Debate continues on potential USAID 'RED teams'
The Global Development Lab at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) explored the possibility of establishing 'rapid expeditionary development' or 'RED' teams.
The RED team concept was developed in an effort to expand USAID’s ability to work in fragile and conflict environments. Members of the RED teams would be specially recruited and trained, then embedded with nontraditional partners including special forces, with the goal of allowing USAID to pursue development objectives in insecure environments.
The proposal generated significant controversy, and in a follow-up interview, Alexa Courtney (who authored an assessment of the program for USAID) addressed some of the main questions and issues around the ensconcement of international development programs within broader US foreign policy and national security initiatives.