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, Intelligence, International Relations, Politics

For the Romney Campaign, was Election Night an Intelligence Failure?

I usually limit my writing to international relations rather than discuss domestic politics. However, I found the election results quite interesting when viewed through the lens of intelligence studies and the international system. The fact that the Romney campaign appeared to be legitimately surprised by the outcome reveals important patterns about the use and non-use of intelligence for those seeking to understand international relations and policy more generally. In what follows, I operate under the assumption that the Romney Campaign was indeed confident they would the election, and through a combination of psychological and organizational mechanisms left themselves vulnerable to surprise on election night. It is entirely possible that in time, new materials will come out that show the campaign to have been more reserved and cautious internally than currently believed.

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International Relations, Modeling, National Security, Politics, Science

The Use and Abuse of Models in International Security

Some days just appear to have a theme that constantly nags or colors everything that happens. It happens that yesterday was one of those days for me. I’m in the process of finishing up a project and I need to complete a book chapter on the validation of ABM based analysis for national security analysis. Importantly, the issue is less about the validation of the models themselves, and more concerned with whether or not analysts can use models for responsible inferences in support of decisionmaking. It also happened that the director of the Krasnow Institute where I work posted this on his own blog, and I came across this older piece in on the Wired website regarding some DARPA work that I’m familiar with. To add just a small piece more, a former government senior executive came to speak to my department yesterday about the challenges of ‘wicked problems’ in government, particularly in the design, development, and employment of new technologies and the difficulty of getting to work with the social structure of the government (building a new widget was rarely the difficult part).

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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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