Analysis, Intelligence, Modeling, Politics

Conference Paper on Computational Simulation and Producer/Consumer Relations Added

I’ve added a DRAFT paper that was prepared for the ISA ISSS-ISAC conference in Washington, DC in early October. I was unable to circulate the paper at the conference itself. It still needs work with respect to the design of a true research and development program in order to bring the ideas put forward to life, but there seems to be a strong desire on the part of many I’ve spoken with to explore the relationship between analytic tradecraft, technology, and the interface between intelligence producers and consumers.

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Analysis, International Relations, Modeling, National Security, Science

Kenneth Waltz, Iran and Nuclear Weapons

As I’ve been in the final months of completing my dissertation, I’ve had far less time to devote to the blog and topics that I’d like to spend more time thinking and writing about. While it is now beyond the news cycle, Kenneth Waltz’s recent essay in Foreign Affairs was quite interesting, but also misleading. At first glance, the policy prescriptive nature of the article was eye catching and challenging, and essentially continued his long-running debate with Scott Sagan and the rest of the international security studies community over the spread of nuclear weapons. The problem with Waltz’s argument, however, is less about his particular conclusions, than the broader problems of academic theory, models in general (both formal and informal), and their relevance to policy in the first place.

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Analysis, Books, Modeling

Book Review: Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning

Thomas Davenport and Jeanne Harris’s Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2007) (hereafter COA) was a surprising read. I found the foreword by Gary Loveman, the CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., to be very engaging and insightful, and lifted my expectations for the chapters that followed. Indeed, the conclusion of his introduction was exceptionally relevant to the problems that policymakers, and the analysts that support them, face in the international system:

The challenge for those of who attempt to employ analytic capabilities is to ensure that they are oriented forward, where the problems are least well defined and the data is scarce, rather than backward, where the work is easy and the risk is low. Read ahead. There is much to learn. (p. xi)

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Analysis, International Relations, Modeling, National Security

Interview with John Hanley, Director of Strategy for the ODNI (retired)

Discussion with John Hanley (JH), Director of Strategy for Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Prior to joining ODNI, JH served as an officer in the US Navy and held senior positions in the DOD. I asked John broad questions that primarily focused on three topical areas – the difference between analysis and analytic communities within the DOD and Intelligence Community (IC) based on his experiences, his perspectives on the current state of the IC given his role and position within the ODNI, and general comparisons between intelligence analysis and academic scholarship. Note: since the time of this interview on February 9, 2012, Dr. Hanley has retired from the ODNI.

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