The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, August 27, 1986, Image 17

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ine Battalion Section B Wednesday, August 27, 1986 IE he Red Team he/re working to beat the Soviets' countertactics IC!: ■ LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP) —They dbn’t change their diets to cabbage and borscht or move to cold climates afid wear fur hats, but they do read every Soviet scientific journal they ■n find and pore over satellite pho- y ■graphs of weapons testing sites in 'Sil'eria. ■ They’re tire Red Team, a key el- lement in Pentagon planning for Star Wars, and their job is to think how lie Soviets could foil President Rea- ■n's dream of a defense against nu- dear attack. ■ “We Red Team everything. Our ni> is to find if there is something ■at would prevent this program fi m being usef ul,” said Robert Per- ■t, a scientist and Red Team mem ber at the Lawrence Livermore Na tional Laboratory. Scientists at Livermore, a federal ^il i ea P° ns laboratory, are working in ■HljMsers, particle beams and other ■totic devices that might be part of Hie ground- and spac e-based system a visioned lot Stai Wars, known as y'^HeStrategic Defense Initiative. The main Red T eam efforts, said kSHerret, are determining what tech- JfiiHology the Soviet L'nion is capable of aWBevising to outsmart potential U.S. >,r i! |iategic defense and what similar capons the Soviets would be able to |eploy. The results “are among the most iosely held information in the Star ►ars program,” says Perret. The Livermore team started examining ossible countermeasures to strate gic defense even before Reagan palled for stepped-up research in the I 1 Brea in March 1983. B To play the game, the Pentagon ■nlists help not only from physicists ■t labs, but from experts at the Cen tral Intelligence Agency and the De- iense Intelligence Agency and from Bolitical scientists at universities and Besearch institutes. ■ Helping to coordinate the overall Bffortis the Systems Planning Corp., iBne of whose top executives, Sayre Btevens, spent much of his 20 years Bt the CIA analyzing Soviet de fenses. ■ ‘T he first stage of Red Teaming is to do an analysis that will look for fa- fel flaws, any real embarassments,” Itevens said in an interview at his Ruburban Washington office. “You leally need a bunch of inventors to locus on that problem.” T he next step is to have “the intel ligence people look at what the Sovi ets are capable of doing now, what they may be able to do 15 years down the road, and what drives them” to make certain economic and security decisions, he said. “What the intelligence analysts cannot look at are unexpected technological break throughs or political changes.” Once the inventors — people like the physicists at Livermore — have come up with gadgets the Soviets might use to foil Star Wars, Ameri can weapons designers figure out how to counter them. And so on. Pentagon consultant Sydney Drell, a Stanford University physicist who has criticized aspects of the Star Wars program, feels that the Red Team review is vital to make sure that missile defenses cannot be de feated easily and cheaply. The team, he says, “has to be not only of high technical quality, it has to be a team that has independent backing” to prevent the administra tion from putting forth its views without challenge. The head of the Star Wars pro gram, Air Force Lt. Gen. James Abrahamson, said in his annual re port to Congress that the main Red Team accomplishment so far has been an analysis of steps the Soviets could take to outsmart the High En- doatmospheric Defense System. HEDS is designed to spot and de stroy warheads as they re-enter the atmosphere and close in on their U.S. targets. From April to November 1984, the Red Team cooked up 28 coun termeasures. In the following year the “Blue Team” managed to come up with 15 counter-counter-mea sures, and through June 1985 yet another group, the Umpire Team, mulled over the findings. According to the report, the Star Wars Red Teams have not yet tackled the problem of how an at tacker might undermine what ana lysts consider to be most revolution ary aspect of Reagan’s vision of strategic defense: the systems de signed to destroy attacking boosters as they break through the atmo sphere and before they release their warheads and decoys. The nuclear explosions could de stroy the satellites outright or disable their electronic systems. Among the Banjo On My Knee Mark Harlan, a junior civil engineering major, enjoys the sunshine while he plays his banjo in the Newport Condominiums courtyard. Photo by Melanie Perkins counter-measures suggested for this are satellites kept in orbit half-way to the moon, making them difficult to reach, “hardening” them against ex plosions, arming them to shoot at killer satellites, or surrounding them with attack satellites. Paul Stares, an analyst at the Brookings Institution of Washing ton, said one problem with war games of this type “is how much built-in bias exists and how much the Red Team analysis is taken into ac count when the decision comes to ac tually produce the weapons.” No place seems more distant from gray wintry Russia than Livermore, which nestles among vineyards and wineries in a valley above San Fran cisco, and where scientists spend their lunch hours jogging and their leisure time contemplating the nearby mountains, coastal resorts and merits of local wines. “The question is how much the mind-set of the Red Team reflects the mind-set of the Russians,” said Stares, author of a book on the mili tary uses of space. Is it hard to mimic the psychology of Soviet physicists, isolated in the vast steppes of the Soviet Union? A former CIA analyst who worked in the agency’s missile de fense section agrees that “it is not that hard to figure but what the Rus sians can and cannot do. The evi dence is there,” in Soviet scientific literature and intelligence data. The analyst, who spoke anonymously, declined to give details of Red Team analysis. Move Ahead With The Chronicle Look around you. What do you see? Students, just like yourself. All in training for the great fall academic workout. Give yourself a head start. Subscribe to The Houston Chronicle. The Chronicle will help you stay one step ahead of the crowd. It keeps you up-to-date with fast-breaking national and international news and events, the best in business from around the state and world, and the late breaking sports scores and stories. And for what’s new and hot from the worlds of fashion and entertainment, no one beats The Chronicle. 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