Analysis, Intelligence, Interviews

Interview with Barry Leven

This interview was one of the longest of the several that I performed during my dissertation research. My conversation with Barry largely encapsulated a much longer and ongoing dialog that has been ongoing since he originally hired me at Booz Allen Hamilton when I graduated from college. While he retired from industry shortly after I started my career, we remain in contact and speak regularly. Thus, many of the questions and comments in the interview below hint at a larger exchange that started almost sixteen years ago and remain in development.

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Analysis, History, Science

Some Thoughts About Handling Empirical Data in the Social Sciences

I was recently asked to review some grant applications for several social science research projects of relevance to national security. The applications are interesting and I’ve enjoyed seeing the proposal process from a new perspective. However, I’ve noted a common theme regarding the handling of data that I think is intuitively problematic with respect to theory building given my own interest in epistemology and the robustness of any claims that can be made from our research.

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Intelligence, Interviews, National Security, Science

Interview with Joseph Eash III

As my dissertation is reaching it’s conclusion, I am working towards making more of its research accessible via the web. This post continues the series of interviews that I performed as part of that research on Agent-Based Modeling and intelligence analysis. In the interests of full-disclosure, Joe was my boss for more than three years (2001-2004) when I worked for him as a research associate in the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at National Defense University. Under’s Joe’s and Desmond Saunders-Newton’s mentoring, I was introduced to Agent-Based Modeling and complexity theory. I owe Joe a special debt professionally and intellectually and am proud to have benefited from his mentoring. This interview was conducted on September 6, 2012.

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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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Admin, Conferences

Report on Systemic Risk Conference now Available

This is a very brief update. A while back I posted about attending an international conference on systemic risks in the intentional system at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. An Interim Report from the conference is now available on the IIASA website for anyone who is interested. The report can be found here.

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