Political Science

(L103 & L104)

Analyze the readings from critical and creative thinking; then explain the importance of critical thinking (L103) and creative thinking (L104) to a sergeant major and how the sergeant major should incorporate the concepts to solve problems within an organization.

As you consider your response, things that may help you are to consider defining critical thinking while incorporating some of the Elements of Thought and Intellectual standards. Also, consider how cognitive biases and mental models affect the sergeant major’s ability to solve problems. At the end of your response, illustrate an example (Clarity) to support your work.

Instructions: Post a substantial initial response, with at least 2 cited sources and a minimum of 500 words, to the topic above.

Post should be:


Double Spaced the entire paper IAW APA 7th Edition 20

Standard-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″)

1″ margins on all sides

Size 12 pt. Times New Roman font

Use flush-left alignment and ragged right; do not divide words at the end of the line.

Indent paragraphs five spaces (Set the tab key)

Use one space at the end of a sentence.

Abbreviations: The first time you use a term, spell it out in full, followed by its abbreviation in parentheses; thereafter, you may use the abbreviation only.


Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts & Tools, 7th Edition.pdf

Dark Blue Pantone 275M Amber Pantone 118M


Richard Paul & Linda Elder

CritiCal thinking Concepts & Tools

over one million in use

Copyright © 1999, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2014 by Richard Paul and Linda Elder. All rights reserved. The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Seventh Edition… over one million in use.

This miniature guide focuses on the essence of critical thinking concepts and tools distilled into pocket size. For faculty it provides a shared concept of critical thinking. For students it is a critical thinking supplement to any textbook for any course. Faculty can use it to design instruction, assignments, and tests in any subject. Students can use it to improve their learning in any content area.

Its generic skills apply to all subjects. For example, critical thinkers are clear as to the purpose at hand and the question at issue. They question information, conclusions, and points of view. They strive to be clear, accurate, precise, and relevant. They seek to think beneath the surface, to be logical, and fair. They apply these skills to their reading and writing as well as to their speaking and listening. They apply them in history, science, math, philosophy, and the arts; in professional and personal life.

When this guide is used as a supplement to the textbook in multiple courses, students begin to perceive the usefulness of critical thinking in every domain of learning. And if their instructors provide examples of the application of the subject to daily life, students begin to see that education is a tool for improving the quality of their lives.

If you are a student using this mini-guide, get in the habit of carrying it with you to every class. Consult it frequently in analyzing and synthesizing what you are learning. Aim for deep internalization of the principles you find in it—until using them becomes second nature.

If successful, this guide will serve faculty, students, and the educational program simultaneously.

Richard Paul Linda Elder Center for Critical Thinking Foundation for Critical Thinking

Why A Critical Thinking Mini-Guide?

The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools 1

Contents Why Critical Thinking? � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 2

The Elements of Thought � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 3

A Checklist for Reasoning� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 4

Questions Using the Elements of Thought � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 6

Three Levels of Thought � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 7

Universal Intellectual Standards � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 8

Analyzing the Logic of an Article� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 11

Criteria for Evaluating Reasoning � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 12

Essential Intellectual Traits � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 13

Three Kinds of Questions � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 16

A Template for Problem-Solving � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 17

Analyzing and Assessing Research� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 18

What Critical Thinkers Routinely Do� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 19

Stages of Critical Thinking Development� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 20

The Problem of Egocentric Thinking � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 21

The Problem of Sociocentric Thinking � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 22

Envisioning Critical Societies� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 23

The Human Mind� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 24

Foundation for Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org

2 The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools

Why Critical Thinking? The Problem: Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.

A Definition: Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view to improving it.

The Result: A well cultivated critical thinker: • raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and

precisely; • gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to

interpret it effectively; • comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against

relevant criteria and standards; • thinks openmindedly within alternative systems of thought,

recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and

• communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.

Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self- corrective thinking. It requires rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcoming our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.

Foundation for Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org

The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools 3

The Elements of Thought

Point of View frames of reference,

perspectives, orientations

Purpose goals, objectives

Question at issue problem, issue

Implications and Consequences

Assumptions presuppositions, axioms, taking for granted

Information data, facts, reasons

observations, experiences,

evidence Interpretation and Inference conclusions, solutions

Concepts theories,

definitions, laws, principles, models

Elements of


Used With Sensitivity to Universal Intellectual Standards

Clarity A Accuracy A Depth A Breadth A Significance Precision Relevance Fairness



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4 The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools

A Checklist for Reasoning

1) All reasoning has a PURPOSE. • Can you state your purpose clearly? • What is the objective of your reasoning? • Does your reasoning focus throughout on your goal? • Is your goal realistic?

2) All reasoning is an attempt to figure something out, to settle some QUESTION, to solve some PROBLEM. • What question are you trying to answer? • Are there other ways to think about the question? • Can you divide the question into sub-questions? • Is this a question that has one right answer or can there be more than

one reasonable answer? • Does this question require judgment rather than facts alone?

3) All reasoning is based on ASSUMPTIONS. • What assumptions are you making? Are they justified? • How are your assumptions shaping your point of view? • Which of your assumptions might reasonably be questioned?

4) All reasoning is done from some POINT OF VIEW. • What is your point of view? What insights is it based on? What are its

weaknesses? • What other points of view should be considered in reasoning through this

problem? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these viewpoints? Are you fairmindedly considering the insights behind these viewpoints?

Foundation for Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org

The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools 5

5) All reasoning is based on DATA, INFORMATION, and EVIDENCE. • To what extent is your reasoning supported by relevant data? • Do the data suggest explanations that differ from those you have given? • How clear, accurate, and relevant are the data to the question at issue? • Have you gathered data sufficient to reaching a reasonable conclusion?

6) All reasoning is expressed through, and shaped by, CONCEPTS and THEORIES. • What key concepts and theories are guiding your reasoning? • What alternative explanations might be possible, given these concepts

and theories? • Are you clear and precise in using concepts and theories in your

reasoning? • Are you distorting ideas to fit your agenda?

7) All reasoning contains INFERENCES or INTERPRETATIONS by which we draw CONCLUSIONS and give meaning to data. • To what extent do the data support your conclusions? • Are your inferences consistent with each other? • Are there other reasonable inferences that should be considered?

8) All reasoning leads somewhere or has IMPLICATIONS and CONSEQUENCES. • What implications and consequences follow from your reasoning? • If we accept your line of reasoning, what implications or consequences

are likely?

Foundation for Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org

6 The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools

Questions Using the Elements of Thought (in a paper, an activity, a reading assignment…)

Purpose: What am I trying to accomplish? What is my central aim? My purpose?

Questions: What question am I raising? What question am I addressing? Am I considering the complexities in the question?

Information: What information am I using in coming to that conclusion? What experience have I had to support this claim? What information do I need to settle the question?

Inferences/ Conclusions:

How did I reach this conclusion? Is there another way to interpret the information?

Concepts: What is the main idea here? Can I explain this idea?

Assumptions: What am I taking for granted? What assumption has led me to that conclusion?

Implications/ Consequences:

If someone accepted my position, what would be the implications? What am I implying?

Points of View: From what point of view am I looking at this issue? Is there another point of view I should consider?

Foundation for Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org

The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools 7

Level 3: Highest Order Thinking

• Explicitly reflective • Highest skill level • Routine use of critical thinking tools in

analyzing and assessing thinking • Consistently fair

Level 2: Higher Order Thinking

• Selectively reflective • High skill level • Lacks critical thinking vocabulary

• Inconsistently fair, may be skilled in sophistry

Level 1: Lower Order Thinking

• Unreflective • Low to mixed skill level • Frequently relies on gut intuition

• Largely self-serving/ self-deceived

Three Levels of Thought

Lower order thinking is often distinguished from higher order thinking. But higher order thinking can be inconsistent in quality. It can be fair or unfair. To think at the highest level of quality, we need

not only intellectual skills, but intellectual traits as well.

Three Levels of Thought

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8 The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools

Universal Intellectual Standards: And questions that can be used to apply them

Universal intellectual standards are standards which should be applied to thinking to ensure its quality. To be learned they must be taught explicitly. The ultimate goal, then, is for these standards to become infused in the thinking of students, forming part of their inner voice, guiding them to reason better.

Clarity: Could you elaborate further on that point? Could you express that point in another way? Could you give me an illustration? Could you give me an example?

Clarity is a gateway standard. If a statement is unclear, we cannot determine whether it is accurate or relevant. In fact, we cannot tell anything about it because we don’t yet know what it is saying. For example, the question “What can be done about the education system in America?” is unclear. In order to adequately address the question, we would need to have a clearer understanding of what the person asking the question is considering the “problem” to be. A clearer question might be “What can educators do to ensure that students learn the skills and abilities which help them function successfully on the job and in their daily decision-making?”

Accuracy: Is that really true? How could we check that? How could we find out if that is true?

A statement can be clear but not accurate, as in “Most dogs weigh more than 300 pounds.”

Precision: Could you give me more details? Could you be more specific?

A statement can be both clear and accurate, but not precise, as in “Jack is overweight.” (We don’t know how overweight Jack is, one pound or 500 pounds.)

Relevance: How is that connected to the question? How does that bear on the issue?

A statement can be clear, accurate, and precise, but not relevant to the question at issue. For example, students often think that the amount of effort they put into a course should be used in raising their grade in a course. Often, however, “effort” does not measure the quality of student learning, and when that is so, effort is irrelevant to their appropriate grade.

Foundation for Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org

The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools 9

Depth: How does your answer address the complexities in the question? How are you taking into account the problems in the question? Are you dealing with the most significant factors?

A statement can be clear, accurate, precise, and relevant, but superficial (that is, lack depth). For example, the statement “Just Say No”, which was used for a number of years to discourage children and teens from using drugs, is clear, accurate, precise, and relevant. Nevertheless, those who use this approach treat a highly complex issue, the pervasive problem of drug use among young people, superficially. It fails to deal with the complexities of the issue.

Breadth: Do we need to consider another point of view? Is there another way to look at this question? What would this look like from a conservative standpoint? What would this look like from the point of view of…?

A line of reasoning may be clear, accurate, precise, relevant, and deep, but lack breadth (as in an argument from either the conservative or liberal standpoints which gets deeply into an issue, but only recognizes the insights of one side of the question).

Logic: Does this really make sense? Does that follow from what you said? How does that follow? Before you implied this and now you are saying that, I don’t see how both can be true.

When we think, we bring a variety of thoughts together into some order. When the combination of thoughts are mutually supporting and make sense in combination, the thinking is “logical.” When the combination is not mutually supporting, is contradictory in some sense, or does not “make sense,” the combination is “not logical.”

Fairness: Are we considering all relevant viewpoints in good faith? Are we distorting some information to maintain our biased perspective? Are we more concerned about our vested interests than the common good?

We naturally think from our own perspective, from a point of view which tends to privilege our position. Fairness implies the treating of all relevant viewpoints alike without reference to one’s own feelings or interests. Because we tend to be biased in favor of our own viewpoint, it is important to keep the standard of fairness at the forefront of our thinking. This is especially important when the situation may call on us to see things we don’t want to see, or give something up that we want to hold onto.

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10 The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools

Clarity Could you elaborate further?

Could you give me an example? Could you illustrate what you mean?

Accuracy How could we check on that?

How could we find out if that is true? How could we verify or test that?

Precision Could you be more specific?

Could you give me more details? Could you be more exact?

Relevance How does that relate to the problem?

How does that bear on the question? How does that help us with the issue?

Depth What factors make this a difficult problem?

What are some of the complexities of this question? What are some of the difficulties we need to deal with?

Breadth Do we need to look at this from another perspective?

Do we need to consider another point of view? Do we need to look at this in other ways?

Logic Does all this make sense together?

Does your first paragraph fit in with your last? Does what you say follow from the evidence?

Significance Is this the most important problem to consider?

Is this the central idea to focus on? Which of these facts are most important?

Fairness Do I have any vested interest in this issue?

Am I sympathetically representing the viewpoints of others?

Foundation for Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org

The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools 11

Template for Analyzing the Logic of an Article Take an article that you have been assigned to read for class,

completing the “logic” of it using the template below. This template can be modified for analyzing the logic of a chapter in a textbook.

The Logic of “(name of the article)”

1) The main purpose of this article is ________________________________. (State as accurately as possible the author’s purpose for writing the article.)

2) The key question that the author is addressing is ____________________. (Figure out the key question in the mind of the author when s/he wrote the article.)

3) The most important information in this article is ___________________. (Figure out the facts, experiences, data the author is using to support her/his conclusions.)

4) The main inferences/conclusions in this article are __________________. (Identify the key conclusions the author comes to and presents in the article.)

5) The key concept(s) we need to understand in this article is (are) ____________. By these concepts the author means ___________________. (Figure out the most important ideas you would have to understand in order to understand the author’s line of reasoning.)

6) The main assumption(s) underlying the author’s thinking is (are) ___________. (Figure out what the author is taking for granted [that might be questioned].)

7a) If we take this line of reasoning seriously, the implications are ______________. (What consequences are likely to follow if people take the author’s line of reasoning seriously?)

7b) If we fail to take this line of reasoning seriously, the implications are __________. (What consequences are likely to follow if people ignore the author’s reasoning?)

8) The main point(s) of view presented in this article is (are)_________________. (What is the author looking at, and how is s/he seeing it?)

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12 The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools

Criteria for Evaluating Reasoning 1. Purpose: What is the purpose of the reasoner? Is the purpose

clearly stated or clearly implied? Is it justifiable?

2. Question: Is the question at issue well-stated? Is it clear and unbiased? Does the expression of the question do justice to the complexity of the matter at issue? Are the question and purpose directly relevant to each other?

3. Information: Does the writer cite relevant evidence, experiences, and/or information essential to the issue? Is the information accurate? Does the writer address the complexities of the issue?

4. Concepts: Does the writer clarify key concepts when necessary? Are the concepts used justifiably?

5. Assumptions: Does the writer show a sensitivity to what he or she is taking for granted or assuming? (Insofar as those assumptions might reasonably be questioned?) Does the writer use questionable assumptions without addressing problems which might be inherent in those assumptions?

6. Inferences: Does the writer develop a line of reasoning explaining well how s/he is arriving at her or his main conclusions?

7. Point of View: Does the writer show a sensitivity to alternative relevant points of view or lines of reasoning? Does s/he consider and respond to objections framed from other relevant points of view?

8. Implications: Does the writer show a sensitivity to the implications and consequences of the position s/he is taking?

Foundation for Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org

The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools 13

Intellectual Integrity

Confidence in Reason

Intellectual Autonomy

Intellectual Humility

Intellectual Courage

Intellectual Perseverance

Intellectual Empathy


Intellectual Traits or Virtues

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14 The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools

Essential Intellectual Traits Intellectual Humility vs Intellectual Arrogance Having a consciousness of the limits of one’s knowledge, including a sensitivity to circumstances in which one’s native egocentrism is likely to function self-deceptively; sensitivity to bias, prejudice and limitations of one’s viewpoint. Intellectual humility depends on recognizing that one should not claim more than one actually knows. It does not imply spinelessness or submissiveness. It implies the lack of intellectual pretentiousness, boastfulness, or conceit, combined with insight into the logical foundations, or lack of such foundations, of one’s beliefs.

Intellectual Courage vs Intellectual Cowardice Having a consciousness of the need to face and fairly address ideas, beliefs or viewpoints toward which we have strong negative emotions and to which we have not given a serious hearing. This courage is connected with the recognition that ideas considered dangerous or absurd are sometimes rationally justified (in whole or in part) and that conclusions and beliefs inculcated in us are sometimes false or misleading. To determine for ourselves which is which, we must not passively and uncritically “accept” what we have “learned.” Intellectual courage comes into play here, because inevitably we will come to see some truth in some ideas considered dangerous and absurd, and distortion or falsity in some ideas strongly held in our social group. We need courage to be true to our own thinking in such circumstances. The penalties for nonconformity can be severe.

Intellectual Empathy vs Intellectual Narrow-mindedness Having a consciousness of the need to imaginatively put oneself in the place of others in order to genuinely understand them, which requires the consciousness of our egocentric tendency to identify truth with our immediate perceptions of long-standing thought or belief. This trait correlates with the ability to reconstruct accurately the viewpoints and reasoning of others and to reason from premises, assumptions, and ideas other than our own. This trait also correlates with the willingness to remember occasions when we were wrong in the past despite an intense conviction that we were right, and with the ability to imagine our being similarly deceived in a case-at-hand.

Foundation for Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org

The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools 15

Intellectual Autonomy vs Intellectual Conformity Having rational control of one’s beliefs, values, and inferences. The ideal of critical thinking is to learn to think for oneself, to gain command over one’s thought processes. It entails a commitment to analyzing and evaluating beliefs on the basis of reason and evidence, to question when it is rational to question, to believe when it is rational to believe, and to conform when it is rational to conform.

Intellectual Integrity vs Intellectual Hypocrisy Recognition of the need to be true to one’s own thinking; to be consistent in the intellectual standards one applies; to hold one’s self to the same rigorous standards of evidence and proof to which one holds one’s antagonists; to practice what one advocates for others; and to honestly admit discrepancies and inconsistencies in one’s own thought and action.

Intellectual Perseverance vs Intellectual Laziness Having a consciousness of the need to use intellectual insights and truths in spite of difficulties, obstacles, and frustrations; firm adherence to rational principles despite the irrational opposition of others; a sense of the need to struggle with confusion and unsettled questions over an extended period of time to achieve deeper understanding or insight.

Confidence In Reason vs Distrust of Reason and Evidence Confidence that, in the long run, one’s own higher interests and those of humankind at large will be best served by giving the freest play to reason, by encouraging people to come to their own conclusions by developing their own rational faculties; faith that, with proper encouragement and cultivation, people can learn to think for themselves, to form rational viewpoints, draw reasonable conclusions, think coherently and logically, persuade each other by reason and become reasonable persons, despite the deep-seated obstacles in the native character of the human mind and in society as we know it.

Fairmindedness vs Intellectual Unfairness Having a consciousness of the need to treat all viewpoints alike, without reference to one’s own feelings or vested interests, or the feelings or vested interests of one’s friends, community or nation; implies adherence to intellectual standards without reference to one’s own advantage or the advantage of one’s group.

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16 The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools




Three Kinds of Questions In approaching a question, it is useful to figure out what type it is. Is it a question with one definitive answer? Is it a question that calls for a subjective choice? Or does the question require you to consider competing points of view?

Knowledge JudgmentCannot be assessed

Requires evidence

& reasoning within a system

Calls for stating a

subjective preference


Requires evidence

& reasoning within multiple,

often conflicting, systems

A correct answer

A subjective opinion

Better & worse answers

One System

No System

Multi- System

1 2 3 Z Z


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The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools 17

A Template for Problem-Solving To be an effective problem solver: 1) Figure out, and regularly re-articulate, your goals, purposes, and

needs. Recognize problems as obstacles to reaching your goals, achieving your purposes, or satisfying your needs.

2) Wherever possible take problems one by one. State each problem as clearly and precisely as you can.

3) Study the problem to determine the “kind” of problem you are dealing with. For example, what do you have to do to solve it?

4) Distinguish problems over which you have some control from problems over which you have no control. Concentrate your efforts on problems you can potentially solve.

5) Figure out the information you need to solve the problem. Actively seek that information.

6) Carefully analyze and interpret the information you collect, drawing reasonable inferences.

7) Determine your options for action. What can you do in the short term? In the long term? Recognize your limitations in terms of money, time, and power.

8) Evaluate your options, determining their advantages and disadvantages.

9) Adopt a strategy. Follow through on it. This may involve direct action or a carefully thought-through wait-and-see approach.

10) When you act, monitor the implications of your action. Be ready to revise your strategy if the situation requires it. Be prepared to change your analysis or statement of the problem, as more information about the problem becomes available.

1 2 3

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18 The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools

Analyzing & Assessing Research Use this template to assess the quality of any research project or paper.

1) All research has a fundamental PURPOSE and goal. • Research purposes and goals should be clearly stated. • Related purposes should be explicitly distinguished. • All segments of the research should be relevant to the purpose. • All research purposes should be realistic and significant.

2) All research addresses a fundamental QUESTION, problem or issue. • The fundamental question at issue should be clearly and precisely stated. • Related questions should be articulated and distinguished. • All segments of the research should be relevant to the central question. • All research questions should be realistic and significant. • All research questions should define clearly stated intellectual tasks that, being fulfilled,

settle the questions. 3) All research identifies data, INFORMATION, and evidence relevant to its fundamental

question and purpose. • All information used should be clear, accurate, and relevant to the fundamental

question at issue. • Information gathered must be sufficient to settle the question at issue. • Information contrary to the main conclusions of the research should be explained.

4) All research contains INFERENCES or interpretations by which conclusions are drawn. • All conclusions should be clear, accurate, and relevant to the key question at issue. • Conclusions drawn should not go beyond what the data imply. • Conclusions should be consistent and reconcile discrepancies in the data. • Conclusions should explain how the key questions at issue have been settled.

5) All research is conducted from some POINT OF VIEW or frame of reference. • All points of view in the research should be identified. • Objections from competing points of view should be identified and fairly addressed.

6) All research is based on ASSUMPTIONS. • Clearly identify and assess major assumptions in the research. • Explain how the assumptions shape the research point of view.

7) All research is expressed through, and shaped by, CONCEPTS and ideas. • Assess for clarity the key concepts in the research. • Assess the significance of the key concepts in the research.

8) All research leads somewhere (i.e., has IMPLICATIONS and consequences). • Trace the implications and consequences that follow from the research. • Search for negative as well as positive implications. • Consider all significant implications and consequences.

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The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools 19

Critical thinkers routinely apply intellectual standards to the elements of reasoning in order to develop intellectual traits.

Clarity Accuracy Relevance Logicalness Breadth

Precision Significance Completeness Fairness Depth

The Standards

Purposes Questions Points of view Information

Inferences Concepts Implications Assumptions

The Elements

Intellectual Humility Intellectual Autonomy Intellectual Integrity Intellectual Courage

Intellectual Perseverance Confidence in Reason Intellectual Empathy Fairmindedness

Intellectual Traits

As we learn to develop

Must be applied to

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20 The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools

Stages of Critical Thinking Development

Accomplished Thinker (Intellectual skills and virtues have become second

nature in our lives)

Advanced Thinker (We are committed to lifelong practice and are beginning to internalize intellectual virtues)

Practicing Thinker (We regularly practice and

advance accordingly)

Beginning Thinker (We try to improve but

without regular practice)

Challenged Thinker (We are faced with significant

problems in our thinking)

Unreflective Thinker (We are unaware of significant

problems in our thinking)

Foundation for Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org

The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools 21

The Problem of Egocentric Thinking Egocentric thinking results from the unfortunate fact that humans do not naturally consider the rights and needs of others. We do not naturally appreciate the point of view of others nor the limitations in our own point of view. We become explicitly aware of our egocentric thinking only if trained to do so. We do not naturally recognize our egocentric assumptions, the egocentric way we use information, the egocentric way we interpret data, the source of our egocentric concepts and ideas, the implications of our egocentric thought. We do not naturally recognize our self-serving perspective.

As humans we live with the unrealistic but confident sense that we have fundamentally figured out the way things actually are, and that we have done this objectively. We naturally believe in our intuitive perceptions—however inaccurate. Instead of using intellectual standards in thinking, we often use self- centered psychological standards to determine what to believe and what to reject. Here are the most commonly used psychological standards in human thinking.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I BELIEVE IT.” Innate egocentrism: I assume that what I believe is true even though I have never questioned the basis for many of my beliefs.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IT.” Innate sociocentrism: I assume that the dominant beliefs of the groups to which I belong are true even though I have never questioned the basis for those beliefs.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I WANT TO BELIEVE IT.” Innate wish fulfillment: I believe in whatever puts me (or the groups to which I belong) in a positive light. I believe what “feels good,” what does not require me to change my thinking in any significant way, what does not require me to admit I have been wrong.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IT.” Innate self- validation: I have a strong desire to maintain beliefs that I have long held, even though I have not seriously considered the extent to which those beliefs are justified by the evidence.

“IT’S TRUE BECAUSE IT IS IN MY SELFISH INTEREST TO BELIEVE IT.” Innate selfishness: I believe whatever justifies my getting more power, money, or personal advantage even though these beliefs are not grounded in sound reasoning or evidence.

Foundation for Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org

22 The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools

The Problem of Sociocentric Thinking Most people do not understand the degree to which they have uncritically internalized the dominant prejudices of their society or culture. Sociologists and anthropologists identify this as the state of being “culture bound.” This phenomenon is caused by sociocentric thinking, which includes:

e The uncritical tendency to place one’s culture, nation, religion above all others.

e The uncritical tendency to select self-serving positive descriptions of ourselves and negative descriptions of those who think differently from us.

e The uncritical tendency to internalize group norms and beliefs, take on group identities, and act as we are expected to act—without the least sense that what we are doing might reasonably be questioned.

e The tendency to blindly conform to group restrictions (many of which are arbitrary or coercive).

e The failure to think beyond the traditional prejudices of one’s culture. e The failure to study and internalize the insights of other cultures

(improving thereby the breadth and depth of one’s thinking). e The failure to distinguish universal ethics from relativistic cultural

requirements and taboos. e The failure to realize that mass media in every culture shapes the news

from the point of view of that culture. e The failure to think historically and anthropologically (and hence to be

trapped in current ways of thinking). e The failure to see sociocentric thinking as a significant impediment to

intellectual development.

Sociocentric thinking is a hallmark of an uncritical society. It can be diminished only when replaced by cross-cultural, fairminded thinking — critical thinking in the strong sense.

Foundation for Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org

The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools 23

Envisioning Critical Societies The critical habit of thought, if usual in society, will pervade all its mores, because it is a way of taking up the problems of life. Men educated in it cannot be stampeded by stump orators … They are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain. They can wait for evidence and weigh evidence, uninfluenced by the emphasis or confidence with which assertions are made on one side or the other. They can resist appeals to their dearest prejudices and all kinds of cajolery. Education in the critical faculty is the only education of which it can be truly said that it makes good citizens. William Graham Sumner, 1906

Humans have the capacity to be rational and fair. But this capacity must be developed. It will be significantly developed only if critical societies emerge. Critical societies will develop only to the extent that: e Critical thinking is viewed as essential to living a reasonable and fairminded life. e Critical thinking is routinely taught; consistently fostered. e The problematics of thinking are an abiding concern. e Closed-mindedness is systemically discouraged; open-mindedness

systematically encouraged. e Intellectual integrity, intellectual humility, intellectual empathy, confidence in

reason, and intellectual courage are social values. e Egocentric and sociocentric thinking are recognized as a bane in social life. e Children are routinely taught that the rights and needs of others are equal to their

own. e A multi-cultural world view is fostered. e People are encouraged to think for themselves and discouraged from uncritically

accepting the thinking or behavior of others. e People routinely study and diminish irrational thought. e People internalize universal intellectual standards.

If we want critical societies we must create them.

Foundation for Critical Thinking www.criticalthinking.org

24 The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools

The Figuring Mind

The Human


Essential Idea: Humans have a natural tendency, all other things being equal, to make decisions and to reason egocentrically or sociocentrically. Humans also have (largely undeveloped) rational capacities. Humans begin life as primarily egocentric creatures. Over time, infantile egocentric self-centered thinking merges with sociocentric group-centered thinking. All humans regularly engage in both forms of irrational thought. The extent to which any of us is egocentric or sociocentric is a matter of degree and can change significantly in given situations or contexts. While egocentric and sociocentric propensities are naturally occurring phenomena, rational capacities must be largely developed. It is through the development of these rational capacities that we combat irrational tendencies and cultivate critical societies.

Is naturally egocentric and sociocentric, while

also naturally developing some intellectual skills

Requires the active cultivation of intellectual traits, ethical sensitivities,

and many intellectual skills

“Concepts & Tools” Mini-Guide Price List: Item #520m (+ shipping and handling) 1–24 copies $4.00 each 25–199 copies $3.00 each 200+ copies $2.75 each 500+ copies $2.25 each Prices subject to change.

For More Information (To order guides or to inquire about other resources) Phone 707-878-9100 Fax 707-878-9111 E-mail cct@criticalthinking.org Web site www.criticalthinking.org Mail Foundation for Critical Thinking P.O. Box 196 Tomales, CA 94971For pricing of other guides, please visit our web site at www.criticalthinking.org

For Students & Faculty Critical Thinking, #520m Analytic Thinking, #595m Fallacies: The Art of Mental Trickery and Manipulation, #533m Glossary of Critical Thinking Terms and Concepts, #534m Foundations of Ethical Reasoning, #585m Aspiring Thinker’s Guide to Critical Thinking, #554m Asking Essential Questions, #580m How to Study and Learn, #530m The Human Mind, #570m Clinical Reasoning, #564m Scientific Thinking, #590m Engineering Reasoning, #573m How to Read a Paragraph, #525m

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The Thinker’s Guide Library

The Thinker’s Guide series provides convenient, inexpensive, portable references that students and faculty can use to improve the quality of studying, learning, and teaching. Their modest cost enables instructors to require them of all students (in addition to a textbook). Their compactness enables students to keep them at hand whenever they are working in or out of class. Their succinctness serves as a continual reminder of the most basic principles of critical thinking.

About the Authors:

D r. L i n d a El d e r i s a n educational psychologist who has taught both psychology and critical thinking at the col lege level. She is the

President of the Foundation for Critical Thinking and the Executive Director of the Center for Critical Thinking. Dr. Elder has a special interest in the relation of thought and emotion, the cognitive and the affective, and has developed an original theory of the stages of critical thinking development. She has coauthored four books on critical thinking, as well as twenty-five Thinker’s Guides. She is a dynamic presenter with extensive experience in leading workshops on critical thinking.

Dr. Richard Paul is a major leader in the international critical thinking movement. He is Director of Research at the Center for Critical Thinking, the

Chair of the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, and author of over 200 articles and seven books on critical thinking. Dr. Paul has given hundreds of workshops on critical thinking and made a series of eight critical thinking video programs for PBS. His views on critical thinking have been canvassed in New York Times, Education Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, American Teacher, Educational Leadership, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and Reader’s Digest.

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ISBN 978-0-9857544-0-2 Item # 520m

Red Teaming


Summary of Changes (Version 8.0)

• Added: o a Glossary, o the RT TTP Table, o Appreciative Interview, o Assumption Sensitivity Analysis, o Critical Thinking Traits, o Gallery Walk, Ideal Group Process, o Logic of Failure, o a new Problem Restatement, o RT Assumption Questions, o Think-Write-Share, and o Yes…And.

Note: All edited items were highlighted in the Table of Contents.

(Version 8.1)

• Deleted page numbers within the body of text • Added to the Red Teaming TTP table: Appreciative

Interviews (GTM), Think-Write-Share (GTM), and TROIKA consulting (GTM).

• Deleted the older TTP of Critical Thinking Habits and kept the newer TTP of Critical Thinking Traits.

• Updated to the newest version of Logic Fallacies. • Revised Problem Restatement one more time.

Applied Critical Thinking Handbook v8.1

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Points of Contact

Red Teaming Central

MilSuite requires a common access card (CAC). Go to https://www.milsuite.mil/book/community/spaces/redteamingcentral click the JOIN button in the lower left corner of the webpage, and then complete your milSuite profile.

UFMCS http://usacac.army.mil/organizations/ufmcs-red-teaming University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies TRISA (TRADOC G2 Intelligence Support Activity) 803 Harrison Drive, Building 467, Room 315 Ft Leavenworth, KS 66027-2308 FAX 913-684-3887 DSN 552

Director 913-684-3860 Operations 913-684-3857

Security 913-684-4336 Technology 913-684-4339 Curriculum 913-684-4321

Instructors 913-684-3892/3959 SMEs 913-684-4323/4338

Librarians 913-785-3001/3081

ATRRS Enrollment

1. Go to https://www.atrrs.army.mil/atrrscc/search.aspx 2. Select a Fiscal Year, i.e., 2015. 3. Select the School Code: 159 (UFMCS). 4. Click Search the ATRRS course catalog button

(near the bottom). 5. Select a UFMCS course from the table.

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Table of Contents Summary of Changes ………………………………………………….i CHAPTER I: Introduction …………………………………………….1

Why Red Teaming? …………………………………………………..1 What is Red Teaming? ………………………………………………1 How is Red Teaming Conducted? ……………………………….3 How is a UFMCS Education Unique? …………………………..4 Why this Red Teaming Handbook? ……………………………..7 Summary …………………………………………………………………8

CHAPTER II: Self-Awareness ………………………………………9 What is Self-Awareness? …………………………………………..9 Why is Self-Awareness Important? ……………………………..9 Who Am I? ……………………………………………………………. 10 Outcomes of Introspection ………………………………………. 13 Journaling Daily ……………………………………………………… 14 Interpersonal Communication…………………………………… 15 Personality Temperament ……………………………………….. 17 Summary ………………………………………………………………. 20

CHAPTER III: Fostering Cultural Empathy …………………. 21 Cultural Awareness ………………………………………………… 22 Ethnocentrism ……………………………………………………….. 23 Some Cultural Frameworks ……………………………………… 26 Functional Systems Approach ………………………………….. 30 Cultural Relevance …………………………………………………. 34 Summary ………………………………………………………………. 35

CHAPTER IV: Critical Thinking …………………………………. 40 Introduction …………………………………………………………… 40 What Do Critical Thinkers Do? …………………………………. 40 Why is Critical Thinking Necessary? …………………………. 44 Summary ………………………………………………………………. 50

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CHAPTER V: Groupthink Mitigation & Decision Support ……………………………………………………………………………. 53 Groupthink …………………………………………………………….. 53 Groupthink Mitigation ……………………………………………… 55 Military Decision Making Process ……………………………… 57 Mitigating Groupthink during the MDMP …………………….. 58 Red Teaming During Planning …………………………………. 59 Red Teaming During Problem Framing ……………………… 60 Red Teaming During Operational Design …………………… 64 The Red Team’s Role …………………………………………….. 65 Summary ………………………………………………………………. 66

CHAPTER VI: Red Teaming TTP ……………………………….. 67 Red Teaming TTP Table …………………………………………. 67 1-2-4-Whole Group ………………………………………………… 68 1 on 1, 2 on 2, Exchange Emissaries ………………………… 70 4 Ways of Seeing …………………………………………………… 71 5 Whys …………………………………………………………………. 71 5 Will Get You 25 …………………………………………………… 73 6 Empathetic Questions ………………………………………….. 74 6 Words ……………………………………………………………….. 74 Alternative Futures Analysis…………………………………….. 75 Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) ………………… 78 Appreciative Interview …………………………………………….. 81 Argument Deconstruction ……………………………………….. 82 Assumption Sensitivity Analysis (ASA) ……………………… 84 BATNA …………………………………………………………………. 85 Brainstorming ………………………………………………………… 86 Challenges to Effective Planning ……………………………… 89 Circle of Voices ……………………………………………………… 99 Circular Response ……………………………………………….. 100 Cognitive Biases ………………………………………………….. 101 Critical MDMP Questions ………………………………………. 103

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Critical Review Steps ……………………………………………. 105 Critical Thinking Traits ………………………………………….. 106 Critical Variables (CVs) …………………………………………. 109 Cultural Perception Framework………………………………. 115 Deception Detection ……………………………………………… 132 Determining the Suitability of an Analogy ………………… 134 Devil’s Advocacy ………………………………………………….. 136 Divergence – Convergence ……………………………………. 138 Dot Voting …………………………………………………………… 139 Fishbowl ……………………………………………………………… 140 Frame Audit ………………………………………………………… 141 Gallery Walk………………………………………………………… 143 High-Impact/ Low-Probability Analysis …………………….. 148 Ideal Group Process …………………………………………….. 150 Indicators or Signposts of Change ………………………….. 151 Key Assumption Check …………………………………………. 153 Liberating Structures …………………………………………….. 155 Logic of Failure ……………………………………………………. 156 Logic Fallacies …………………………………………………….. 157 Mitigating Groupthink ……………………………………………. 159 My 15% ………………………………………………………………. 160 Onion Model………………………………………………………… 161 Outside-In Thinking ………………………………………………. 163 Premortem Analysis ……………………………………………… 165 Problem Restatement (Revised) …………………………….. 168 Quality of Information Check ………………………………….. 169 Red Team Analysis ………………………………………………. 171 Red Teaming – Assessment Questions …………………… 174 Red Teaming – Assumption Questions ……………………. 175 Red Teaming – Key Questions ………………………………. 177 Red Teaming – MDMP Actions ………………………………. 178

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Shifting the Burden ………………………………………………. 183 Stakeholder Mapping ……………………………………………. 185 Strategies for Structured Analysis …………………………… 190 String of Pearls ……………………………………………………. 192 S-W-O-T Analysis ………………………………………………… 203 Team A / Team B Analysis ……………………………………. 204 Telling Stories ……………………………………………………… 206 Think – Write – Share …………………………………………….. 207 TRIZ …………………………………………………………………… 208 Troika Consulting (Ad Agency) ………………………………. 209 Validating Assumptions …………………………………………. 210 What if? Analysis …………………………………………………. 220 Who Am I? ………………………………………………………….. 222 Why Assess? ………………………………………………………. 225 Yes … and ………………………………………………………….. 228 Endnotes …………………………………………………………….. 229

Abbreviations ………………………………………………………… 233 Glossary………………………………………………………………… 235 Index …………………………………………………………………….. 236 Bibliography ………………………………………………………….. 237 My Notes ……………………………………………………………….. 242

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CHAPTER I: Introduction “We need to help our commanders and staffs escape the gravitational pull of Western military thought.”

— CSA Peter Schoomaker1

Why Red Teaming? The premise of the program at the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies (UFMCS) is that people and organizations court failure in predictable ways, that they do so by degrees, almost imperceptibly, and that they do so according to their mindsets, biases, and experience, which are formed in large part by their own culture and context. The sources of these failures are simple, observable, and lamentably, often repeated. They are also preventable, and that is the point of ‘red teaming’.

Our methods and education involve more than Socratic discussion and brainstorming. We believe that good decision processes are essential to good outcomes. To that end, our curriculum is rich in divergent processes, red teaming tools, and liberating structures, all aimed at decision support.

We educate people to develop a disposition of curiosity, and help them become aware of biases and behavior that prevent them from real positive change in the ways they seek solutions and engage others.

We borrow techniques, methods, frameworks, concepts, and best practices from several sources and disciplines to create an education, and practical applications, that we find to be the best safeguard against individual and organizational tendencies toward biases, errors in cognition, and groupthink.

Red teaming is diagnostic, preventative, and corrective; yet it is neither predictive or a solution. Our goal is to be better prepared and less surprised in dealing with complexity.

What is Red Teaming? Red teaming is a function that provides commanders an independent capability to fully explore alternatives in plans, operations, concepts, organizations and capabilities in the context of the operational environment (OE) and from the perspectives of partners, adversaries and others.

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A Red Team performs three general types of tasks:

– Support to operations, planning, and decision support

– Critical review and analysis of already-existing plans

– Intelligence support (Threat Emulation)

(UFMCS provides education for the first two tasks; TRADOC’s Intelligence School and Center provides education on the third.)

In order for a Red Team to effectively contribute to decision making all of the following elements are required:

• The ability to think critically about the problem. While this may seem obvious, the reality is that critical thinking is a skill set that requires training, education and tools. The Army assimilates people from different backgrounds across the nation. One of the drawbacks of that assimilation is our military tendency to reflect the same biases and perspectives. We pride ourselves in common values—which while ingrained in the Army culture are not universal outside of that culture.

• Thinking critically and challenging the group is an unnatural act for military staffs. Doing so effectively requires tools and methods that enable leaders to see different perspectives.

• Red Teams require top cover to be allowed to challenge the conventional wisdom and the organization’s leaders. No matter the quality of the Red Team or the methods they employ, dictatorial or toxic leaders are incompatible with successful red teaming.

• Red teaming is not easy, and not everyone can do it. Red Teamers must be effective written and oral communicators. They must have credibility in the area in which they are providing red teaming insights. They must be able to constructively challenge the plan. This means focusing on what is truly important, able to explain why it is being challenged and offering some alternative ways to think about the problem. Constituting a Red Team with those the organization ‘can afford to give up’ is a sure recipe for failure.

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• There is no given template for a red teaming approach to a problem, no “one size fits all.” Red teaming activity must be tailored to specific requirements. Time available is a critical factor, as is expertise with the issue at hand, the makeup of the team, engaged leaders and their predisposition to provide too much input, etc.

A Red Team works best behind the scenes, assisting the commander and staff in a non-critical, helpful manner, without taking credit. (It is hard enough to accept someone criticizing your thinking—it is much tougher if they are obnoxious and loud about it.)

While there is no formula for red teaming, there are some common activities that most Red Teams do most of the time. These include challenging facts and explicit assumptions, looking for implicit (unstated) assumptions, identifying cultural assumptions and developing targeted cultural questions for subject matter experts (SMEs), challenging the problem frame (and proposing alternative frames), identifying cognitive biases and symptoms of underlying groupthink, etc. All of these activities lead to the development of alternative perspectives.

How is Red Teaming Conducted? Not everyone should practice medicine. Scalpels, drugs, and the procedures in which they are used are not to be trusted to those with a passing familiarity of their application. Everyone should have a basic knowledge of how to maintain their health and wellness (basic elements of diet, exercise, sleep). Red teaming is like medicine. Medicine is diagnostic, preventative, and corrective. It works best when applied in small applications over time. And so it is with red teaming. Everyone needs medicine at one time or another. Not everyone needs the same dose. You want a well-trained Red Team for the same reasons you want a well-trained physician. As with your relation with your physician, monitoring and periodic checkups are preferable to intervention. What does your unit need… intervention, prevention, triage, a second opinion, or a dose of common sense? The applications for red teaming are dependent on the needs of the unit.

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The following are some important questions to consider when practicing red teaming. Some have definite answers; some answers are dependent on context and the needs of the unit:

• What does a Red Team look like? (Ad hoc, standing team, an individual, or an on-call team)?

• What does it do? (Challenges assumptions, tests hypotheses, explores alternatives, and heightens awareness).

• Who are the best people to do it? (Rank and education are not exclusive discriminators. You want reflective, critical thinking persons with a curious disposition.)

• When is it done? (Continuous, on call, in planning, or when things are going poorly)?

• To whom does the Red Team belong? (Optimally, to the commander, though they may work directly for the Chief of Staff.)

• Where in planning does red teaming belong? (Everywhere.) How is a UFMCS Education Unique? Our approach has proven effective in units and organizations from brigades to the Joint Staff. UFMCS’ curriculum is designed to improve critical thinking, and proceeds from a premise that before you point out to someone the errors of their thinking, you had better understand your own.

Most of us are disinclined to naturally challenge prevailing thoughts. We challenge students to examine things they hold sacrosanct. We expose them to the ethnocentrism of their own thinking, their overreliance on method, their tendency to default to Western/Aristotelian logic, their lack of appreciation for the frames that subconsciously capture their thinking, their failure to avoid common cognitive biases, and their predisposition to seek consensus while exhibiting classic symptoms of groupthink.

UFMCS’ curriculum revolves around some fundamental questions:

• What does it mean to be “self-aware?”

• When I perceive and interpret information, what are those interpretations based upon?

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• What do I value and believe? Why? How do these values and beliefs motivate my behavior? How do others’ values and beliefs motivate their behaviors differently?

• How can cultural anthropology help me think about another culture without resorting to mirror imaging?

• How do I improve my ability to think critically?

UFMCS’ curriculum is organized around the following major areas, designed to improve a soldier’s ability to think and understand in new and continually evolving environments:

Self-Awareness: Understanding how our values and beliefs affect how we think and decide … and how that differs for others. Major sub-elements:

• Personal reflection, Jungian typology, Personality Dimensions, Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode instruments, etc.

• Watershed event story telling

• Daily Journaling

Groupthink Mitigation & Decision Support: The challenges inherent in hierarchical environments and elite teams—groups which might value maintaining social relationships more than making a tough decision.

• Use of fungible, small group techniques to mitigate groupthink: use of anonymous feedback, liberating structures, etc.

• How to connect critical thinking to operational design, problem framing, assumption validation, assessment tools, and MDMP.

Critical Thinking: Support for planning and decision making – deconstructing arguments, examining analogies, challenging assumptions, and exploring alternatives.

• The role of intuition—System 1 versus System 2 thinking.

• Numerous tools to examine a plan through different lenses— Premortem Analysis, Stakeholder Mapping.

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• Thinking meta-cognitively, and enabling graduates to understand how humans think, and how culture shapes thoughts.

Fostering Cultural Empathy: Developing better questions about culture, in order to facilitate strategic and operational decision making which is informed by cultural empathy.

• Culture examined from the perspective of a cultural anthropologist, versus “dos and don’ts.”

• Conscious examination of the roles of ethnocentrism, versus cultural relativism.

• Culturally-centric case studies.

• Tools to help understand foreign cultural contexts, and to foster empathy.

Our intent is to inculcate behaviors designed to make critical thinking a discipline. The outcome of this process is a student with a bundle of cognitive capabilities—at the heart of which is a better ability to apply one’s normal thought processes and their common sense, to the circumstances of a given situation.

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Why this Red Teaming Handbook? The purpose of this Red Teaming Handbook is to provide an aide memoir for UFMCS graduates, and an introduction to the concepts for those unfamiliar with red teaming. This handbook is not a checklist of actions or tasks, but rather serves as a compendium of key ideas and information taught in the UFMCS curriculum to help facilitate practical red teaming. The contents of this handbook are neither doctrine nor the “school solution.”

This handbook represents the essence of what students study at UFMCS. It provides an overview in the four major educational areas of the red teaming program as described earlier in this introduction. Each chapter points the user to tools and methods in Chapter VI for use when confronting challenges associated with: Self-Awareness and Reflection, Groupthink Mitigation and Decision Making, Critical Thinking, or Fostering Cultural Empathy.

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This handbook is a living, UNCLASSIFIED document. We welcome your comments, suggestions, and input. Time and personal preference of different facilitators may result in some of these ideas or tools being new to you despite having attended the program. As you go through this handbook, if you see things you were not exposed to in class, please engage our faculty.

Summary People and organizations court failure in predictable ways, by degrees, almost imperceptibly, and according to their own culture and context. As a countermeasure, we can fully explore alternatives in that context and from differing perspectives. We call this function red teaming.

Red teaming requires challenging the facts, problem frame, and assumptions. This function also seeks to qualify the assumptions, develop targeted cultural questions, and propose alternative perspectives, as well as identify any cognitive biases, groupthink mitigations, etc. To that end, organizations can utilize individuals taught to execute red teaming, or charter an empowered Red Team (standing, ad hoc, or on-call). Either way, red teaming has worked best behind the scene.

UFMCS offers a unique red teaming education. The curricula is designed to challenge one’s view of the surrounding world and self. The school creates an experience built upon: self-awareness, cultural awareness, critical thinking, groupthink mitigation, decision support, and practical experiences with red teaming tools.


1 Conversation CSA Schoomaker, Greg Fontenot and Steve Rotkoff, Spring 2006.

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CHAPTER II: Self-Awareness

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. — Carl Jung1

Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine. — Ralph Waldo Emerson2

The unexamined life isn’t worth living. — Socrates3

What is Self-Awareness? Everyday life is a flurry of activity that demands our attention. From training and deployment schedules, to children and home life responsibilities, we are always on the go. As a result, we have little time for self-awareness and personal development. The process of improving self-awareness via introspection happens when we take a dedicated look inward and examine our own thoughts, feelings, and motives. But, who has the time to do that?

Self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.

Why is Self-Awareness Important? The self-aware person is more enabled as a critical thinker, more aware of personal biases and recognizes his or her own cultural framework. It is with this understanding of self that an expanded world view opens—one that is more empathetic to the differences of other cultures and ways of thinking and thus primed to engage as a Red Teamer.

UFMCS focuses on four areas to develop Self-awareness:

1. Study of Temperament, Personality Dimensions® Instrument and Model, Introversion and Extraversion

2. Study of Interpersonal Communications

3. Introspection Exercise—Who Am I?

4. Daily Journaling Exercise

People are complex and diverse. A self-aware person has dedicated introspective time to acknowledge personality traits, personal values, habits, psychological needs and emotions that drive behaviors.

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Personality – An understanding of your personality can help create awareness of strengths and weaknesses, talents, motives, stressors and motivators for decision making and interpersonal communications.

Values – It’s important that we each know and focus on our personal values. In doing so, we are more likely to accomplish what we consider most important. Habits – Our habits are the behaviors that we repeat routinely and often automatically.

Needs – Our needs cause motivation; and when needs aren’t satisfied, they can cause frustration, conflict and stress.

Emotions – recognizing your own feelings, what causes them, and how they impact your thoughts and actions is emotional self- awareness.

Who Am I? The Who Am I exercise requires reflection and introspection of your personal family narratives and dynamics, regional culture, religion, educational experiences, and critical watershed moments that shape your worldviews and values—that all put together construct an idea of who you are as an individual. In its whole, the exercise enhances the individual’s self-awareness while at the same time creates cohesion and relationship bonding within the participating group.

There are two critical elements to the exercise: private preparation through solo reflection and introspection, and group sharing and storytelling.

1. Individuals first must do the hard work of reflection, of recalling the seminal life events that were critical in shaping their personalities and deeper values. One might think of these events as crucibles, both difficult and triumphant, that forged the individual’s character. In essence, this private preparation is intended to encourage introspection. Such deep reflection takes time, and must be built into the structure of the entire exercise.

What exactly participants choose to share with their classmates in the verbal portion is a different question. It is important during preparation that participants be completely

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honest with themselves as to how they developed into the person they are today. This preparation can take an hour or longer, and is ideally conducted at least one day prior to the group sharing.

2. In the second step, the group sits together in a private setting, and one by one the individuals hold the floor, sharing aloud their story. Participants should take as long as they want, uninterrupted while providing their story. This enables a degree of rambling which intentionally creates an environment where many people end up sharing more than they originally planned. This open time frame can be very liberating, as for many this is the first opportunity they have ever had to share aloud with others why they are who they are.

3. As such, any interruptions in the form of questions or time limits tend to kill the magic of the moment. To mitigate the abuse of this open ended opportunity to talk, facilitators are encouraged to get their story down under 15 minutes, as this then sets an example that most others will naturally follow. The story should be conducted entirely as narrative—no power point slides or film clips etc.—nothing to distract from the story each person is telling the group, and nothing to hide behind. This activity should be like telling stories around the campfire—but the story we tell is about ourselves.

4. There is no question and answer period following the story so as to avoid any semblance of an ‘interrogation‘, and also to keep the playing field even, (i.e., if the facilitator were to ask one participant three questions and another only one, it might leave the impression that the first participant‘s story was more interesting, etc.)

5. Every member of the group who is not sharing is asked to practice ‘full-body’ listening by giving their complete and unfettered attention to the person speaking. Receiving this attention while sharing is extremely powerful and the facilitator can both model this and suggest that participants give the kind of attention you yourself would want to receive.

6. Every participant must provide a narrative, but the order of presentation is purely voluntary, an important factor in creating safety. While every participant must share something, precisely how much to reveal about themselves is an

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individual decision. In this way, the exercise entails individually manageable personal risk.

7. No more than three personal narratives are conducted in a row. If someone goes exceedingly long this may be shortened to two or even simply one. In order for the group to exercise ‘full-body’ listening and remain engaged, the entire group ‘who am I’ must be spaced out over time. Done right, the story is often draining both for the listeners and the presenters. Each hour of stories should be broken up with an hour or more of some other less emotionally investing activity.

8. It is highly recommended that the facilitator models their own story before the participants commence their solo reflection. What the facilitator shares will set the tone for what the participants share. Facilitators are urged to go out on a limb and reveal meaningful events in their life that genuinely shaped them as people. By taking action and modeling this openness first, the facilitator encourages participants to risk being personally vulnerable themselves.

9. From past experience, several participants have initially told the group that they had felt they did not know everyone well enough to completely share who they are and everything they had learned about themselves in preparing for the exercise. In most cases, they came forward later and decided to redo their story on their own initiative—sharing things they had learned through introspection but needed time to process. This methodology allows people to operate within their comfort zone while simultaneously establishing a group norm that encourages them to both reflect and share.

10. By now, it should be clear that this exercise is definitely NOT a normal biographical recitation. Positions held, size and composition of family, etc. are not important unless they are linked to some watershed event. In an Army context, when someone commanded a company or held some other position of importance is not relevant UNLESS some critical event happened while in that position that has stayed with, and continues to shape their daily outlook. Similarly, while the birth of a child is without question a significant event in anyone’s life, it may or may not necessarily change your worldview about things like the nature of personal responsibility, values,

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etc. Hence participants are ideally sharing events that were personally transformational on a fundamental level.

11. Finally, and most importantly, this all requires a degree of confidentiality among the group. While not confession or protected speech, it is critical that if someone chooses to share personal vulnerabilities (e.g., current struggles at home or difficult events from the past) that this content does not become fodder for gossip. To gain buy-in on this, the facilitator should openly propose confidentiality as a group norm, and foster a brief discussion about what this means. A good rule of thumb is ―what happens in ‘Who Am I’, stays in ‘Who Am I’.

Outcomes of Introspection ‘Who Am I’ is a deceptively simple exercise that works on many personal and emotional levels simultaneously. Several outcomes are enumerated below:

1. Using introspection to better understand how one engages the world, allows participants to view themselves in profound ways at depths rarely encouraged in the Army. Results may be scary for those unlocking doors in their head that may have long been closed, but it universally produces a better self-understanding.

2. When participants share their story, and listen as others share their own, it invariably dawns on them that they are not alone in coping with problems in life such as grief, prejudice, disappointment, relationship issues, etc. This leaves participants feeling significantly more connected with the group and less alone in the world.

3. Practicing active listening is not something we routinely do or reward in leader development. In fact, in some cases people are penalized for not contributing in volume to class discussions. This creates an environment where we reward the loudest who frequently crowd out and undermine efforts at collaboration. This exercise reinforces active listening and more importantly it reinforces listening for a deeper understanding of what they mean. This understanding promotes a connection on an emotional level. This is an exceedingly important skill for leaders to develop. Organizations where leaders and those led are emotionally connected have higher morale, are more committed to the

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mission, can better discern intent in the absence of explicit orders, and are more adaptable in extreme circumstances.

4. This exercise creates an environment where alternative perspectives can be valued. When a participant hears another tell a personal story about encountering direct prejudice and how that shaped them, they are less likely to think of that participant as simply ‘hypersensitive.’ They understand where that person is coming from and why they see the world as they do—elements foundational to actual communication and education.

5. Finally, this is a tremendous team building vehicle. Upon completion, each member of the group knows all other members in a deeper way, faster than such knowledge normally develops. Often group members express that they now know other participants better than long time neighbors or even some members of their own family.

Journaling Daily UFMCS requires students to journal daily, reflect on events and information. This layer of personal consciousness is seldom explored in the normal course of a day; paramount to critical thinking habits. Through introspective time with personal thoughts and feelings, this writing process induces the reflection on, and synthesis of, concepts as well as the subsequent application to one’s own life experiences.

Journals are not intended to be simple regurgitations of the day’s events. Entries should reflect a deeper and more considered review of the day’s topics as well as down other paths those considerations lead. The act of journaling often leads the person writing the journal to examine their beliefs, attitudes, and values beyond what was discussed in class.

While students are required to turn in their journals, it is important to remember that the act of keeping a journal is designed to provide a vehicle for reflection for the individual writing them. Entries are not be looked on as graded writing. Bottom-line, they are designed for the writer not the reader.

Prompting questions:

• What have I learned about myself? • What have I learned about my emotional responses?

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• What learning topics or tasks did I respond to most easily/ with most difficulty?

• What do I feel proudest about/ most dissatisfied about regarding my personal growth?

Interpersonal Communication Interpersonal communication is the face to face exchange between two or more persons that conveys ideas, emotions, and information; what is said and what is received verbally and nonverbally via body language and facial expressions. Personal objectives are one of the many driving forces underlying interpersonal communication.

• Interpersonal communication involves the use of semiotics which includes verbal and non-verbal representations of ideas, emotions, or events.

• Interpersonal communication occurs between people who are themselves developing and changing.

• Ethics, the use of moral principles to guide action, are part of interpersonal communication.

• Interpersonal communication can be strategic. • Consider how one’s communication affects others. • To achieve their goals, communicators must be competent,

meaning both appropriate and effective.

The many benefits of effective interpersonal communication include personal and professional success, more satisfying relationships, and goal achievement.

Strategic Questioning: seeking information to facilitate choices or open a space for new ways of thinking about a problem. It is open and closed questions, not a statement in the form of a question.

When to do it: • Your professional role demands it • As part of Critical Thinking • You are confused about the purpose of the interaction • You are problem-solving

How to do it: • Use active listening • Weigh they are saying against your goals

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• Ask clarifying questions and offer paraphrases • Stay open to new discoveries

Strategic Listening”: listening to shape the outcome and help you accomplish your ends; measured later, by whether you gain information or improve the relationship. It considers when to use open and closed questioning, not stating the form of a question.

When to do it: • Your professional role demands it • As part of Critical Thinking • You are confused about the purpose of the interaction • You are problem-solving

How to do it: • Use active listening • Weigh they are saying against your goals • Ask clarifying questions and offer paraphrases • Stay open to new discoveries

Active Listening”: listening to foster social relationships. This is measured at the time by how well you show your interest. It shows respect and involvement. Its absence can show lack of interest and dismissal.

When to do it: • When the relationship matters • As part of strategic listening

How to do it: • Keep your eyes on the other’s face • Show emotional reaction but don’t interrupt • Echo parts of what they are saying

Empathic Listening”: listening in support of emotions, demonstrating care and involvement. In the moment it helps the person feel understood and supported. Its absence can show impatience, disinterest, or dismissal.

When to do it: • When you can be sincere • When you truly understand or want to understand how

your counterpart feels • When you want to defuse strong emotions

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How to do it: • Show emotional reaction but don’t interrupt; murmur • Use indirect questions to echo parts of what they say • Keep your eyes on the other’s face • Comment on their emotions

Interpersonal Conflict An awareness of others’ temperaments can be quite helpful when conflict arises. Acknowledging the similarities and differences between the four temperaments allows for bridging strategies to be developed. In other words, courses of action that take into account each temperament’s needs, motivators, and skills to form a more mutually beneficial outcome to manage the conflict.

Learning the four temperaments and examining your own personal patterns (dominant to least used) helps to frame your own personal needs, values, inter-personal stressors, and biases. An understanding your own and observing the patterns of others you work and live with allows you to:

• Influence and persuade others in a positive manner. • Acknowledge your talents and those of others. • Improve interpersonal communication. • Identify potential problems early. • Support and encourage others. • Narrow gaps and differences. • Improve team performance. • Negotiate more effectively. • Organize efficient teams. • Increase productivity. • Elevate morale.

Personality Temperament Temperament is defined as a pattern of observable personality traits, such as habits of communication, patterns of action, and sets of characteristic attitudes, values, and talents. It also encompasses personal needs, the kinds of contributions that individuals make in the workplace, and the roles they play in society. In essence, the study of temperament describes the ‘why’ of our behaviors, motivators and sources of stress.

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Historically, theorists have identified four unique patterns of individual tendencies, values, and needs. These patterns were not arbitrary collections of characteristics, but sprang from an interaction between basic dimensions of human behavior: our communication and our action, our words and our deeds, or, simply, what we say and what we do.

Personality Dimensions® is a human relations and communications model rooted in Jungian typology and temperament theory that creates a common language for understanding self and others. The model examines four temperaments with innate psychological needs, values, talents, and behaviors.

Personality Dimensions® Core Needs Values

Inquiring Green

knowledge, competence, mastery, & self-control

scientific inquiry, concepts, theories, & logical


Authentic Blue

finding significance, meaning, & unique


harmony, cooperation, ethics, & authentic


Organized Gold

membership, belonging, responsibility and duty

stability, security, procedures, and group


Resourceful Orange

freedom to act in the moment; make an

impact, & expediency

variety, adventure, excitement, and

performance with skill

Introversion and extraversion were first popularized by Carl Jung. This concept frames a continuum of traits with discernible differences or identifiers for preferences on the extraversion ↔ introversion continuum. Regardless of where one may naturally fall on the continuum, most will develop skills to effectively augment behaviors along the entire continuum to fulfill core needs and motivations.

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Those who prefer introversion will often:

• Do their best thinking, learning, and decision making through quiet reflection and individual contemplation.

• Seek stimulation from within and direct their energies inward in reflection.

• Prefer to inwardly think things through before sharing any of their thoughts.

Those who prefer extraversion will often:

• Discuss thoughts out loud as a method to process information and make decisions.

• Seek stimulation from external sources and direct their energies outward.

• Prefer brainstorming out loud to get their creative juices flowing.

Linda Berens, Understanding Yourself and Others, also addresses the core self, the predisposition with which we are born. The developed self; the skills and behaviors we learn as we grow and mature; and the contextual self, how we prefer to react to a given situation. Berens claims that, given our “core self” and our “developed self”, we are able to behave and react in a variety of ways in different situations or contexts. She states that we have the choice of: giving in to our core self, or following our developed self, or selecting an appropriate contextual response.

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Summary Self-Awareness and time introspecting is a fundamental element of the red teaming education. Self-awareness includes acknowledging that each of us come with differing values, behaviors, beliefs, personal stories, motivations and goals. Self- awareness enables the Red Teamer to improve their own: interpersonal communication, critical thinking, empathy for others, and cohesion within the group.

An understanding of individual temperament patterns and introversion ↔ extraversion confirms how we see ourselves (what we say and what we do) may be quite different from how others perceive what we say and what we do, and vice versa.


1 C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, (New York: Pantheon Books, 1963), 247. 2 “Wisdom Quotes.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote: “Most of the Shadows Of…” January 1, 2014. Accessed November 24, 2014. http://www.wisdomquotes.com/quote/ralph-waldo-emerson-162.html. 3 While this saying is attributed to Socrates, it was captured in Plato’s Apology. Benjamin Jowett, Six Great Dialogues, (Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 2007), 18.

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CHAPTER III: Fostering Cultural Empathy “I don’t think we should study things in isolation. I don’t think a geographer is going to master anything, or an anthropologist is going to master anything, or a historian is going to master anything. I think it’s a broad-based knowledge in all these areas, the ability to dissect a culture or an environment very carefully and know what questions to ask, although you might not be an expert in that culture, and to be able to pull it all together. Again, an intelligence analysis that isn’t an order-of-battle, militarily oriented one, but one that pulls these factors together that you need to understand…“I mean, as simple as flora and fauna all the way up to basic geographic differences, environmental differences – cultural, religious and everything else. That becomes your life as a planner, or as the director of operations, and as the key decision maker.”

— General Anthony Zinni, 19981

This chapter is about developing better questions concerning culture, in order to facilitate planning, policy making, and strategic and operational decision making which is informed by cultural empathy and enhanced by red teaming tools and a functional systems approach. Red teaming methods and tools prevent us from accepting easy answers to hard questions about culture and its complexity. The functional systems approach enhances our ability to translate the abstractions and nuances of culture into doctrinal, operational terms. To that end, we emphasize the following in our approach to the red teaming method of cultural examination:

– Conscious examination of the roles of ethnocentrism vice cultural relativism

– Culturally centric case studies

– Tools to foster empathy “Cultural analysis is intrinsically incomplete. And, worse than that, the more deeply it goes the less complete it is. It is a strange science whose most telling assertions are its most tremulously based, in which to get somewhere with the matter at hand is to intensify the suspicion, both your own and that of others, that you are not quite getting it right. But that, along with plaguing subtle people with obtuse questions, is what being an ethnographer is like.”

— Anthropologist Clifford Geertz, 19732

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Cultural Awareness In the above passage from The Interpretation of Cultures, Clifford Geertz was describing what it is like to be an ethnographer, but he may just as well have been describing a Red Team tasked with cultural analysis. A curious, skeptical disposition, rather than one of certainty befits the Red Teamer. For the Red Teamer, awareness means the discovery that there is no “normal” position in cultural matters.3

For the Red Teamer, culture may be best approached with techniques borrowed from the perspective of a cultural anthropologist instead of a prescriptive framework or list of ‘dos and don’ts’; in other words, there is value in passively regarding what is. However, “Anthropology, or at least interpretive anthropology, is a science whose progress is marked less by a perfection of consensus than by a refinement of debate. What gets better is the precision with which we vex each other.”4 This will not do. What is needed is a systemic approach to culture the outcome of which is designed to enhance military planning.

To observe dispassionately is the role of the ethnographer, but not necessarily the role of the military commander or Red Teamer. Their role is to decide what to “do,” based on their observation and analysis.

Cultural awareness is not the same thing as cultural sensitivity. The idea is not to escape or discard our own deeply held values, beliefs, and ideals, or to practice cultural relativism, but to better understand the distinctions and similarities between our own and those held by others (both adversaries and allies) for the purpose of avoiding missteps in planning and policy formulation. Our methods and outcomes as military planners differ from those of the ethnographer or anthropologist in that our task is not only to observe, but also to plan and act upon our analysis.

With that in mind, keep this caution in mind as you read this chapter and as you begin on any cultural examination: when we analyze another culture we must do so with full consciousness that our vantage point lies outside of it. Moreover, the things we see are the things we most often attempt to manipulate. These things are the superficial edifices of culture. Real wisdom here is to allow for the deep, unalterable foundations of culture, not to reconstruct it in the manner we desire.5

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Ethnocentrism One aim of the red teaming cultural methodology is the reduction of blind ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism, the belief that one’s own culture is inherently superior to other cultures is a natural tendency of most individuals6 (Haight, 1990). This is a problem in planning when the planner is so bound by their own culture as to be “blind to the ability to see the world through the eyes of another national or ethnic group.”7 Negative or distorted stereotypes too, are a challenge to complete cultural understanding as well. Stereotypes by themselves are not negative. At issue here is whether they are accurate or distorted. Distorted stereotypes are polarized, simplistic, and self-serving. Race and ethnicity are common characteristics that are historically susceptible to distorted stereotypes.

“Stereotyping is a process by which individuals are viewed as members of groups and the information that we have stored in our minds about the group is ascribed to the individual”

— Behavioral Scientist Taylor H. Cox, 19948

Often we tend toward oversimplification of cultural complexity in matters of planning. Our natural inclination is to construct simplified models of a complex reality in order to explain things. We develop simplified explanations based upon selected cultural aspects of the OE that facilitate our planning and desired end states. The tendency is to regard culture as a block, a category with geographic or ethnic boundaries, and not as the people, the individuals that make up what is the human domain. For example, a simple answer to the question “Where is Mexico?” might be one that explains geographical boundaries, as on a political map. A more insightful answer is “It’s where Mexicans are,” or where Mexican food is, where “Mexican” Spanish language is spoken, or wherever Cinco de Mayo is celebrated, by whomever and for whatever reason. Cultures have social and psychological as well as geographical contexts. Culture’s complexity is illustrated by the hundreds or perhaps even thousands of culturally learned identities, affiliations, and roles we each assume at one time or another. “Complexity involves the identification of multiple perspectives within and between individuals.”9 Multiple and alternative perspectives, better questions, and thinking more “complexly” is the aim of the red teaming approach to culture.

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To that end, we adopt the position that the study of culture is “not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning.”10 There are several challenges to forming an interpretive approach to culture, but that is our aim. We seek an explanation that accounts for the occurrence of certain phenomena in culture, in a place, at a certain time, for a certain group, for the purpose of planning, policy formulation, and decision support.

Challenges to interpreting culture

• To choose apperceptive (conscious perception with full awareness) frameworks that are sufficiently rigorous without being reductive.

• What cultural skills should a Red Teamer have?

• How are these skills best introduced in our practice?

• The most important aspects of multicultural awareness may be learned but cannot be taught.11

• Good training can create favorable conditions for multicultural awareness to occur and provide the necessary knowledge and skills

• What is “good” training for Red Teams? “It is difficult to know the cultures of others until and unless you have an awareness of your own culturally learned assumptions as they control your life” — Psychologists Mary Connerley and Paul Pedersen, 200512

When seeking to interpret, understand, or analyze a culture, nothing is more essential than to realize the extent to which the interpretation is uniquely our own, with all the inherent and inescapable biases and ethnocentricity that comes with it. While we cannot completely escape our culturally learned ethnocentricity, there are tools, methods, and frameworks we employ to give us greater awareness of it and how it shapes our thinking and decision making.

There are hundreds of definitions of culture. Some are broad, general, and inclusive, while others are specific to the interest of the practitioner (ethnographer, social scientist, psychologist, warfighter, etc.).

Some definitions:

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– “Whatever it is one has to know or believe in order to operate in a manner acceptable to its members.”13

– “The webs of significance designed by men for themselves.”14

– “The collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.”15

– Operational Culture: Those aspects of culture that influence the outcome of a military operation; conversely, the military actions that influence the culture of an area of operations (AO).”16

– “A theory on the way in which a group of people in fact behave.”17

The key point to remember is it is all theory until you get there.


• Is learned.

• Is shared.

• Changes over time.

• Is not always rational to outsiders.

There are several frameworks that attempt to capture aspects of culture for the purpose of studying them. These are broad frameworks that lay out major categories of cultural differences.

Differences of the various approaches relate directly to the purpose of the research. Cultural frameworks do not explain everything, but they still explain something, and our attention should be focused on isolating what that something is with regard to military planning.

There is no ideal framework or best way to classify a culture. Moreover, frameworks should not supplant a straightforward explanation. The Red Teamer should understand that classifications and categories often only serve to provide a simplified basis for analysis. Opting for one categorization or framework over another not only determines the kind of questions we may ask, but may obscure other important questions that should be asked. For this reason, the Red Teamer should employ

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several frameworks or cultural “lenses” (like 4-Ways of Seeing) when conducting cultural analysis. The Red Teamer views frameworks (including PMESII-PT as diagnostic tools, not by themselves explanations for the way things are.

Some Cultural Frameworks While PMESII (Political, Military, Economic, Social, Information, Infrastructure) is the most frequently used method of organizing militarily-relevant knowledge about a place it is not the only valid framework nor is it complete in and of itself. Graduates are encouraged to ask themselves the question ‘What is missing in an exclusively PMESII analysis…does it cover the WILL of the people in question, does it address how they view TIME either historically or day to day etc. Frameworks of all kinds are diagnostic tools not explanations for the way things really are in the society.

Kluckholn’s Six Age-Old Dimensions of Culture: • The nature of people, good or bad? • The relationship between people and nature, Harmony or subjugation? • The relationship of people, individualism or Group? • The primary mode of activity, Being or Acting? • Conception of space, private or public? • Time orientation, past, present or future?

Nesbitt on Cognitive Differences: • Patterns of attention and perception • Assumptions about the composition of the world • Beliefs on controllability of the environment • Assumptions about stability and change • Preferred patterns of explanation of events • Habits of organizing the world • Use of formal logic rules • Application of dialectical approaches

Hall on Communication Patterns: • Context, what must be explicitly stated? • Space, how much personal space is necessary? • Time, monochromic (events occur one at a time) or polychromic (simultaneity)

Ofstede’s Country Profiles: • Power distance • Uncertainty avoidance • Individualism • Masculinity/femininity • Time Horizon

Five Operational Cultural Dimensions: 1. The Physical Environment 2. The Economy 3. The Social Structure 4. The Political Structure 5. Beliefs & Systems

From Operational Culture for the Warfighter

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In the end, the framework(s) we choose is/are based on what we want to know and what we plan to do. We want to gather not only analysis and facts but explanations that lead to empathy / understanding that contribute to a methodological approach to operational Design, joint and service military decision making processes.

Every Red Teamer should possess a general OE knowledge of:

– Dimensions of Culture

– Aspects of National Culture

– Distinct motivational values born of cultural upbringing and context

Red-teaming instruction at UFMCS focuses on culture at the general level of knowledge. Emphasis is placed on culture because culture was identified as a gap in the understanding of the OE during OIF and OEF, and because culture is historically difficult to understand as its substance and significance is often abstract and not immediately observable.

The UFMCS Culture curriculum includes lessons focused principally on four subjects that are uniformly acknowledged in anthropological studies as foundational to any cultural study: social structure, politics (power and authority), economics, and religion (belief systems). The assumption is that to understand any one part of a culture or society we must look at all the rest of the socio-cultural context. The purpose of separating a society or culture into elemental parts or basic principles is not to isolate these elements, but to determine the nature of the whole.

General knowledge focuses learning about a complex OE on what is important for military planning and decision making. General knowledge is not concrete but an abstraction from experience; generalizations abstracted from multiple specific cases. Generalization simplifies a complex reality; complexity that otherwise overwhelms our ability to understand. An example of a model or framework that serves to simplify and illustrate an otherwise complex cultural reality is Hofstede’s “Onion” model of Cultural Manifestations.

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This simple, general model, when populated, presents the Red Teamer with a cultural “… set of patterns, of and for behavior, prevalent among a group of human beings at a specified time period and which … presents … observable and sharp discontinuities.”18 Models like this one allow the Red Teamer to analyze what is the same, and what is different, the “sharp discontinuities” of the cultural context. It provides general categories and asset of patterns with which to begin a cultural examination of the OE that may be useful in the development of the Environmental frame of the Design process.

Without general categories we easily get lost in the complexity of specific details. At the population level, the human domain is extremely complex and is continuously changing which makes analysis to identify what can be influenced to achieve the desired outcome intractable. There are too many interconnected variables—at some level most all variables are connected—and causal relationships are constantly changing. This fact alone is enough to make planners take an essentialist view of culture, “It’s always been that way with these people.”

“To explain different patterns of culture we have to begin by assuming that human life is not merely random or capricious. Without this assumption, the temptation to give up when confronted with a stubbornly inscrutable custom or institution becomes irresistible” — Anthropologist Marvin Harris, 198919

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Organization of cultural information is more than simple aggregation or populating a rigid systems model with general information. Important nuances of culture may be missed in a simple aggregation and cannot be examined by looking only at institutional design. This is where red teaming tools may be useful in determining which information, general and specific, is contextually important in the design or planning process, and help us to avoid the temptation to “give up,” or generalize in a stereotypical fashion.

The complexity of the human domain may be simplified by organizing specific information into general categories important for military operations. These general categories are based on what is important to know. At the highest level of organization for military operations, these general categories are the military operational variables, PMESII-PT. These categories simplify reality and provide a framework to focus collection of Regional Expertise and Culture (REC) -specific information relevant for military analysis.

Systems Thinking: According to CJCSI 3126.01A, Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (LREC) Capability Identification, Planning, and Sourcing, systems thinking is: “Understanding how …variables in the regional system interact with one another and change over time.”20 At the population level, it is an understanding of the interaction of variables across a population. Given complexity, as mentioned above, “systems thinking” is enabled by the simplification of reality into relevant general categories of variables. The task for the Red Teamer is to render reality as simple as possible, but no simpler, for the purpose of military planning. For this reason, a functional approach to cultural analysis of the OE is suggested as one approach the Red Team may take for the purpose of connecting cultural analysis to planning and operations. The following Functional Systems Approach to cultural analysis for planning is adapted from the USAFAS Regional Expertise and Culture Instructor Course (Pilot) developed by Dr. Daryl Liskey.

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Functional Systems Approach A System is an analytical approach to understand regular interacting relationships (links) and the associated entities (nodes) in an OE (see JP 2 01.3).21 It is an analytic device for separating from its context a set of phenomenon we want to study. Anthropologist Ronald Cohen describes it this way:

The system as a whole does something. It can be characterized as having an activity or activities, and its various parts contribute to the fulfillment of these ends. Indeed systems designers are quite clear on this point when they design systems, since they start with functions (emphasis added) and then work back to create a set of interrelationships that will, in fact, describe the carrying out of these ends.22

How variables are related to produce a specific outcome is the definition of a function. The functional system consists of the regular patterns of interacting variables that cause the output. A functional systems approach is useful because it provides a systemic approach to analyzing interactions on what is important to know.

Keep in mind that the functional systems approach is not theory, nor is it doctrine. It is a method that links all aspects of cultural research together (Red Teaming, Design, LREC, PMESII, etc.). It is but one of many methods that may be used to enhance apperception (conscious perception with full awareness). Its intended use is as a bridging device between red teaming analysis and doctrine. The goal of this approach is an accurate description of a culture, leading to an explanation, and ultimately better informed planning and decision making.

The PMESII systems (which the Army identifies as the Operational Variables) purport to identify the most important outputs or effects relevant for military operations in a typical country at the campaign level of planning.

In functional terms, the Operational Variables are:

Political – power: how binding decisions are made Military – physical force: how physical force is exercised

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Economic – resources: how goods and services are produced, distributed, and consumed

Social – solidarity: how people interact in their everyday lives

Infrastructure – physical macro systems: how critical resources and activities move across man-made physical systems

Information – communications: how information is produced, distributed, and consumed

A functional understanding differs from but is consistent with the description of the operational variables in ADRP 5 and other Army and Joint Publications like JP 2-01.3.

At UFMCS, we include Religion, or belief systems, as a function. In general, the PMES variables are important functions of any population, which is well established in the academic literature. A PMESII systems approach can be useful across the levels of war: a village, for example, may be usefully analyzed in terms of a PMESII framework for missions that cross the full range of military operations.

Caveats: In general, a PMESII Operational Variables approach is consistent with a functional systems approach given two caveats:

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 PMESII are not meant to be stand-alone descriptive bins for categorizing entities (e.g., persons or institutions). In other words, it is unnecessary to think of any element of the system as a compartmentalized function which must be sharply separated from its context. A single entity or institution may be important across the PMESII operational variables. For example, a sheik may be an important variable in an analysis of power, force, resources, and solidarity of a tribe. If the sheik is categorized as a social variable but not a political variable, then the analysis of power misses an important variable. In more complex societies, institutions may be structured to perform a single specialized function; for example, a business enterprise is organized to perform an economic function or a government to perform a political function. However, a political analysis of American politics can include military, economic, and social institutions as important variables. If economic institutions are walled off from Political, then the analysis will be partial or biased and unlikely to accurately estimate the effect.

 Mission Dependent: What functions are important in a particular military mission may differ depending on the mission. As noted in JP 2 01.3, Joint Intelligence Preparation of the OE, for more-focused military operations, a full analysis of the PMESII variables is not needed. As, in governance operations, analysis of the political system can be the most useful (keeping in mind that PMESII are not descriptive categories) while for military force-on-force operations the analysis of the Military system is likely the most useful.

By now we have established that there are several frameworks, procedures, and models by which to examine culture. Whatever design we decide upon is dependent on the answer to four critical questions (adapted from Keesing, 1970):

1. What will be the shape and design of the cultural description?

2. What is the relation of such a cultural description to the overall goals of the military plan or decision?

3. How is the adequacy of the description to be evaluated?

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4. What evidence is there that the descriptions we have sketched will be productive?

The purpose of these questions is to explain culture to what end? What is the connection? And the answers to these questions are critically important in determining the validity of whatever cultural framework, process or model we choose. The answer must be better understanding to inform the planning process.

The human domain is infinitely complex. It pushes back, evolves, and changes rapidly and unpredictably. We currently lack sufficient analytical power to reliably understand functions in the human domain in the same way we can in the biological or engineering domains. Institutions can be engineered to perform a function, but the OE outside institutions, is more complex. Rather, red teaming tools and a functional approach to the human domain generate research questions that focus the purpose for an analysis and what casual relationships are important. Given a certain question, we structure research areas by identifying what is necessary to answer the question based on our general knowledge. To the extent that general knowledge is true, the categories and relationships will be true. It provides our “best initial guess” which is preferable to the alternatives. The Critical Variables, Cultural Perceptions Framework, and Onion Model are useful red teaming tools in generating questions and categories that support the functional systems approach and in generating broader understanding (empathy) and alternative perspectives for cultural analysis.

Advantages of a Functional Approach: There are three important advantages of a functional approach.

• Focuses Analysis on Outcomes and Effects: Observing entities alone can tell us little about what is important for outcomes like power (control). A local government official or sheik may not be an important variable. In a village, the priest or large land owner may exercise more power. Or, power, more likely, is distributed throughout a functional political system. By understanding the functional system, entities or relationships can be identified that are important for causing an outcome. Systemic functional analysis increases the likelihood of developing course of action (COA) that will achieve a desired effect.

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• Identifies what is important across specific areas: A functional approach also enables a REC-general understanding applicable across any area. Understanding key specific functional relationships like decision making, execution, and enforcement enables identification of the specific institutions across specific regions or systems. The specific institutional form can vary greatly: the ultimate decision-making function can be exercised by Congress in the United States, the Central Committee in the People’s Republic of China, or the religious leader in Iran. It may also be shared among different institutions to varying degrees. Understanding of functions provides general knowledge of what is important across specific areas where institutional form can vary widely.

• Synchronizes knowledge and analysis across echelons: Specific forms of institutions also vary across echelons within an AO. For example, political parties may have a national level organization, linked to regional political groups, which in turn are linked to local informal power holders in a village. A functional analysis enables an understanding of vertical as well as horizontal system relationships related to outcomes despite specific differences in form. This enables an analysis of how one level affects the other as well as enabling the aggregation of information and analysis across echelons.

Cultural Relevance A few rules of thumb apply to recognize when culture may be more important:

Greater Cultural Differences: Culture is more important when cultures differ from our own. In countries like Afghanistan, these differences can be marked and more important than institutional considerations. In more Westernized cultures, culture differences may be few and institutional differences will matter more.

Unstable Countries: Where institutions are weak or are collapsing, cultural ties are relatively more important and can become a critical source of conflict as well as resilience.

Marked Differences within a Country: The cultures within a country can vary markedly. The culture in rural areas is less Westernized compared to major urban areas and the culture can

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vary from area to area within a country. Differences in culture can produce strong cultural dynamics within a country even in highly institutionalized Western countries and these dynamics can be critical for Western countries.

Additionally, culture can be a more critical consideration in population Inform and Influence operations and, at the individual and organizational levels, operating with JIIM partners.

Summary Anthropology is about observation, collection, and cross-cultural comparisons. Military planning is oriented toward action, and exhibits a bias toward a particular type of action (security, stability, decisive action, etc.) The processes of military planning can have a dramatic effect on the goals of those actions. Red teaming is about apperception, theory construction and testing. These fields frequently overlap, but tend to use different methodologies and techniques. Red teaming methods and tools aim at improving cultural understanding with the goal of enhancing the chances of successful outcomes in military planning. In the case of cultural empathy it is about explanations of the relationships of cultural functions. Red teaming represents a methodology, and the approach affects the method. The order of application reflects a strategy. The aim of the strategy is the support of operational planning in the form of Design and MDMP. The following are some thoughts for the Red Team to keep in mind when conducting cultural analysis:

• The study of culture is not performed in isolation. It is only meaningful when regarded as part of a larger body of thought (e.g., strategy, design, campaign planning).

• Cultural analysis is part of the larger intellectual process of war fighting and peace keeping.

• The tendency to depend on one authority, one theory, or one approach to cultural apperception is extremely dangerous in military planning.

• Red teaming cultural methodology is not a new way of knowing—it is a systematized approach—a synthesis of several works.

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• A functional systems approach is useful because it provides a systemic way of analyzing what is important to know about the OE.

• Red teaming methodology does not produce solutions, but insights that inform planning—a logic of inquiry.

• The aim is to avoid spurious correlations and conclusions.

• The goal is to make sense of—or meaning of—what goes on in a particular cultural milieu; for that time, and in that context, for the purpose of planning and policy making.

• The red teaming cultural methodology aims to inventory and understand a people and their motivations at a level of general knowledge for the purpose of resolving or avoiding violence and conflict.

• The goal of general knowledge is not prediction per se, but understanding in order to control and influence the outcomes we desire in military operations.

And finally, some observations on “why we study culture”23 from Dr. Geoff Demarest:

1. To find people and things. Cultural knowledge helps locate individuals, their wealth and their supporters. ‘Locate’ means establish their precise whereabouts — where they will sleep tonight, where their mother is buried, the number of their bank account and the bank routing number, where their motorcycle is sitting, their email address, where and when they play golf…and where they feel safe. For the competitor in a violent struggle this is the first and most compelling reason for cultural knowledge. It is what Sam Spade, the private investigator, knows. The rest is useful, too, but if he knows where you are while you don’t know where he is, you are the prey. To control anonymity, you must know the culture.

2. To communicate good. Cultural knowledge can improve communications with others so as to endear and not offend, to facilitate collaboration and compromise, and to settle disputes peacefully when preferable. This involves language beyond the verbal, and into customs, prejudices, habits, mores, expectations, fears, historical grievances, community pride and the like. All knowledge is grist to the mill. It will be

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especially productive to identify aspects of the culture related to honor and dishonor.

3. To identify objects of desire, sources and holders of power, grievances, agents (especially ‘exclusive’ agents), resolution mechanisms, debts, tax relationships, jurisdictions and expectations. In short, to comprehend the territorial geography of conflict and conflict resolution.

4. To set reasonable objectives. Knowing how or if to change the social compact, how long it might reasonably take you to implement such a change, and how long the changes might last. This may include determining the interrelationship between peoples’ behaviors and their surrounding environment in order to derive durable improvements in human flourishing and harmony. When good intentions are not built on sufficient knowledge, the reward may be a set of nasty unintended consequences. In a domestic legal setting we demand due diligence of doctors and lawyers — that they avoid negligent practice. Strategic due diligence presupposes the programmed and resourced study of foreign cultures in order to avoid strategic negligence.

5. To put things in the right places. Whether you want to optimally place a fish pond, police station, camera, or a shooter, it is local cultural knowledge (and usually the kind that cannot be gained via remote sensing) that will guide best.

6. To correctly time actions and activities. Knowing when to act and not act is a much easier standard if we are steeped in local cultural knowledge.

7. To get the joke or make the joke. Jokes work the same mental pathways as military deceptions. For practical purposes, military deceptions are jokes. Irregular armed conflicts are generally clothed in law, economics, propaganda and other aspects of quotidian, civilian life. Not being able to get civilian jokes means being vulnerable to the dangerous military or criminal ones. Just as the insurgent can move from military uniform to civilian attire, so can military thought hide in civilian guise.

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1 Anthony Zinni, “Non-Traditional Military Missions: Their Nature, and the Need for Cultural Awareness & Flexible Thinking” in Capital “W” War: A Case for Strategic Principles of War: (because Wars Are Conflicts of Societies, Not Tactical Exercises Writ Large), by Joe Strange (Quantico, VA: Marine Corps University, 1998), 282. 2 Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 29. 3 Geert Hofstede, Forward to Leadership in a Diverse and Multicultural Environment: Developing Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills by Mary Connerley and Paul Pederson, (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 2005), ix-x. 4 Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures, 29. 5 Ibid, page #?. 6 Haight, G. “Managing Diversity.” Across the Board 27, no. 3 (1990): 22. 7 Ken Booth, Strategy and Ethnocentrism, (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1979), 15. 8 Taylor Cox, Cultural Diversity in Organizations: Theory, Research, and Practice, (San Francisco, Calif.: Berrett-Koehler, 1993), 88. 9 Mary L. Connerley and Paul Pedersen, Leadership in a Diverse and Multicultural Environment: Developing Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills, (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 2005), 29. 10 Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures, 5. 11 Connerley and Pedersen, Leadership in a Diverse and Multicultural Environment, xii. 12 Ibid, xi. 13 Ward Hunt Goodenough, Culture, Language, and Society, 2d ed., (Menlo Park, Calif.: Benjamin/Cummings Pub., 1981), 109. 14 Geertz, Interpretation of Cultures, 5. 15 Geert H. Hofstede and Gert Jan Hofstede, Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind: Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival, Rev. and Expanded 3rd ed., (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010), 6. 16 Barak A. Salmoni and Paula Eber, Operational Culture for the Warfighter: Principles and Applications, (Quantico, Va.: Marine Corps University; Washington, DC: 2011) 15. 17 Florence Rockwood Kluckhohn and Fred L. Strodtbeck, Variations in Value Orientations, (Evanston, Ill.: Row, Peterson, 1961) 7. 18 Claude Levi-Strauss, The Elementary Structures of Kinship. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1967), 10.

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19 Marvin Harris, Cows, Pigs, Wars & Witches: The Riddles of Culture, (New York: Random House, 1989), 4.

20 CJCSI 3126.01A. Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (LREC) Capability Identification, Planning and Sourcing, H-1.

21 JP 2-01.3, Joint Intelligence Preparation of the Operational Environment, (21 May 2014). 22 Ronald Cohen, “The Political System,” in A Handbook of Method in Cultural Anthropology, eds. Raoul Naroll and Ronald Cohen, pp. 484-499. New York & London: Columbia Press, 1970. 23 Demarest, Geoffrey. Winning Irregular War. Leavenworth, Kansas: Foreign Military Studies Office, 2014, pp. 153-154.

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CHAPTER IV: Critical Thinking In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted. Many people would sooner die than think. In fact, they do.

— Bertrand Russell1

Introduction Critical thinking is a term that many institutions hold in high regard, that most people have heard about, and that almost nobody practices on a thorough and systematic basis. This section of the Red Team Handbook is designed to acquaint you with many of the fine points associated with critical thinking by doing two things: exploring what critical thinking is, and addressing why critical thinking is necessary.

Critical thinking is hard, deliberative work and it takes an open, inquisitive mind. It is not easy, but it doesn’t take a genius either. You can choose to believe whatever you hear and see. But to be a critical thinker, you must learn to ask yourself whether you must believe what you hear and see. Ultimately, critical thinking is about what to believe.

What Do Critical Thinkers Do? What exactly is critical thinking? A common approach to answer that question is to consider how the term is defined. Let’s look at a few definitions of critical thinking. Drs. Richard Paul and Linda Elder, authors of many critical thinking books and documents, define critical thinking as

“A process by which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them… [It requires] a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.”2

Robert Ennis, also recognized as an expert in critical thinking, defines it differently: “Critical thinking is a process, the goal of which is to make reasonable decisions about what to believe and what to do.”3

Are either of those definitions sufficient to explain what critical thinking is in full, or what critical thinkers do? Certainly not.

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Neither enumerate what critical thinking is, nor point us in the right direction in terms of how to think critically. The challenge of defining critical thinking is that it seems to defy definition—at least a definition that stands alone, fully explaining what it is and how to do it. In fact, several authors who have written about critical thinking do so without attempting to define the term. Among them are Stephen Gerras (“Thinking Critical About Critical Thinking”), Stephen Brookfield (Developing Critical Thinkers), Tim Hurson (Think Better), and Peter Facione (Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts).

Although the definitions leave us with questions concerning what critical thinking is and how to do it, they do provide insight. By closely reviewing several definitions, we can ferret out ideas that help us better understand the nature of the critical thinking.

Look at the definition by Drs. Paul and Elder above. Several tangible ideas emerge: critical thinking is a process, and it deals with the quality of thinking by imposing intellectual standards. In fact, in other writing these two authors assert that critical thinking considers points of view, the quality of information, interpretation and inference, assumptions, and implications and consequences, and that critical thinkers think open-mindedly, and gather, assess and interpret relevant information.4

Additional verbiage from other critical thinking experts, with their key ideas italicized, are as follows:

• Stephen Brookfield (Developing Critical Thinkers): Critical thinking consists of challenging assumptions and exploring alternatives.5

• M. Neil Browne and Stuart M. Keeley (Asking The Right Questions): “Critical thinking consists of an awareness of a set of interrelated critical questions, plus the ability and willingness to ask and answer them at appropriate times” (Italics added.)6

• Gary Jason (Critical Thinking): “Broadly defined, critical thinking means developing an ever better worldview and using it well in all aspects of your life… the essence of critical thinking is questioning and arguing logically. … the heart of critical thinking is the ability to … infer or reason well… questioning and arguing logically” (Italics added).7

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• Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing): “[Critical thinking includes] searching for hidden assumptions, noticing various facets, unraveling different strands, and evaluating what is most significant … [critical thinking] implies conscious, deliberate inquiry, and especially it implies adopting a skeptical state of mind.” “Critical thinkers are…sufficiently open-minded… [and] adopt a skeptical attitude.” “Critical thinking means questioning not only the assumptions of others, but also questioning your own assumptions” (Italics added.)8

Make a short list of all of the italicized words in the definitions shown thus far. Collectively, these words help illuminate what critical thinking is, and what critical thinkers do. Here is an initial list of the ideas expressed in italics:

• Critical thinking is:

o awareness.

o a process

o quality of thinking

o imposing intellectual standards

o challenging assumptions and exploring alternatives

o searching for hidden assumptions

o questioning and arguing logically

o developing an ever better worldview

• Critical thinkers:

o are open-minded

o adopt a skeptical state of mind

o gather, assess, and interpret relevant information

o question [their] own assumptions

o consider points of view, the quality of information, interpretation and inference, assumptions, and implications and consequences

Let’s elaborate on a few of the ideas expressed above. First, critical thinking is awareness: critical thinkers are aware of their

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surroundings, what they do know and (more importantly) what they do not know, and how their thinking can often fool them. Because of this, critical thinkers are self-reflective and defer judgment: they do not jump to conclusions, but rather take time to ask questions, ensure they’ve considered various perspectives, ask themselves what’s missing that needs to be considered, and reflect upon how their values and beliefs may be conspiring to fool them.

Critical thinking is also a process. Good critical thinkers consider various frameworks when thinking about problems, because frameworks force us to consider alternative perspectives that we wouldn’t naturally consider. The latter portion of the Red Team Handbook is filled with frameworks with which we can think critically about various challenges.

Critical thinking includes knowing that for many issues, assumptions prevail. Often these assumptions are hidden, or implicit: we make them without realizing that we are doing so. All assumptions need to be challenged. When the assumptions are challenged and found to be faulty, we may have better insight into the nature of the problem.

Exploring alternatives is equally important. Otherwise, we take for granted that the first thing that comes to our mind is the way it really is—we fall prey to default-mode thinking, allowing ourselves to be comfortable with the first conclusion we settle upon.

Considering the collective list of extracted ideas from critical thinking experts is a first step toward more fully appreciating what critical thinking is, and how to do it. To add to the list above, think of someone you admire as a critical thinker. What is it that s/he does that you admire? How is it that this person “thinks critically?” What habits of thought does this person exhibit? There is no perfect, all-inclusive list of critical thinking traits. But by constructing such a list, we can better understand the aspects of critical thinking that definitions alone won’t provide.

In summary, critical thinking definitions—however eloquently stated—often do not provide complete, self-contained understanding because there is much more to critical thinking than any one definition can provide. Rather than focus on definitions of critical thinking, we invite you to review the list of Critical Thinking Traits. Review each item on this list. If you aren’t doing all of the

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things noted on the list, perhaps your critical thinking has room for improvement. Make sure to explore those ideas that you don’t understand.

This completes the discussion of what critical thinking is, and what critical thinkers do. But is critical thinking a necessity? Why is Critical Thinking Necessary? We maintain that critical thinking is indeed vitally necessary. Why? For a number of reasons—among them the fact that we spend most of our waking day on “cognitive autopilot,” not consciously thinking about the choices that we make; that each of us perceives and interprets the same information in several different ways; and that there are ingenious attempts on the part of the few to fool the many. This section will briefly examine these reasons.

Most human beings are on “cognitive autopilot” most of the time. Think about it: since you woke up this morning, how much of your daily routine has been just that—a routine? Unless you’re a child, and haven’t yet learned all of the things necessary to survive and thrive in the modern world, we don’t usually give a second thought to many of the things we do during the day. This includes dangerous activities—driving a car on a busy highway; playing ice hockey; working in a noisy, dangerous automotive plant; or crossing a busy street while listening to music on an iPod.

According to Daniel Kahneman, most impressions and thoughts arise in your conscious experience without your knowing how they got there. The mental work that produces impressions, intuitions, and many decisions goes on in silence in our mind. As we navigate our lives, we normally allow ourselves to be guided by impressions and feelings, and the confidence we have in our intuitive beliefs and preferences is usually justified.

But not always.9

According to Richards Heuer (The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis) and Morgan D. Jones (The Thinker’s Toolkit), we do not approach analysis with empty minds. Our minds are full of biases and assumptions. Unless we are forced to stop and think through a particular challenge, we are able to blot out much of the complexity surrounding us and rely on routines of habit. Usually, this works fine until we treat a truly unique situation as yet another

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routine situation, at which point we are taken by complete surprise. Hopefully we survive and learn. Sometimes we’re profoundly embarrassed.

Critical thinking helps us break the bond of unreflective dependence upon our intuition. It is a counter-weight to “cognitive autopilot.” Why? For several reasons, among them our reliance upon mental models, patterns and intuition; the effects of “frames”; and our values, beliefs and worldviews.

When we perceive and interpret information, we usually use mental models, patterns, and anomalies: our intuition. Mental models—also referred to as “mindsets”—are tools that we unknowingly create to replicate how we believe the world actually works. They act as implicit assumptions—unstated, hidden assumptions we don’t consciously make, but which nonetheless exist. We use these mental models to simplify our daily lives. Mental models allow us to cope with reality by providing a ready- made default mechanism: “when I see the following, here’s how I interpret it and here’s how I act.” Most of these mental models, like our values and beliefs, reside in our subconscious, which means that we are not normally cognizant when we are using them. Mental models do make our lives easier; they simplify the environment by bringing to each new experience a pre- established frame of reference. The absence of mental models would require us to figure out every situation as it presents itself, and we would soon be overwhelmed.

When our mental models of the world do not match the reality that we face, we often ignore that reality. Unfortunately, we often try to project our own mental models onto situations, whether or not they actually fit. We tend to perceive what we expect to perceive in the world around us, valuing information that is consistent with our views, and rejecting or overlooking information that is inconsistent with our views. And we perceive in a way that is least likely to disturb what we expect to see—least likely to disturb the mindsets buried in our subconscious.10

Related to mental models are sets of patterns that we establish throughout our experiences in life. The longer we live, the more experiences we gather and the more we are able to operate autonomously through the use of these patterns. Sometimes when a particular pattern that we expect doesn’t present itself—when we spot an anomaly—we are able to act upon that information too.

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Many times, however, spotting anomalies is difficult, especially if we are not looking for them in advance.

When we view the world around us in terms of patterns, however, we get into trouble when those patterns don’t actually exist. This is a description of a “cognitive bias” called the Narrative Fallacy.

We can also fall into a trap of allowing our minds to jump to conclusions—having been deceived by the faulty use of mental models or patterns—and form a conclusion to a particular problem without first considering alternatives, simply because that’s what our mental models or overreliance on patterns tells us is the truth. This is an example of what we call Confirmation Bias, which is another of the Cognitive Biases. In order to preclude Confirmation Bias, we should not seek to confirm anything. Rather, we should seek to disconfirm, or disprove an idea, especially if that idea comes in the form of an assumption. An ideal tool that uses the principle of disconfirming evidence is the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses. A concept closely related to mental models is frames, which according to Edward Russo and Paul Schoemaker are “mental structures that simplify and guide our understanding of a complex reality.”11 Frames are hard to recognize, and distort what we see. Most of us don’t realize that we have various frames and mental models. We often use frames to consider problems or situations, but fail to realize that we should use several frames instead of just one. Rather, we normally use the first frame that occurs to us. Challenging our frames is a necessity, but we can’t challenge our frames if we don’t realize that they exist. A useful tool in working with frames is the Frame Audit.

Our values, beliefs and worldview act as filters to skew our perception and interpretation of information, and they motivate our subsequent behavior. Most of our values and beliefs reside in our subconscious; we know we have them, and when forced to think about them we can generally describe what they are. Values and beliefs are both forms of assumptions about how the world works, and our worldview could be considered as a compilation of these beliefs and values.

Since each of us (even within the same culture) are apt to have subtle differences in our values, beliefs and worldview, it should be easy to understand that each of us is apt to perceive and

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interpret information differently from each another. Of course, when we work with people from other cultures, the differences are apt to be much more significant. Critical thinking helps us to think about each other’s’ perspectives.

One way to think critically about issues in which our values, beliefs and worldview may have affected us is to adopt the role of a Devil’s Advocate. Devil’s Advocacy is a process which forces us to think through an issue from a completely different perspective, one which we wouldn’t normally consider. Each of us perceive and interpret information differently—for several reasons. Among these reasons are the physical limitations of our perceptive processes; our inability to reason properly; our inability to differentiate between causation and correlation; and our difficulty in “thinking complexly” about complex problems.

We are limited in terms of what we can physically perceive. Hence, each of us is apt to see different elements of the same information. When we observe something, we often miss many things. According to Dr. Marcus Raichle, a neurologist at Washington University, each of us has ten billion bits of information hitting the backs of our retinas every second—of this, only six million bits make it to our optic nerve, and 100,000 bits make it to our visual cortex. Yet only 100 bits of information make it to our conscious brain each second. That is a significant physical filtering of information—from 1010 power to 102 power. Even if Dr. Raichle’s numbers are a bit off, the effect should be readily apparent. We simply do not have the capability to register and think about everything we can perceive. When several of us look at the same thing, we often notice different aspects of it. Why? Our mental models, the patterns we’ve experienced, our frames, our values and beliefs, and our worldview. This is why diversity among groups is important: each of us is apt to be able to think about key aspects and perspectives that others in our group are not, and vice versa.

Our vision is a construction. The process of observing includes recreating in our minds—constructing—what we believe we are observing. When we observe, our brains take in information, and relate that information to the surrounding context. Given all of the information that is physically filtered out, we are inclined to fill in the gaps by making assumptions in a way that makes sense to us: we assign meaning to what we perceive, because we are

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generally uncomfortable with a completely abstract picture devoid of meaning. The more abstract a perception, the more our brains will add meaning to it. (If you don’t believe that, assemble a group of people and view the most abstract art you can find. Many will perceive and interpret the art piece in demonstrably different ways, in part because of the physical limitations described above, and in part due to the mental models, patterns, frames, and beliefs and worldview described above.) The completed “picture” that we see is not necessarily the reality in front of us; rather, it is the constructed version of that reality that reflects assumption-based conclusions to which our brains have already jumped. Again—this is why diversity of experience is crucial to groups conducting critical thinking.

Often our reasoning is faulty. We reason in one of a couple of ways—deductively or inductively. Deductive reasoning relies upon drawing a conclusion from two or more premises. So long as the premises are facts—the truth—then our conclusion is certain to be true. Deductive reasoning tends to be faulty, however, when one or more of our premises are not in fact true, but rather are unrealized assumptions that we have overlooked. In order to ensure that we deduce properly, it pays to think critically and ask whether each and every premise upon which we base our conclusion is factual information, and not a presumed fact—an assumption.

Inductive reasoning is different. When using inductive reasoning, we infer a conclusion that, at best, is probable (vice certain). The probability of the conclusion’s truth varies directly with the degree of likelihood that its premises are true. Inductive reasoning occurs in a number of different ways: reasoning from a sample to a larger population; reasoning from a population to a sample; accepting a conclusion based on what people report observing; inferring “why” something happened; and reasoning from one sample to another, or analogizing (Determining the Suitability of an Analogy). In all cases, the first requirement of a critical thinker is to realize that he is resorting to inductive reasoning, and as such acknowledge that his inferences and conclusions are at best probabilities. Following that, a critical thinker must ascertain the degree of probability to his conclusion in order to avoid surprise.

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In thinking critically about either deductive or inductive reasoning, a valuable tool to consider using is the 5 Why’s, which helps us by revealing unsound logic in our thinking.

We fail to differentiate between causation and correlation. Distinguishing between cause and correlation is an important function of critical thinking. Most of us are unaware that the two concepts exist, and tend to fall into a trap of connecting two events in a linear cause-and-effect relationship. We often fail to understand that linear chains of cause-and-effect are rarely the reality. Instead, what we perceive as a cause-and-effect relationship is in fact a correlative one. For example, during an insurgency we might infer that heaps of trash in the city are causing increased levels of violence among the insurgents. Based upon that linear cause-and-effect analysis, removing the trash should eliminate the insurgent violence. Closer examination, however, might dispel that hypothesis. Although both appear to happen with some relatively predictable levels, there is most likely a correlation between the two—that removal of the trash might help reduce the level of insurgent activity, but not completely eliminate it.

A critical thinker asks himself, therefore, the following question: is there a cause-and-effect relationship at work here, or are the two actions I observe in some correlative relationship? If so, what is the nature of that correlative relationship? Once a critical thinker develops that hypothesis, s/he should test and amend it as necessary, based upon feedback. (Note: an even more troubling question a critical thinker should ask is whether s/he is inferring (or imagining) a relationship that doesn’t exist at all. This question is related to the Narrative Fallacy, one of the Cognitive Biases, as well as to a famous Logical Fallacies and Biases entitled The False Cause.

We fail to appreciate the complexity in systems, and instead resort to “linear” cause-and-effect thinking. Life around us is incredibly complex, yet we tend to think in linear cause-and-effect relationships, according to Dietrich Doerner (The Logic of Failure) and Peter Senge (The Fifth Discipline). Most of us attempt to act upon a simple, single variable which creates unintended, cascading effects. Instead, we should consciously account for the interrelated variables in a particular scenario by creating and testing a hypothesis of what we believe the complex system consists of. We

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then should assess the feedback of our actions, amending our initial hypothesis until we have confidently figured out the system with which we’re working. Several tools help when working with complexity: Premortem Analysis, Shifting the Burden), and S-W-O- T Analysis. Finally, we need to think critically because a lot of people are constantly trying to trick us. Beyond all of the reasons cited above for why critical thinking is necessary, there is also the fact that many people are simply trying to fool us. Unfortunately, for the most part they succeed—because most of us don’t think critically enough, or recognize many of the tricks that these folks use. Examples of these rhetorical tricks such as Appeal to the Masses, Appeal to Fear, Ad Hominum, False Dichotomy, and the Slippery Slope, are all Logical Fallacies and Biases. Critical thinkers are knowledgeable of these common logic fallacies and use logic to deconstruct arguments based upon them.

For all of the reasons cited above, critical thinking is a necessity. One of the most robust tools for thinking critically about written and oral argumentation is the Argument Deconstruction.

Summary That is critical thinking. As you can see, it is pretty involved— deliberative, hard work. To do it properly, you have to know a great deal—about how we perceive and interpret information differently from others, how our thinking can be affected by a number of things like mental models and values and beliefs, and how others are constantly trying to fool us. But with some diligence and hard work, critical thinking can become a valuable habit. We need to practice it thoroughly and systematically at all times.

Remember: critical thinking is about what to believe. We can believe most anything.

But must we?

The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking

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results which are as precise as the subject and circumstances of inquiry permit.12


1 “Quotations by Author.” Bertrand Russell Quotes. January 1, 2013. Accessed November 24, 2014. http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Bertrand_Russell/. 2 Richard Paul and Linda Elder, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking: Concepts and Tools, 6th ed., (Dillon Beach, Calif.: Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2009), 1. 3 Robert Hugh Ennis, Critical Thinking, (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996), xvii. 4 Paul and Elder, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking, 5. 5 Brookfield, Stephen. Developing Critical Thinkers: Challenging Adults to Explore Alternative Ways of Thinking and Acting. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey- Bass, 1987. 6 M. Neil Browne, M. Neil and Stuart M. Keeley, Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking, 8th ed., (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007), 3. 7 Gary James Jason, Critical Thinking: Developing an Effective Worldview, (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson Learning, 2001), 2. 8 Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau, Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing: A Brief Guide to Argument, 7th ed., (Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011), 3-5. 9 Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), 4. 10 The section above refers to ideas found in Richards Heuer’s book, The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, and Morgan D. Jones’ book, The Thinker’s Toolkit. 11 J. Edward Russo and Paul J. H. Schoemaker, Winning Decisions: Getting It Right the First Time, (New York: Currency, 2002), 21. 12 Peter A. Facione, Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts: A Resource paper (Millbrae, CA: California Academic Press, 1998), 3.

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CHAPTER V: Groupthink Mitigation & Decision Support

The penultimate purpose of red teaming and applying critical thinking techniques is to support the organization in reaching good decisions while avoiding the lure of groupthink. This sounds very simple but as Clausewitz reminded us, “Everything in war is very simple, but the simplest thing is difficult.”1 This section covers identifying groupthink and recommendations for groupthink mitigation, how red teaming fits into the Army Design Methodology, and the Red Team’s role in the MDMP process.

Groupthink Groupthink is one of a number of terms that we use without truly realizing what it is, why it occurs, and how we can mitigate it. Group norms—and the social pressures to conform to them—are in tension with the need for a staff to consider alternatives during decision-making.2

Irving Janis has defined groupthink as: “a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in- group, when the members’ strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.” And, “Groupthink refers to a deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment that results from in-group pressures.”

Janis outlined seven defects in decision-making attributed to groupthink. We list them below for reference. During the conduct of the military decision making process watch for the indicators of these defects and apply red teaming methods and techniques to overcome them.

• Discussion limited to merely two or a few alternative courses of action (often only two)

• No survey of objectives to be fulfilled and the values implicated by the choice

• Failure to reexamine the selected COA from the standpoint of non-obvious risk and drawbacks not considered during the original evaluation

• Neglect COAs initially evaluated as unsatisfactory

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• Little or no attempt to gain information from experts on other COAs

• Interest only in information that supports the group decision

• Failure to work out contingency plans to cope with foreseeable setbacks

The Army stresses teamwork, shared understanding and esprit de corps. These are admirable traits in the profession of arms. Janis points out however, “The more amiability and esprit de corps among the members of a policy making in-group, the greater is the danger that independent critical thinking will be replaced by groupthink, which is likely to result in irrational and dehumanizing actions directed against out-groups.” Officers educated in red teaming, whether or not they are acting as a Red Team or simply a member of a plans team, must ensure groupthink does not take hold.

Symptoms of groupthink are:

• Overestimations of the groups power/invulnerability, and morality

• Closed mindedness and the tendency to rationalize away contrary information

• Pressures toward uniformity of thought within the group

• Self-censorship by individuals in the group, inclination to keep quiet

• The emergence of self-appointed mind-guards to protect group from adverse information

• Stereotyped views of enemy leadership and culture

The consequences of groupthink as stated by Janis are; “whenever a policy making group displays most of the symptoms of groupthink, we can expect to find that the group also displays symptoms of defective decision-making.” How can a team avoid the consequences of groupthink?

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Groupthink Mitigation To mitigate groupthink in an organization certain techniques have been developed to try to overcome the symptoms identified by Janis. These techniques are targeted at the organizations as a whole, and situations where groups within that organization are in the decision making process. Janis discusses a number of themes at the organizational level that help mitigate groupthink:

• Senior leaders set the tone for the organization by encouraging decision making groups to air objections and doubts during the decision making process, and discourage members from soft-pedaling disagreements.

• Leaders in the organization should not prejudice the decision- making group with his/her favored course of action. The leader should allow the group to explore impartially a wide range of courses of action without the group feeling the pressure to conform to the leader’s views.

• The senior leaders should setup multiple groups to examine the same problem. This allows for differing views and solutions for the leader to consider (see Team A / Team B)

• Senior leaders should bring in outside expertise to challenge the views being developed by the decision-making group.

• The leaders should assign individuals (if not individuals from the Red Team) to act as “devil’s advocate” for solutions and COAs the group is developing.

During the actual decision-making process the following actions can be initiated to mitigate groupthink tendencies in a decision- making group:

• One of the keys to mitigating groupthink is to have all members of the group express their opinion absent pressure from the leader or group to conform. Weighted anonymous feedback techniques give the individual the ability to express his or her opinion in an anonymous fashion without being crushed by group pressure. The leader of the group can have the individuals in the group pre-commit their ideas by writing down their initial answers to the problem being discussed before the meeting occurs. This helps establish the individuals’

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ideas prior to the group’s deliberation, and mitigate the pull towards conformity. Another technique, 5 Will Get You 25, will give each individual a voice in the finding the best COA without the group being dominated by the senior leader or one individual.

• To better facilitate discussion within a group there are a number of techniques which help all members of a group communicate better without being dominated by the senior leader or one dominating individual. Techniques like 1-2-4- Whole Group, 5 Whys, Circle of Voices, and Troika Consulting provide forums for everyone in the group to participate in the discussion concerning the problem.

• To better understand a problem the group faces, the group can use a number of techniques. Techniques like Shifting the Burden, Stakeholder Mapping, and TRIZ help the group elucidate the problem in a more coherent fashion and provide each individual an opportunity to participate in the discussion and become more aware of the nuances of the problem.

• To help generate a wider range of options/COAs for a problem, the group needs to go through a divergence-convergence thought process. Divergence thinking allows the group to explore multiple solutions to problems without constraints. A divergence technique like Brainstorming allows each group member to offer ideas for a solution to a problem without the idea being judged or “shot down” by the senior or dominating individual in the group. Once the group has identified a number of solutions/COAs, they can begin the convergence process of whittling down and refining viable options by using techniques like 6 Words, Dot Voting, My 15%, Troika Consulting (Ad Agency). All of these techniques help the group collectively come up with the best COA without being dominated by one individual. The Operational Environment Laboratory (OEL) at Fort Leavenworth invited a Red Team in for a three-day leader program. The OE lab was being restructured and wanted to use red teaming techniques as a means of identifying and addressing organizational priorities. Much as described above, the Red Team facilitators used weighted anonymous feedback and other tools to identify the single most critical problem the leadership had to address in the near term. The OEL leaders then broke into small groups to work through some solutions. Towards the end of the second day the group appeared to

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have developed a plan to address its single biggest problem. The OEL Director and all of his lieutenants seemed in agreement. The Red Team facilitator asked everyone to take out a piece of paper and anonymously provide feedback on the action plan to address the problem. Feedback was a simple: Yes, I think we are on the right track; No, this will not work and the reason why is as follows; or this issue does not affect my section I choose to abstain on judging the merits of the solution. The facilitator asked the director of the lab to predict, based on the discussion, how many would vote in which manner. The director predicted three of his subordinates would choose to abstain and the remaining six would all vote that the plan was a good one. What actually happened is three did in fact abstain; the remaining six, when allowed anonymity, all said the plan was not executable. In one form or another their major objection to the plan was it lacked any forcing function which would require them to participate in providing the data required to implement the plan. They knew how busy they were and they knew without some hammer they would simply not comply with the very solution they designed. The remaining day of the engagement was spent designing the forcing function that would enable the policy.

Military Decision Making Process “The military decision making process (MDMP) is an iterative planning methodology to understand the situation and mission, develop a course of action, and produce an operation plan or order. The MDMP combines the conceptual and detailed aspects of planning and integrates the activities of the commander, staff, subordinate headquarters, and other partners throughout the planning process. The MDMP helps leaders apply thoroughness, clarity, sound judgment, logic, and professional knowledge to understand situations, develop options to solve problems, and reach decisions. The MDMP results in an improved understanding of the situation and a plan or order that guides the force through preparation and execution.”3

Army Doctrine Publication [ADP] 5-0, The Operations Process, and Army Doctrine Reference Publication [ADRP] 5-0, The Operations Process, 26 September 2011, serve as the primary references for the Army’s planning and operations system. Red Team members must understand this planning process in order to know how and when to influence the planning process. Red Teams supports the wide range of operations across the spectrum of conflict and during all phases of an operation – from shaping to post- conflict stability and support operations.

Chapter VI provides Critical MDMP Questions.

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Mitigating Groupthink during the MDMP There is a tendency for organizations, during the Design and the MDMP, to follow formalized procedures which can limit individual participation and lead to groupthink. With the groupthink mitigation recommendations, a Red Team can help the organization integrate the full potential of the staff and assist the organization in avoiding groupthink. The following are areas where integration of the mitigating techniques can be integrated in the Design and MDMP processes.

• The Design process, in itself, was developed as a collaborative activity; however personalities can force it down the groupthink path. Within an Operational Planning Team (OPT) the Red Team member can help the team leader overcome groupthink by using groupthink mitigating techniques such as Team A / Team B Analysis, to help the group look at the problem from multiple perspectives. This will help the OPT Leader maximize all individuals in the group and allow more divergent viewpoints to emerge. Techniques such as 4 Ways of Seeing, Alternative Future Analysis, Shifting the Burden, Stakeholder Mapping, and TRIZ can help the group elucidate the problem within steps 1-5 of the Design process, and bring greater participation by all members of the planning team. In smaller organizations, where there are no formalized/separate planning teams (Brigade Combat Teams, Battalions), the XO or Deputy Commander can use the techniques outlined above to avoid the closed- mindedness, self-censorship, and pressure to conform within normally extremely cohesive groups during the design process. Further, individuals in smaller organizations could have a tendency to view problems in a more limited fashion, given the possible commonality of the staff’s background. The groupthink mitigating techniques will help the XO/Deputy Commander facilitate the staff in looking at the problem in a broader framework during the design process.

• The MDMP process is one of the most formalized and systematic processes that the U.S. Military uses on a habitual basis. Units have a tendency to conduct the MDMP in a systematic, and in some cases, a lock step approach to produce a decision or an order for execution. This formalized approach to decision-making lends itself to many aspects of groupthink, to include limited COAs, using information that only supports the

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group’s COAs and decisions, lack of outside input from SMEs, self-censorship, mind guards, and ethnocentrism towards the enemy. The groupthink mitigating techniques helps organizations make the MDMP more dynamic by using the full potential of the personnel in the OPT or staff. During steps 1 and 2 of the MDMP the leader of the OPT or staff can use similar mitigating techniques (4 Ways of Seeing, Shifting the Burden, Stakeholder Mapping) as in the design process to frame and explore all aspects of the problem more fully. During the COA development the OPT/staff can use the divergence- convergence thought process to develop a broader range of COAs. Brainstorming is particularly helpful for expanding the group capability to develop multiple COAs. During the COA war- gaming and COA decision mitigating techniques such as 5 Will Get You 25 and Dot Voting, can help the OPT/staff narrow and refine the COA options. Once the COA is decided upon by the commander, the OPT/staff can continue to improve and refine the selected COA by using Troika Consulting (Ad Agency), again giving the group a collective stake in developing the best possible COA for the organization. All the groupthink mitigating techniques outlined above will help organization execute more comprehensive decision-making, while providing for the fuller use of the greater potential of the OPT/staff as a whole.

Red Teaming During Planning The commander/chief of staff’s guidance, available time, and size of the team will influence the tasks to be completed.

• Red Teams should participate at each phase in the planning process—often without overt intervention and largely remaining in the background.

• Red Teams should avoid briefing in staffing meeting or open forums.

• The Red Team’s communication skill and finesse will determine their effectiveness in the planning process.

• Identify unseen opportunities, alternatives, gaps and vulnerabilities, and threats to the friendly courses of actions that may generate development of additional branches and sequels not previously considered—determines the Red Team’s “value added.”

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• Timely and tailored Red Team input to the staff and the commander avoids having them move backward in the planning sequence. Early engagement is paramount.

• The echelon, size and expertise of the team, time, and the information available influences the scope of the effort and ability of the Red Team to support the planning process.

• Discuss and consider Red Team inputs at the lowest appropriate level in order to resolve, discount, or incorporate them into the plan.

• Items discounted by the staff but determined as critical to the success of the mission by the Red Team Leader should be elevated–first with the individual staff member, followed by the primary staff member, the Chief of Staff, and ultimately to the Commander (if required).

Red Teaming During Problem Framing This section contains key ideas and questions to assist Red Teams during problem framing, as in concepts and several key questions for the Red Team in the design process.4 Problem framing establishes an initial hypothesis about the character of the friendly, adversarial, and wider environmental factors which define the situation. Problem framing also explores cultural narratives, institutional histories, propensities, and strategic trends in order to postulate a general structure of the factors and their relationships. This hypothesis will be incomplete at first, but will provide a basis from which the commander can visualize the design of his campaign and begin operations to uncover the true nature of the problems. The hypothesis thus defines the art of the possible, warns what may be unachievable, and anticipates how the situation might evolve.

The art of framing the problem is the art of seeing the essential and relevant among the trivial and irrelevant; penetrating the logic of the broad received mission and its messy contextual situation; and reshaping it into a well-enough structured working hypotheses. It requires commanders to inquire into the nature or character of the factors—friendly, opposing, and the larger environmental—which define the situation into which his command will operate. The figure below refers to the strategic level but the

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steps are equally applicable to the operational and tactical levels of war.

1. Establish the strategic context. Context establishes the reasons why the problem came to exist, its history, and how it may develop. Consider and define both the domestic and international context:

• political and/or diplomatic long- and short-term causes of conflict

• domestic influences, including public will, competing demands for resources, and political, economic, legal, and moral constraints

• international interests (reinforcing or conflicting with U.S. interests, including positions of parties neutral to the conflict), international law, positions of inter-governmental organizations, and other competing or distracting international aspects of the situation.

When considering the strategic context, the commander should consider the following questions:

(a) What is the history of the problem? What is its genesis?

(b) Who are the parties interested in the problem (c) What are the implications of likely outcomes? (d) What caused the problem to come to the fore?

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(e) Why is this emerging problem important to the nation’s strategic leaders? Determine how they “see” the problem. For example:

 Are national interests and ideals at stake?  What are the economic considerations of action?  Are there treaty obligations that require or block the

ability to act?

2. Synthesize strategic guidance: must identify logical boundaries for the problem by establishing its essential relationship to the nation’s strategic aims.

• Do the currently tasked strategic aims/objectives vary with previously established policy and objectives? If so, why?

• What policy objectives or statements serve as potential limitations to meeting current strategic guidance?

• Determining the desired strategic ends. What strategic aims define the strategic conditions that constitute success?

• Determining the expected outcomes in terms of time and resources.

3. Describe the systemic nature of the problem. Key components include:

• Defining the factors, constituents, and relationships, bearing on the problem.

• Consider the relationships from the points of view of the constituents:

• Friendly forces, organizations, and entities.

• Adversaries and those opposed.

• Neutrals: both with and without interests relative to the problem at hand.

• Unknowns: those with clear interests and influence but whose intentions are unknown. Consider using 4 Ways of Seeing and the Cultural Perception Framework.

• Defining the interests and strategies of each constituent, as they understand them, and how they relate—positively

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and/or negatively—to one another, as well as to those of the U.S. Government.

• Defining/synthesizing the problem in terms of its constituents’ systemic components:

 How are the constituent parts of the problem related and influenced in terms of capabilities, interests, and intent, from the perspective of culture, politics, social infrastructure, economy, military power, and information?

 What are the power groups and functional components of these systems?

 How do these systems relate to one another? Are there relationships to the constituent’s strategic outlook?

 How do these systems sustain themselves?

 Describing the tensions in these relationships and identify opportunities for exploitation, positively or negatively, during the conduct of the campaign.

4. Determine strategic trending. This activity involves describing how the strategic situation might evolve over time. What are the possible “futures” that could unfold based on current understanding? Consider using Alternative Future Analysis.

5. Identify gaps in knowledge. 6. Establish assumptions about the problem. 7. Identify the operational problem. Based on the tasks above,

the commander must identify the critical factors of the problem in order to satisfy strategic aims or objectives. Binding the problem this way requires the commander to distill the essential components from the broad set of factors bearing on the problem to focus the command’s efforts to achieve the best effect.

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8. Determine initial mission statement.

• Express the mission in terms of who, what, when, where, and why (purpose).

• Frame the mission with a clear, concise statement of the essential task(s) and the purpose(s).

9. Obtain approval of the problem and mission statements. The final task in framing the problem requires the commander to obtain approval of the problem statement, the rationale for the development of the problem statement, and the initial mission statement from his superior.

Conduct mission analysis after you frame the problem and the commander obtained approval of the mission statement. Unlike the traditional mission analysis described in the military decision making process—this mission analysis is just that— an analysis of the mission. This process does not result in a restated mission as the mission has been approved as a result of framing the problem.

Red Teaming During Operational Design Design is embedded in Joint and Army doctrine. Army Doctrine Reference Publication, ADRP, 5-0, The Army in Unified land Operations, states:

“The Army design methodology is a methodology for applying critical and creative thinking to understand, visualize, and describe problems and approaches to solving them. The Army design methodology is particularly useful as an aid to conceptual thinking about unfamiliar problems.”5

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When contemplating unfamiliar problems, design aids the commander’s visualization of the problem, the initial understanding of the OE, and provides the foundation for the commander’s initial intent statement or planning directive.

A key element of design is the collaboration among commanders and their design teams to determine and frame the problem and visualize potential solutions (as illustrated below). A Red Team or the use of red teaming techniques reinforces the effort to frame the correct problem.

The Red Team’s Role

• The Red Team should be represented in the execution of Army Design Methodology (ADM), either as a core member or by providing critical reviews of the final product of the design.

• Red Teams are an integral part of a critical and creative thinking process about unique situations.

• Red Teams assist the commander and staff to visualize the problem and describe an approach to solve it.

• Red Teams help the design team to capture all perspectives and provide alternative perspectives about the problem.

• Red Teams propose solutions from various perspectives, to include the adversary, partner, and others in the OE.

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• Take a breath, step back and to the side, and see what your frame prevents you from seeing. Use the divergence- convergence model.

Summary In the process of decision-making, the group’s need to rigorously consider alternatives is at tension with the social pressures to conform to group’s norms. Hence, avoiding the lure any ‘groupthink’ is a penultimate chore in the quest for good decisions. The symptoms of groupthink are observable and groupthink can be mitigated.

To mitigate groupthink, apply the techniques referenced in Chapters V and VI of this handbook, like Brainstorming, Dot Voting, My 15%, and Troika Consulting (Ad Agency). These techniques: eliminate attribution, allow every participants to contribute without the fear of being judged by others, and intercede dynamics [tangential to the process] that might detour the group from its best productivity.

A Red Team or the use of red teaming techniques reinforces the effort to reaching a good decision. The Red Team can have a role in: problem framing, operational design methodology, the MDMP, etc. Moreover, there are rules of thumb for planning sessions.


1 Carl Von Clausewitz and Michael Howard, On War, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1984), 119. 2 All quotations in these paragraphs are drawn from Irving, Janis, Groupthink, (Boston, MA: Wadsworth Publishing, 1982), 9-10, 13, 174, 262-265 respectively. 3 Army Doctrine Publication 5-0, The Operations Process, 9. 4 This is an extract of TRADOC Pam 525-5-500, Commander’s Appreciation and Campaign Design, Version 1.0, 28 Jan 08. We deleted certain passages and questions. We retained the most essential ones. http://www.tradoc.army.mil/tpubs/pams/p525-5-500.pdf. 5 Army Doctrine Publication 5-0, The Operations Process, (26 September 2011), 9.

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CHAPTER VI: Red Teaming TTP (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures)

Red Teaming TTP Table

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1-2-4-Whole Group This process is a good way to get a rich conversation and more ideas by using small groups. It involves the principle of pre-commitment, critical thinking, and the clear expression of thought.

Method One: Individual reflection and pre-commitment. Give participants

a short amount of time to reflect on a question or issue. You may use a common issue or have each person choose their own issue. Have them write down their thought or position on the issue. To write is to think again. By writing the participants are pre-committing to their ideas without external influence. Encourage the participants to use the framework of State, Elaborate, Exemplify, and if possible, Illustrate (SEEI). For example, “Here’s what I think, here is what I mean by that, let me give an example, and here is a graphic illustration (or analogy).” If you can complete all these steps, you have thought through a problem completely.

Twos: Have the participants find another person and share their ideas. Record any new thoughts or insights.

Small Groups: Invite each of the pairs to join up with another pair to briefly share their issues and any insights gained. Then share observations of the quality of each pair’s examination of their issues. How were the issues framed? What was missing from the explanation? Were there biases detected?

Whole Group: Invite everyone back into the whole group. Ask an open question like “What insights emerged from your conversations? What did you learn? How has your understanding/view of the issue changed?” Lastly, ask “What’s your 15% of the problem?”

Example “Most people have about 15-percent control over their work situations. The other 85 percent rests in the broader context, shaped by the general structures, systems, events and culture in which they operate. The challenge rests in finding ways of creating transformational change incrementally: By encouraging people to mobilize small but significant “15-percent initiatives” that can snowball in their effects. When guided by a sense of shared

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vision, the process can tap into the self-organizing capacities of everyone involved.”

– Gareth Morgan, The Globe and Mail1

It doesn’t matter if you’re a General or an enlisted soldier, a senior executive or a member of the team. You still have only your 15 percent. Where do you have freedom to act? What’s in your 15%?

This conversation works very well using the Troika process. Grow from small groups (1 on 1) into larger groups and exchange group representatives. This is a great way to get into a rich conversation with small groups. The steps are:

1. Prepare: Position an issue or problem into one straightforward question.

2. Reflect individually: Give participants two minutes of silence to reflect on the question. They may close their eyes, jot a few notes, etc.

3. Share in pairs: Ask participants to stand, find a partner, and share both ideas in 10 minutes. They may pick the nearest person or move around to mix.

4. Gab in groups: Ask each pair to partner with other pairs in groups of 4-6 for 10 minutes. Suggest that they begin with each sharing items of interest from the previous round and then move to converse as a group.

5. Harvest in whole: Ask everyone back to a ‘whole group’ for 10 minutes. Open with, “What insights emerged from your conversation?” or “How has your understanding/ view of the issue changed?”

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1 on 1, 2 on 2, Exchange Emissaries In this method members of the team are asked to think about ways to address the problem before the group.

1. They first spend time thinking and writing down their ideas.

2. Next, the members form into pairs and exchange ideas. Two groups of two each form a group of four and exchange the ideas each group developed both individually and as a group of two.

3. Each group of four selects a spokesperson for the group. After each group has had sufficient time to explore their options to address the problem, they send their spokesperson to another group of four that addressed the same problem and in turn welcome the spokesperson from the other group to their group.

4. Each spokesperson (emissary) provides the group they have joined a description of the ideas developed by the group they are representing. After they are finished, the group they have joined tries to add to or improve the ideas brought to them by the emissary. After this exchange, the emissary returns to his/her group.

5. Upon return, the emissary shares the feedback from the group visited. In turn, the emissary’s group informs him/her of their exchange with the other group’s emissary.

6. This concludes with a group out brief of the issue.

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4 Ways of Seeing Examining the situation using the Four Ways of Seeing may show the challenges you face:

1. How you view yourself, your unit, the mission, etc.

2. How the adversary (or indigenous people) views himself; his cause, unit mission, etc.

3. How you view the adversary (or indigenous people)

4. How the adversary (or people) views you

5. Identify disconnects between steps 1 & 4, 2 & 3. These are critical points that analysis and planning must address

Thorough research should be conducted to complete the analysis of these perceptions. It is more complex than the simple model implies, for several reasons:

• Seldom, if ever, will there be only two actors in the system under study.

• All the actors’ perceptions and inter-relationships within the system must be considered in order to provide context for the analysis.

• How each actor perceives and defines the OE, legitimate targets and acceptable weapons must also be considered.

• It must be realized that all actors hold values, beliefs, and perceptions that they view as right and rational.

• Perceptions of the external audience(s) to whom we and our adversaries are playing cannot be discounted.

5 Whys The 5 Whys is a question-asking technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem.

How X Sees Itself

How X Sees Y

How Y Sees Itself

How Y Sees X

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The technique is used to determine the root cause of a defect or problem symptom. However, the process can be used to go deeper to explore questions related to purpose rather than problems.

Method: Pick an issue or pose a question and ask participants to think about it for at least a minute. Pair up or form a small group and choose one person to state their thoughts on the issue. Each participant gets a turn in this role of explaining their thoughts and position on an issue of their choice.

The role of the others in the group is at first to be active listeners. Let the speaker complete their thoughts; do not interrupt for clarification or any other purpose. Once the speaker is done, ask “why?” at least five times, e.g., “Why is that important? Why should my staff section care about that? Why should resources be applied against that effort now?”

You don’t need to stop at 5 whys, several “what” and “who” questions should arise as a result, like “what should do we do now? What are the implications of what is suggested? Who else needs to know?”

It is important to begin with “why” questions. The answers to “why” questions get at causal links behind events and problem symptoms. “What” questions tend toward simple data collection, and are subject to confirmation biases.

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5 Will Get You 25 This is a method to tap into the wisdom of the crowd. This is not recommended to make a decision. It is a way to get feedback you might not otherwise get from your staff. 5 Will Get You 25 and Dot Voting are two methods of weighted anonymous feedback.

Method Distribute file cards to everyone. Pose a question: (i.e., What is the single greatest obstacle to implementation of plan/concept/policy X?)

Ask the participants to think about it and write their best idea as clearly and in as few words as possible on the card –- a bullet, not an explanation.

When everyone has completed their card, invite the participants to stand up, mill around, and pass the card to someone new. Repeat the process until told to stop, and then each participant reads the card they hold. On the back, rate the idea from 1 to 5; 5 is brilliant, 1, not so much.

Once you grade the card, repeat the process. No one should grade their own card. Emphasize the participants must read the reply without turning the card over and viewing previous scores so they are not influenced.

Repeat the process five times, in five rounds. By round five, each card should have five ratings on the back of the card. Add them up.

Ask “Does anyone have a card with a score of 25…24…23…until you get a “yes.” Ask that person to read the card aloud and record the reply on a piece of butcher paper. Continue with the countdown until you get at least the top five replies.

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6 Empathetic Questions Questions [and difficulty] when looking empathetically from another’s perspective:

1. It is difficult to appreciate another’s problems. What are the “other’s” problems?

2. It is difficult to feel another’s pain. What is the nature of the “other’s” pain?

3. It is difficult to understand another’s ambitions. What are the “other’s” ambitions?

4. It is difficult to internalize another’s experience. What is the “other’s” experience?

5. It is difficult to understand how our own actions appear to others. How do our own actions appear to “others?”

6. It is difficult to feel how threatened another may feel. Why does the other feel threatened?2

6 Words Help people get to the core of an idea by writing a short phrase summarizing their thinking into a set number of words.

This idea is based on a complete short story written by Hemingway “For sale, baby shoes – never worn.”

These 6 words communicate a huge degree of information and emotional content. This is an exercise in creating pithy bumper stickers that communicate in a visceral way and are memorable.

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Alternative Futures Analysis Systematically explores multiple ways a situation can develop when there is high complexity and uncertainty.

When to Use This approach is most useful when a situation is viewed as too complex or the outcomes as too uncertain to trust a single outcome assessment. First, the Red Team must recognize that there is high uncertainty surrounding the topic in question. Second, they, and often their customers, recognize that they need to consider a wide range of factors that might bear on the question. And third, they are prepared to explore a range of outcomes and are not wedded to any preconceived result. Depending on how elaborate the futures project, the effort can amount to considerable investment in time, analytic resources, and money.

A team can spend several hours or days organizing, brainstorming, and developing multiple futures; alternatively, a larger-scale effort can require preparing a multi-day workshop that brings together participants (including outside experts). Such an undertaking often demands the special skills of trained scenario- development facilitators and conferencing facilities.

This technique is a sharp contrast to contrarian techniques, which try to challenge the high confidence and relative certitude about an event or trend. Instead, multiple futures development is a divergent thinking technique that tries to use the complexity and uncertainty of a situation to describe multiple outcomes or futures that should be considered, rather than to predict one outcome.

Value Added This approach is useful in highly ambiguous situations, when analysts confront not only a lot of “known unknowns” but also “unknown unknowns.” What this means is that the Red Team recognizes that there are factors, forces, and dynamics among key actors that are difficult to identify without the use of some structured technique that can model how they would interact or behave. Given the time and resources involved, scenario analysis is best reserved for situations that could potentially pose grave threats or otherwise have significant consequences.

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Past experience has shown that involving policymakers in the alternative futures exercise is the most effective way to communicate the results of this exploration of alternative outcomes and sensitize them to key uncertainties. Most participants find the process of developing such scenarios as useful as any finished product that attempts to capture the results of the exercise. Policymakers and Red Teams can benefit from this technique in several ways:

• It provides an effective means of weighing multiple unknown or unknowable factors and presenting a set of plausible outcomes.

• It can help to bind a problem by identifying plausible combinations of uncertain factors.

• It provides a broader analytic framework for calculating the costs, risks, and opportunities presented to policymakers by different outcomes.

• It helps anticipate otherwise surprising developments by challenging assumptions and considering possible wild cards or discontinuous events.

• It generates indicators to monitor for signs that a particular future is becoming more or less likely, so that policies can be reassessed.

The Method The most common method used in both the public and private sectors involves the following steps:

• Develop the “focal issue” by systematically interviewing experts and officials who are examining the general topic.

• Convene a group of experts (both internal and external) to brainstorm about the forces and factors that could affect the focal issue.

• Select by consensus the two most critical and uncertain forces and convert these into axes or continua with the most relevant endpoints assigned.

• Establish the most relevant endpoints for each factor; (e.g., if economic growth were the most critical, uncertain force, the endpoints could be “fast” and “slow” or “transformative”

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and “stabilizing” depending on the type of issue addressed.)

• Form a futures matrix by crossing the two chosen axes. The four resulting quadrants provide the basis for characterizing alternative future worlds.

• Generate colorful stories that describe these futures and how they could plausibly come about. Signposts or indicators can then be developed.

Participants can then consider how current decisions or strategies would fare in each of the four worlds and identify alternative policies that might work better either across all the futures or in specific ones. By anticipating alternative outcomes, policymakers have a better chance of either devising strategies flexible enough to accommodate multiple outcomes or of being prepared and agile in the face of change.

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Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) Identification of alternative explanations (hypotheses) and evaluation of all evidence that will disconfirm rather than confirm hypotheses.

When to Use This is an effective technique when there is a large amount of data to absorb and evaluate. While a single analyst can use ACH, it is most effective with a small team that can challenge each other’s evaluation of the evidence. Developing a matrix of hypotheses and loading already collected information into the matrix can be accomplished in a day or less. If the data must be reassembled, the initial phases of the ACH process may require additional time.

ACH is particularly appropriate for controversial issues when analysts want to develop a clear record that shows what theories they have considered and how they arrived at their judgments. Developing the ACH matrix allows other analysts (or even policymakers) to review their analysis and identify areas of agreement and disagreement. Evidence can also be examined more systematically, and analysts have found that this makes the technique ideal for considering the possibility of deception and denial.

Value Added ACH helps analysts overcome three common mistakes that can lead to inaccurate forecasts:

• Red Teams can be susceptible to being unduly influenced by a first impression, based on incomplete data, an existing analytic line, or a single explanation that seems to fit well enough.

• Groups seldom generate a full set of explanations or hypotheses at the outset of a project.

• Groups often rely on evidence to support their preferred hypothesis, but which also is consistent with other explanations.

In essence, ACH helps Red Teams to avoid picking the first solution that seems satisfactory instead of going through all the possibilities to arrive at the very best solution.

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