Cover image for The last warrior : Andrew Marshall and the shaping of modern American defense strategy
Title:
The last warrior : Andrew Marshall and the shaping of modern American defense strategy
Author:
Krepinevich, Andrew F.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, 2015
Physical Description:
xxii, 305 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Summary:
Andrew Marshall is a Pentagon legend. For more than four decades he has served as Director of the Office of Net Assessment, the Pentagon's internal think tank, under twelve defense secretaries and eight administrations. Yet Marshall has been on the cutting edge of strategic thinking even longer than that. At the RAND Corporation during its golden age in the 1950s and early 1960s, Marshall helped formulate bedrock concepts of US nuclear strategy that endure to this day; later, at the Pentagon, he pioneered the development of "net assessment"--a new analytic framework for understanding the long-term military competition between the United States and the Soviet Union. Following the Cold War, Marshall successfully used net assessment to anticipate emerging disruptive shifts in military affairs, including the revolution in precision warfare and the rise of China as a major strategic rival of the United States. In The Last Warrior, Andrew Krepinevich and Barry Watts--both former members of Marshall's staff--trace Marshall's intellectual development from his upbringing in Detroit during the Great Depression to his decades in Washington as an influential behind-the-scenes advisor on American defense strategy. The result is a unique insider's perspective on the changes in US strategy from the dawn of the Cold War to the present day.
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780465030002
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Andrew Marshall is a Pentagon legend. For more than four decades he has served as Director of the Office of Net Assessment, the Pentagon's internal think tank, under twelve defense secretaries and eight administrations. Yet Marshall has been on the cutting edge of strategic thinking even longer than that. At the RAND Corporation during its golden age in the 1950s and early 1960s, Marshall helped formulate bedrock concepts of US nuclear strategy that endure to this day; later, at the Pentagon, he pioneered the development of "net assessment"--a new analytic framework for understanding the long-term military competition between the United States and the Soviet Union. Following the Cold War, Marshall successfully used net assessment to anticipate emerging disruptive shifts in military affairs, including the revolution in precision warfare and the rise of China as a major strategic rival of the United States.

In The Last Warrior , Andrew Krepinevich and Barry Watts--both former members of Marshall's staff--trace Marshall's intellectual development from his upbringing in Detroit during the Great Depression to his decades in Washington as an influential behind-the-scenes advisor on American defense strategy. The result is a unique insider's perspective on the changes in US strategy from the dawn of the Cold War to the present day.

Covering some of the most pivotal episodes of the last half-century and peopled with some of the era's most influential figures, The Last Warrior tells Marshall's story for the first time, in the process providing an unparalleled history of the evolution of the American defense establishment.


Author Notes

Andrew Krepinevich is president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) and the author of several books on military history and strategy, including 7 Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the Twenty-First Century and The Army and Vietnam . He lives in Leesburg, Virginia.

Barry Watts has been a senior fellow at CSBA since 2002, when he left the Pentagon as the Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation. He too has written extensively on military history and strategy, including Clausewitzian Friction and Future War . He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

For four decades Andrew Marshall has been a central figure of the U.S. security establishment, particularly in his role as director of the Office of Net Assessment where he has mentored the intellectual dimension of a historically-pragmatic military system. Krepinevich and Watts, major contributors to contemporary security studies, have produced an objective and perceptive intellectual history of Marshall and his work. Marshall joined the embryonic Rand Corporation in 1949, formulating the concept of "net assessment" in a Cold War context. This process systematically compares the U.S. military position to its rivals and friends with the aim of enabling long-range planning as opposed to immediate problem-solving. Now standard procedure, its controversial introduction challenged and cultivated both Marshall's political skill and his analytic power. Marshall made crucial contributions to the Reagan administration's policies and later applied the methods of net assessment to the wider issue of responding to fundamental changes in the nature of war-the resultant controversies of which continue to inform the thinking of armed forces and defense intellectuals. The authors demonstrate how Marshall's ability to ask the right questions and see clearly into uncertain futures has been vital to America's ability to keep pace with war's fundamentally protean nature. Agent: Eric Lupfer, William Morris Endeavor. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

For seven decades, Andrew Marshall (b. 1921) has been one of the nation's most influential national security advisors, mostly as director of the Department of Defense's Office of Net Assessment, claim Krepinevich (president, Ctr. for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA); Deadly Scenarios) and Watts (senior fellow, CSBA) in this detailed, rigorous account of Marshall's career at RAND Corporation and the Department of Defense. Both authors admire Marshall, having been mentored by him at what his former students call "St. Andrew's Prep," and pay tribute to his long and distinguished career by calling him "the last warrior" of the Cold War era. The intricacies of net assessment, which offer options but not recommendations for strategic defense policymakers, are skillfully unraveled. Marshall's most important evaluations, conclude the authors, revealed that the USSR's military expenditures were bankrupting the government and contributed significantly to its fall and his accurate prediction that China would become a superpower that could pose security challenges for the United States. Marshall is praised for his fearlessness in confronting self-serving Pentagon officials who put their own careers ahead of national concerns. VERDICT Excessive detail and some rambling descriptions will discourage a general audience. However, informed readers of foreign policy and specialists will find the authors' research impressive and Marshall's story enlightening.-Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.