Red Team or Red Herring? Lessons Learned from the Policy Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group

John P. Moran, Kennesaw State University


This article examines the activities and controversies of the Policy Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG) within the context of the 1976 “B Team” competitive analysis exercise. While this policy-based red team exercise failed to help the intelligence community (IC) to avoid an intelligence failure in the months preceding the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the external narratives focusing upon it served as a conceptual “red herring” for an accurate assessment of its activities and thus helped to distort intelligence reform efforts in the post-failure period. Ultimately, this case casts further doubt upon the utility of red teams within a policy environment.