Andrew Marshall (foreign policy strategist)

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Andrew Marshall
Andrew Marshall 19941230.jpg
Born (1921-09-13) 13 September 1921 (age 94)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Nationality United States
Institution University of Chicago
Rand Corporation
Office of Net Assessment
Field Systems Analysis
Alma mater University of Chicago
Influenced Paul Bracken, Andrew Krepinevich, Richard Nixon, Donald Rumsfield

Andrew W. Marshall (born September 13, 1921)[1] was the director of the United States Department of Defense's Office of Net Assessment from 1973 to 2015. Appointed to the position by United States President Richard Nixon, Marshall was re-appointed by every president that followed until his retirement on January 2, 2015.[2][3][4]


Raised in Detroit, Marshall earned a master's degree in economics from the University of Chicago in 1949. His master's thesis was a sensitivity analysis of Lawrence Klein's econometric model of the US economy; although influential for its methodology, it has never been published except for a short abstract.[5][6] Following graduation, Marshall joined the RAND Corporation, the original "think tank," in 1949. During the 1950s and '60s Marshall was a member of "a cadre of strategic thinkers" that coalesced at the RAND Corporation, a group that included Daniel Ellsberg, Herman Kahn, and James Schlesinger. While at RAND he also worked with Herman Kahn on developing and advancing Monte Carlo methods. One of his other colleagues, Schlesinger later became the U.S. Secretary of Defense, and oversaw the creation of the Office of Net Assessment. The original main task of the office was to provide strategic evaluations on nuclear war issues. James Roche, Secretary of the Air Force in the administration of George W. Bush, worked for Marshall during the 1970s.[7]

Andrew Marshall was consulted for the 1992 draft of Defense Planning Guidance (DPG), created by then-Defense Department staffers I. Lewis Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, and Zalmay Khalilzad.

We studied RMA exhaustively. Our great hero was Andy Marshall in the Pentagon. We translated every word he wrote.
- General Chen Zhou, PLA[8]

Marshall has been noted for fostering talent in younger associates, who then proceed to influential positions in and out of the federal government: "a slew of Marshall's former staffers have gone on to industry, academia and military think tanks."[9] Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, among others, have been cited as Marshall "star protégés."[10]

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".[11]


  1. ^ Perry, Penny (2008). Federal Staff Directory 2009/Winter. CQ Press. p. 1395. ISBN 0872892514. 
  2. ^ "Pentagon weighs future of its inscrutable nonagenarian futurist, Andrew W. Marshall". Washington Post. October 28, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  3. ^ "Yoda still standing: Office of Pentagon futurist Andrew Marshall, 92, survives budget ax". Washington Post. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  4. ^ "The quiet American". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2015-07-21. 
  5. ^ Marshall, A. W. (1950). "A Test of Klein's Model III for Changes of Structure". Econometrica 18 (3): 291. JSTOR 1905802. 
  6. ^ Qin, Duo (1993). The Formation of Econometrics: A Historical Perspective. Clarendon Press. pp. 137–138. ISBN 0-19-828388-1. 
  7. ^ Lehman, Nicholas. "Dreaming About War." The New Yorker, July 16, 2001.
  8. ^ "The dragon’s new teeth". The Economist. Apr 7, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ Silverstein, Ken. "The Man from ONA." The Nation, October 25, 1999.
  10. ^ McGray, Douglas (February 2003). "The Marshall Plan". Wired. Archived from the original on 6 September 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers". Foreign Policy. 26 November 2012. Archived from the original on 28 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Andrew F. Krepinevich, Barry D. Watts. The Last Warrior: Andrew Marshall and the Shaping of Modern American Defense Strategy (New York: Basic Books, 2015). 337 pp. online review

External links[edit]