Analysis, Conferences, International Relations, Modeling, National Security, Science

Observations on Quantitative Modeling in Defense and Intelligence Analysis

Over the last couple of weeks I had the opportunity to participate in a two conferences that focused on the role of formal modeling in intelligence and defense analysis. The preparation for these events kept me away from the blog, and I’m hoping to have a chance to write more as the majority of my time and attention return to my dissertation for the next several months.

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Analysis, National Security

Comments on Richard Danzig’s Driving in the Dark

Last month the Center for New American Security (CNAS) published an excellent report by Richard Danzig called Driving in the Dark: Ten Propositions About Prediction and National Security. While much of what has been said in this report has been discussed elsewhere, I believe that this report provides one of the most coherent, complete, and compact discussions regarding how to cope with inevitable failures of prediction in national security policy. This posting discusses three interesting points that Danzig makes in the first half of his report. A follow-up posting will continue by examining the second half of the report.

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Analysis, International Relations, Modeling, Science

Can International Relations Theories be Empirically Tested?

It’s been several weeks since my last posting examining. Over that time, I’ve been working towards the completion of a project that has taken a significant chunk of my time and forced me to think about the use of ABM in the study of international relations. In doing so, I’ve begun to explore the philosophy of science and the extent to which theories of international relations are really amenable to empirical testing.

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Analysis, International Relations, National Security, Politics

The Death of Usama Bin Laden Part 2

It had been my intention to return to the development and exploration of the rock-paper-scissors model but the continuing news about Usama Bin Laden’s (UBL or OBL which appears to be the official spelling) death has me fascinated. After nearly a week’s passage, I’ve found several of the developments increasingly interesting and the number of issues at play continuously expanding. This is the first of two postings on the aftermath of the SEALs assault on UBL’s compound.

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Analysis, International Relations, Modeling, Science

Early Observations from ISA 2011

After two days at the International Studies Association Annual Conference (ISA) in Montreal, several interesting themes have emerged. Rather than mention panel by panel what I’ve seen, I figured I’d summarize my general impressions and provide some highlights at the mid-point of the conference. I’ll caveat everything by noting that the conference is a huge gathering and any attendee can only see a small portion of the total offerings. So, my observations are necessarily constrained by my choices of panels and side-discussions – I could easily have missed something.

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