The Office of Net Assessment (ONA) is a tiny independent think-tank whose remit was to compare the capabilities of the United States and its enemies in weaponry, troop training, efficiency, spending, deployment, planning, decision-making, readiness and any other point of variance.
These painstaking assessments, highly classified, sparingly distributed and compiled at a rate of only six a decade, gave America as much detail about its adversaries as could be had.
Then it could plan how to counter them.
The Economist. (2019) Ask the Right Question. The Economist. 13 April 2019, pp.86.