America has always looked for ways to project and predict actions and strengths of foreign nations. One way in which this is done is through a process known as systems analysis. This technique looks at the various systems that comprise a larger entity. From here, a broad comparison is conducted: Can our F-22’s out maneuver their counterparts? Can the British Vanguard class subs propulsion systems give them an advantage over their cavitating counterparts? Can the United States Army defeat the Soviet forces? Despite previous heavy reliance on systems analysis, it has many pitfalls. Primarily, it is difficult to know how an enemy will use a certain system. Undoubtedly, we begin to project our thoughts and ideologies onto an enemy system, leading to mirror imaging, or assuming that a foe operates under the same logic that we do.
These drawbacks of systems analysis has led to the creation of net assessment, a new process that accounts for several other factors that systems analysis inherently lacks. By looking to the past and profiling an enemy from several angles, we attempt to create a more accurate depiction of reality. Housed in the Office of Net Assessment, the government had created their own internal think tank.
It is often said that history doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes. I believe there are striking similarities between Neville Chamberlin’s 1938 non-aggression pact with Germany, and the current US-Iran Nuclear deal. How would the Office of Net Assessment view these two instrumental points in history?
Several key components of Nazi Germany were ignored in Neville Chamberlin’s non-aggression pact. Net assessment of Nazi Germany would have taken into account the increased police state during this time. Additionally, the aggressive posture and annexation of Czechoslovakia would provide a key aspect in profiling this enemy. This aggression that was clearly missed by Chamberlin led to Germany invading Poland within the year and Hitler declaring that the non-aggression pact was nothing more than a piece of paper. Less than a year later, WWII had begun.
Likewise, the Iran deal seeks to bring Iran into the “community of nations”, an idea that mirrors Chamberlin’s non-aggression pact. A net assessment of this deal would surely profile the repeated claims to exterminate Israel, the “death to America” rallies, the state funded terror, and the moral character of those in charge of the government. The Office of Net Assessment would show that recognizing this states claim to enrich uranium is an aspect that, while not intended, is surely implied. Additionally, ONA would conclude that the $150 billion of frozen assets that are liquidated will not bring Iran into a “community of nations”. Rather, this money will be used by the world’s biggest funder of terror organizations to continue funding terror.
The ONA would stand firm against the US-Iran deal because of its ability to profile an enemy and take into account external factors that systems analysis often misses. The striking parallels between 1938 and the 2015 deal offer a unique perspective for net assessment to analyze our future and the future of this deal.