The purpose of this paper is to propose foundations for a theory of errors in teamwork based upon analysis of a case study of fratricide alongside a review of the existing literature. This approach may help to promote a better understanding of interactions within complex systems and help in the formulation of hypotheses and predictions concerning errors in teamwork, particularly incidents of fratricide. It is proposed that a fusion of concepts drawn from error models, with common causal categories taken from teamwork models, could allow for an in-depth exploration of incidents of fratricide. It is argued that such a model has the potential to explore the core causal categories identified as present in an incident of fratricide. This view marks fratricide as a process of errors occurring throughout the military system as a whole, particularly due to problems in teamwork within this complex system. Implications of this viewpoint for the development of a new theory of fratricide are offered. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.