watershed event in America’s history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented for peacetime and undermine Americans’ fundamental sense of security within their own borders in a manner akin to the 1949 Soviet atomic bomb test, or perhaps even worse. Constitutional liberties would be challenged as the United States sought to protect itself from further attacks by pressing against allowable limits in surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects, and the use of deadly force. More violence would follow, either as other terrorists seek to imitate this great "success" or as the United States strikes out at those considered responsible. Like Pearl Harbor, such an event would divide our past and future into a "before" and "after." The effort and resources we devote to averting or containing this threat now, in the "before" period, will seem woeful, even pathetic, when compared to what will happen "after." Our leaders will be judged negligent for not addressing catastrophic terrorism more urgently.

Using imagination, we hope now to find some of the political will that we know would be there later, "after," because this nation prefers prevention to funereal reconstruction. When this threat becomes clear the President must be in a position to activate extraordinary capabilities. The danger of the use of a weapon of mass destruction against the United States or one of its allies is greater at this moment than it was during the Cold War, or at least since 1962. The threat of catastrophic terrorism is therefore a priority national security problem, as well as a major law enforcement concern. The threat thus deserves the kind of attention we now devote to threats of military nuclear attack or of regional aggression, as in the Defense Department’s major regional contingencies that drive our force planning and the resources we devote to defense.

The first enemy of imagination is resignation. Some who contemplate this threat find the prospects so dreadful and various that they despair of doing anything useful and switch off their troubling imagination. They are fatalistic, like someone contemplating the possibility of a solar supernova, and turn their eyes away from the threat. Some thinkers reacted the same way at the dawn of the nuclear age, expecting doom to strike at any hour and disavowing any further interest in the details of deterrence as a hopeless venture. But as in the case of nuclear deterrence, the good news is that more can be done.

We formed a Catastrophic Terrorism Study Group to move beyond a realization of the threat to consider just what can be done about it. This group began meeting in November 1997. We examined other studies that consider this problem. We received information and advice from some current government officials as well as from those who had considered the problem from the perspectives of governments in Great Britain, Israel, Germany, and Russia. We now advance practical proposals for consideration and debate. We avoid a grand solution, preferring to shape "bricks" that strengthen existing structures, consider the very different technical challenges presented by nuclear, biological, chemical, and cyber threats, and provide a foundation for future adaptation and future building.