A Case Study of Strategic Empathy and Red Teaming in Iraq

A video presentation that summarizes the research of a paper completed for one of the capstone classes of the Conflict Resolution MS program. 

There were at least two major instances of red teaming in Iraq, one in 2005 and one in 2007. They both came to similar conclusions about the nature of the Iraqi civil war and about what changes in American strategy were needed. The first red team had its results largely ignored, whereas the second red team had its conclusions mostly adopted. Why was there this difference in outcome? This presentation and paper argue that it was a failure on the part of the US political leadership to strategically empathize with the actors in the conflict. This failure prevented them from better understanding, dealing with, and defeating the enemy.

Uncovering Narrative Strategies for the Use of Military Force in U.S. National Security

Presented by John DeRosa, John Grover & Angelica Martinez on March 30, 2017 as part of The Doris Getsug Research Roundtables at The Center for Narrative & Conflict Resolution at George Mason University.  Grover’s part of the powerpoint can be downloaded here.

These roundtables “featur[e] original research from S-CAR graduate students… Each week we will spotlight an innovative research project which applies a narrative lens to understand contemporary conflict… This three part research study broadly asks the question, how do strategists construct legitimacy for the use of military force in U.S. national security? A structural analysis of U.S. national security strategies revealed the propositions, sequences, and evaluative points of American “Reasons to Kill” (Rubenstein, 2010). A survey of the National War College class of 2017 revealed the dynamics of how strategists framed and positioned the use of military force across four modern military campaigns. The study also includes analysis of focus groups with War College students, who describe how they made sense of the use of military force and how these narratives will inform their role as strategists.”