Saturday, January 10, 2015

Another Note on Andrew Marshall: The Yoda of The U.S. Defense Department

(Updated from a previous post  03/2014)

In the business of maintaining the national security, the responsibility of strategic forecasting lies on the shoulder of the few.  Andrew Marshall is one of them. He leads the Office of Net Assessment since its inception in 1973.

The budding strategists should read up on him.  He is one of the best in the assessment of relevant trends are in play in the national security terrain.   

As of this year, Mr. Marshall is retiring. Click here on an interesting take from The Economist.

In an interview in 2012 the main author of four of the Chinese defence white papers General Chen Zhou stated that Marshall was one of the most important and influential figures in changing Chinese defence thinking in the 1990s and 2000s.

Foreign Policy named Marshall one of its 2012 Top 100 Global Thinkers, "for thinking way, way outside the Pentagon box"   -  Wikipedia

Click herehere, herehere and here for more information on him.

Notes From Previous Interviews

From a Wired 2003, interview 

Andrew Marshall

Q: Does new technology ultimately make us more or less vulnerable?
A: A friend of mine, Yale economist Martin Shubik, says an important way to think about the world is to draw a curve of the number of people 10 determined men can kill before they are put down themselves, and how that has varied over time. His claim is that it wasn't very many for a long time, and now it's going up. In that sense, it's not just the US. All the world is getting less safe.

Getting the Best Bang For the Buck
From a The Economist interview 
Much of this admiration seems genuine, but money may also play a role. “Chen knows that Marshall is good for his budgets,” says Jonathan Pollack of the Brookings Institution, a think-tank. The same could be said of Mr Marshall’s American devotees. The ONA relies on a small network of outside contractors and individuals, often alumni of St Andy’s, to provide analysis. One large recipient of its cash is the Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a think-tank that is led by Mr Krepinevich and once employed Mr Watts.

Comments From the Compass Desk
So how does one assessed on the possibility future without being too mindfully aware of the present?   The initial step begins by possessing the conscious feeling of no constraints and no worry of danger before identifying the on-coming trends. Estimating the range, the complexity of any on-coming trend before connecting its inner attributes to the configuration of the Big Tangible Picture, is the macro step that most people have trouble performing. 

Assessing the tangibility of a trend by testing the extensiveness of its after-effect in a strategic simulation setting. To most people, it is quite tricky task but not impossible.

Side Note
Those who seriously studied Yiquan, would understand that sole point from the practice of centering oneself. 


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