The return of net assessment

Yee-Kuang Heng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


'Net assessment' of the East-West balance once posed pressing concerns for strategists. Such concerns faded with the Soviet Union, and net assessment faced obsolescence. But its basic premises remain a sound guide to policymaking; it is malleable enough to address new challenges and, with new frameworks, can be re-deployed to understand the proliferation challenge from threatening states. The cognitive lens through which such net assessments are filtered can affect subsequent policy choices, as well as the process of net assessment itself. The dangers of doing strategy based on worst-case scenarios, as tragically played out in Iraq, provide a timely reminder of the continuing importance of net assessment's underlying philosophy: balanced, impartial, rational analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-152
Number of pages19
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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