Source: The Economist
Obituary: Andrew Marshall died on March 26th
The man who steered America’s military strategy for more than four decades was 97
April 11, 2019 | Obituary
AT THE HEART of many a large and ambitious empire sits one man who is not the ruler, though the ruler often listens to him; and who runs no department, though his faithful followers are found all through government. He is rarely seen in public, publishes very little, avoids journalists, sits silently through meetings, and yet steers the country. For more than four decades, America’s version of this inscrutable figure was Andrew Marshall.
He looked the part, small and benign, with a bald dome of a head, wire-rimmed glasses and a bureaucrat’s bland suit. He also inhabited the part, hidden behind thick buzzer-locked doors in the innermost A ring of the Pentagon in an office buttressed with papers and books on every branch of knowledge. There from 1973 he ran the Office of Net Assessment (ONA), a tiny independent think-tank whose remit was to compare the capabilities of the United States and its enemies in weaponry, troop training, efficiency, spending, deployment, planning, decision-making, readiness and any other point of variance. These painstaking assessments, highly classified, sparingly distributed and compiled at a rate of only six a decade, gave America as much detail about its adversaries as could be had. Then it could plan how to counter them.
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Here is what Marshall’s Pentagon looks like today:
Solution: Dismantle the Pentagon.