Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Roger Simon linked to a Free Republic reproduction of a Herber Meyer speech calling for a revival of "Team B", although Meyer didn't specifically refer to it by that name. I found out that what he was talking about was the "Team B" I've heard so maligned by googling his name and coming up with this article on the work "Team B" did uncovering Soviet economic/financial lies. According to that article, systemic Soviet misrepresentation of economic data meant that the conventional CIA mistakenly believed that the Warsaw Pact economies were twice as large as they actually were.

Now, I don't actually know that much about "Team B". It turns out that there were several "Team B"s. This article describes the original "Team B", created as part of a creative wargaming-analysis project under Bush the Senior in 1976. The original "Team B" actually came to the exact opposite conclusion of Herber Meyer's "Team B" - they wildly over-estimated the Soviet capacity for military expansion and upkeep.

Safire has a column from a few years back where he refers to a Rumsfeld "Team B" which was pushing the theory that rogue states like Iran were capable of making a ballistic missile threat on the continental US within five years of project inception. Feith's Office of Strategic Planning has been called a new "Team B".

Well, this all is a nice partisan tangle. You hear and see great gobs of stuff about the earlier "Team B" which fell so thoroughly on its face.

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