NDC Policy Brief No.09/21 on 'Net assessment: "competition is for losers"' and NDC Policy Brief No.10/21 on 'NATO, strategy and net assessment'
Under the guidance of the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in 2020 NATO embarked on a reflection process aimed at equipping the Alliance for the challenges of 2030.1 Composed of several parts, actors and phases, the process ultimately aims to make NATO more relevant in the years ahead when technological disruption, climate change, competition among Great Powers and violent non-state actors will pose new and major threats. Ideas, proposals, and recommendations are coming in from within and from outside the Alliance. Interestingly, among the recommendations, several voices have called for NATO to expand its net assessment capabilities.2 For most observers, even in the security and defence world, net assessment is an esoteric word. While many may have heard of Andrew Marshall and the US Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment, most would probably struggle to define the term. This Policy Brief provides a short introduction to the topic: what is net assessment, how and why has it emerged, how reliable is it and how could NATO use it?
* (back) Senior Researcher, Research Division, NATO Defense College.
** (back) Adjunct Professor, Roma Tre University, and Eisenhower Fellow at NDC between October and December 2020
1 (back) T. Tardy, “‘NATO 2030. United for a new era’: a Digest”, Policy Brief, No.23, December 2020.
2 (back) T. Koster and I. Barzashka, “Revitalize NATO’s Grand Strategy: collective strategic analysis is the pathway to a more inclusive, transparent, and systematic process for creating NATO’s next strategic concept”, in C. Skaluba (ed.), NATO 20/2020: twenty bold ideas to reimagine the Alliance after the 2020 US Election, Washington, DC, Atlantic Council, 2020, pp.51-55. NATO 2030: united for a new era. Analysis and recommendations of the Reflection Group appointed by the NATO Secretary General, 25 November 2020, p.24.