Net Assessment and Military Strategy: Retrospective and Prospective Essays

by Thomas G. Mahnken


Net Assessment and Military Strategy is a thoughtful recounting of how net assessments became an important part of the national security strategy process. A compelling read for all aspiring and practicing strategists, this volume describes the discipline of net assessment from the perspective of practioners, including an opening chapter by Andrew Marshall. Great power competition demands a clear-headed understanding of how national security strategy is shaped ... Net Assessment and Military Strategy is an important tool in developing that understanding.” —General Paul J. Selva, USAF (ret.), 10th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

“This volume is a fitting tribute to the memory of Andy Marshall, one of the most innovative and influential strategic thinkers of the post-war era. The authors, all of whom worked closely with Marshall during his long career, explain the origins, application, impact, and continuing relevance of his key insights and analytic concepts. Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the Cold War and, even more important, for the next generation of American strategists.” —Aaron L. Friedberg, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University

“I do not know of any existing books that provide such depth or detail on net assessment as a field of inquiry. The book makes a strong case for the relevance of net assessment as a practice/methodology and convincingly argues that net assessment has been a critical tool of US defense strategy when used well. It is a thoughtful blend of historical chapters, reflections on the meaning and process of net assessments, and methodological chapters, bookended by insightful essays by Andrew Marshall and Andrew May. Students in PME institutions and strategic studies/war studies programs will get a great deal out of this book.” —Hal Brands, Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and scholar, American Enterprise Institute

“This is the best overview on net assessment, and there would be lasting value—and I believe, a lasting market—for this book.” —Eliot A. Cohen, Dean, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University


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