Reflections on Net Assessment

October 4, 2022

The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation & Institute for Defense Analyses


Andrew W. Marshall, Edited by Jeffrey S. McKitrick and Robert G. Angevine

Watch the Launch Event


Published by the Andrew W. Marshall Foundation (AWMF) and the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), Reflections on Net Assessment features newly released interviews with Andy Marshall, one of the longest-serving defense intellectuals in the United States, including 25 years at the RAND Corporation and more than 40 years as the founding director of Net Assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.


Backed by their decades of experience working inside or supporting the Office of Net Assessment at the U.S. Department of Defense, editors Jeffrey S. McKitrick and Robert G. Angevine have woven together a description of Marshall’s place in the rapidly changing 20th century with interviews that defense analyst Kurt Guthe conducted with Marshall between 1993 and 1999. In these interviews, Marshall reflects on the themes that defined his career. He recounts his experience as an analyst among exceptional thinkers at the flourishing RAND Corporation during the Cold War and his work in national security and defense under six U.S. presidents. Readers gain insight into his basic beliefs about human endeavors, his view on the nature of competition between nations, and his strategy for exerting influence in the U.S. government.

Reflections on Net Assessment is an opportunity to learn about the intellectual history of net assessment in Andy Marshall’s own words. It is a unique primary source for students, experts, and anyone interested in national security and strategy.


The original interviews with Andrew Marshall upon which this book is based were funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation.

“A State in Disguise of a Merchant: Multinational Tech Corporations and the Reconfiguration of the Balance of Power in Asia

October 2022

The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation

Treston Wheat

Winner of the Inaugural Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prize on Future Reconfigurations in Asia

When corporations were created four centuries ago, they fundamentally altered the relationship between the market and the state while also shifting geopolitical power. Technology corporations are creating a similar revolution in the contemporary age. As the world moves from industrial and postindustrial economies to digital ones, technology companies now touch practically every area of modern life. Politically and geopolitically, they are also changing how states interact with each other and achieve their strategic objectives. Technology corporations now play a central role in states’ relative power, and over the next two decades they will impact the balance of power in Asia. A country’s relative power may be intimately connected to native technology companies as they become essential to economic growth, defend infrastructure and businesses, participate in investigations and attributions of cyber events, and even engage in offensive cyber operations. This paper looks at those different areas, examines trends, and then posits a plausible future in which technology corporations may contribute to a reconfiguration of the balance of power in Asia by 2045.

“The AI RMA”: The Revolution Has Not Arrived (Yet)

October 2022

The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation

Owen J. Daniels

Winner of the Inaugural Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prize on New Revolutions in Military Affairs

This paper examines the prospects for artificial intelligence (AI) applications initiating a new revolution in military affairs (RMA). It analyzes this issue by applying the lens of four RMA elements—technological change, military systems evolution, operational innovation, and organizational adaptation—to U.S. and Chinese military AI development. It finds that, in the near term, AI applications may be more likely to help fully realize the reconnaissance-strike RMA than to produce a new AI RMA altogether. However, understanding why AI has not yet sparked a new RMA can shape analysis of the potential trajectory of technological-military competition between the United States and China. The paper uses historical lessons from U.S.–Japanese interwar competition, which produced the carrier aviation RMA, to draw relevant insights for present day U.S.-China AI competition. It concludes by discussing potential frameworks for understanding a future AI RMA and areas for further study.

Launch of Reflections on Net Assessment

October 6, 2022

The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation & Institute for Defense Analyses


Interviews with Andrew W. Marshall

Thursday, October 6, 2022, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT


Published by the Andrew W. Marshall Foundation (AWMF) and the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), Reflections on Net Assessment features newly released interviews with Andy Marshall, one of the longest-serving defense intellectuals in the United States.

In this recording of our launch event, editors Jeffrey S. McKitrick and Robert G. Angevine, and moderator Vago Muradian of the Defense and Aerospace Report, discuss Marshall’s basic beliefs about human endeavors, his view on the nature of competition between nations, and his strategy for exerting influence in the U.S. government.

Reconfigurations and Revolutions

September 29, 2022

The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation

 

Presentations of the Inaugural Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prizes

on Future Reconfigurations in Asia 2045 and New Revolutions in Military Affairs


Reconfigurations: How might technology companies change the way nation states interact with each other and achieve their strategic objectives? How might they impact the configuration of the balance of power in Asia?

Revolutions: What are the prospects for artificial intelligence (AI) initiating a new revolution in military affairs? What are the potential frameworks for understanding a future AI RMA?

This two-part webinar will feature a discussion with Treston Wheat, winner of the paper prize on Future Reconfigurations in Asia 2045, and a discussion with Owen J. Daniels, winner of the paper prize on New Revolutions in Military Affairs. A Q&A session will follow.

Submit questions during the event to info@andrewwmarshallfoundation.org.

This virtual event is on the record and open to the media.


Agenda

Welcome
Jaymie Durnan, AWMF Co-founder and Chairman

“A State in Disguise of a Merchant”: Balance of Power and Multinational Corporations in the Reconfiguration of Asia
Treston Wheat, Andrew May

The “AI RMA”: The Revolution Has Not Arrived (Yet)
Owen J. Daniels, Bob Angevine

Question & Answer Session
Treston Wheat, Owen J. Daniels

Closing Remarks
Jaymie Durnan

2021 Annual Report

The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation

The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation’s 2021 Annual Report shares reflections on our first full year of operations, updates on activities, and our vision for the future.

2021 in Review

December 14, 2021

The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation

 

On Tuesday, December 14, 2021, the Andrew W. Marshall Foundation (AWMF) and advisors met to reflect on 2021 activities and offer thoughts on experimentation, intellectual courage, and mentorship.

Jaymie Durnan, Co-Founder and Chairman of AWMF, welcomed the audience and gave opening remarks. Mr. Durnan discussed how AWMF is fulfilling its mission through the experiments it has launched in 2021and noted that, “we really are keeping our promise to Andy by focusing on people and ideas, and how people are applying these ideas to the future of the United States.”

Jesse Ausubel, director of the Program for the Human Environment at the Rockefeller University, spoke about experimentation and its merits. He stated that, “change is the only truly predictable attribute of most systems” and spoke to the importance of play as a form of experimentation and invention. “The youthful Marshall Foundation understands the need to play, to experiment, and then to grow while retaining that spirit of play. The good news about 2021 is that the Foundation did numerous things for the first time.”

Dr. Melissa Flagg of Flagg Consulting LLC spoke about how we can encourage people to think boldly and imagine possible futures. She described Andrew Marshall as “not in a hurry” and said that she believed “he felt a deep urgency, but it was an urgency to understand – not simply to act.” Dr. Flagg advised that “we have a responsibility to inspire and support those who want to think beyond simply what they have learned.”

Dr. Dan Patt discussed mentorship and what AWMF can do to foster new voices. Mentorship “has nothing to do with having the answers and everything to do with asking the questions,” he stated. He went on to remark, “in the way that Andy lived his life and conducted his career and mentored a good many souls, we can find inspiration and we can find some answers, but probably the greatest lesson for us was in how Andy approached questions, how he approached being a mentor.”

The event concluded with a question-and-answer session with the audience, focusing on identifying good research questions, group creativity, and considerations one should make when looking at future possibilities.

Celebrating 100 Years: Andy Marshall’s Life and Legacy

September 13, 2021

The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation

 

On Monday, September 13, 2021, the Andrew W. Marshall Foundation (AWMF) hosted an event in honor of Andy Marshall’s centenary.

Jaymie Durnan, Co-Founder and Chairman of AWMF, welcomed the audience. Mr. Durnan noted that “Andy was much more than his career; he was a friend, a man who loved his two wives, both of whom predeceased him, and a man who knew when to be serious, when to tell jokes, and when just to have fun.”

Dr. Richard Danzig, 71st Secretary of the Navy, provided opening remarks. He referred to Andy as a “remarkably smart man with rock-hard integrity,” and focused his remarks on Andy’s relations with those with whom he worked. “Andy loved us and we loved him,” said Dr. Danzig. “Andy had this extraordinary quality; he gave each of us a sense that we were important, that he cared about what we thought.”

Dr. Jacqueline Deal, President of Long-Term Strategy Group (LTSG), moderated the event and provided remarks on understanding Andy’s past and legacy: “Mr. Marshall was unusual not just because of his longevity, but also because of his curiosity, the knowledge he acquired through practical work, and the perspective that this gave him.”

Dr. Andrew May spoke about Andy’s influences and approach. “Andy was an analyst who pioneered wholly new methods of studying the behavior of ourselves and our adversaries,” Dr. May said. “He encouraged us to think more deeply and more thoroughly, and more originally and more grounded in reality than we otherwise would ever have done.”

Dr. Matthew Daniels discussed how we may channel Andy’s ways for the challenges ahead. Andy “succeeded in building a network of some of the very best thinkers in the United States,” Dr. Daniels said. He continued to recommend that we “encourage somewhat unusual people to be…independent thinkers,” and concluded: “the good life can center on exercising curiosity and solving hard problems, and doing good for our people and our society.”

The event concluded with a question-and-answer session with the audience.

For more reflections on Andy Marshall’s life and legacy, see Remembering Andy Marshall: Essays by His Friends.

Remembering Andy Marshall

May 2020

The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation


This publication features reflections, remarks, and essays by:

Graham Allison

Mie Augier

Jesse Ausubel

Gordon Barrass

Rebecca Bash

Keith Bickel

Jacqueline Deal

Nicholas Eberstadt

David Epstein

David Fahrenkrug

Aaron Friedberg

Melissa Hathaway

Andrew Krepinevich

Scooter Libby

Andrew May

Jeffrey S. McKitrick

John Milam

Chip Pickett

Dmitry Ponomareff

Jim Powell

James Roche

Stephen P. Rosen

Paul Selva

Abram Shulsky

Anna Simons

Lionel Tiger

Barry Watts