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

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    ine Battalion
Section B
Wednesday, August 27, 1986
he Red Team
he/re working to beat
the Soviets' countertactics
■ 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
■ 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
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
■ ‘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
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