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Andrew Marshall (foreign policy strategist)

Andrew W. Marshall (born September 13, 1921)[1] is the director of the United States Department of Defense's Office of Net Assessment. Appointed to the position in 1973 by United States President Richard Nixon, Marshall has been re-appointed by every president that followed.[2][3]


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.[4][5] 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.[6]

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[7]

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."[8] Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, among others, have been cited as Marshall "star protégés."[9]

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".[10]

On October 17, 2014, Defense News reported that Marshall intends to retire in January 2015.[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. Marshall, A. W. (1950). "A Test of Klein's Model III for Changes of Structure". Econometrica 18 (3): 291. JSTOR 1905802. 
  5. Qin, Duo (1993). The Formation of Econometrics: A Historical Perspective. Clarendon Press. pp. 137–138. ISBN 0-19-828388-1. 
  6. Lehman, Nicholas. "Dreaming About War." The New Yorker, July 16, 2001.
  7. "The dragon’s new teeth". The Economist. Apr 7, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  8. Silverstein, Ken. "The Man from ONA." The Nation, October 25, 1999.
  9. McGray, Douglas. "The Marshall Plan." Wired, February 2003.
  10. "The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers". Foreign Policy. 26 November 2012. Archived from the original on 28 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  11. Muradian, Vago; McLeary, Paul (17 October 2014). "Marshall To Retire From Net Assessment Office in January". Defense News. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 

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