Naval War College Review


Richard Norton


An impressive array of cross-disciplinary studies has long pointed to the criti- cal importance of accurate assessment as a precondition for successful deci- sion making. The argument is as simple as it is powerful: get the assessment right and you still might fail, but get it wrong and you are all but guaranteed to fail. Nowhere is the importance of assessment more important than in the arena of national security, where leaders risk their states’ futures and, in cases involving armed conflict, the lives of their citizens and, at times, national survival.