Monday, March 31, 2014

Why UKR has the Obama Admin Flat Footed

If it seems that the USA is constantly playing catch up, confused, and generally out played by the Russians, there is a reason.

Do these two thing seem to define the foreign policy establishment in the Obama Administration?

1. Liberals.
2. People who work or associate with people at Top-25 institutions (as identified by TRIP).

Well, via Erik Voeten at the WaPo, something to chew on;
Other than Sarah Palin and certain Russian astrologers, few people foresaw that Russia would intervene militarily in the Ukraine. The Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) Project at the College of William & Mary held a snap poll among international relations scholars, which asked: “Will Russian military forces intervene in response to the political crisis in Ukraine?” The results, reported in Foreign Policy, were disheartening: only 14 percent of the 905 interviewed scholars answered affirmatively on the eve of the intervention. (The poll was conducted from 9 p.m., Feb. 24 to 11:59 p.m., Feb. 27. Russian forces controlled the Sevastopol airport on Feb. 28).
...scholars who work at a Top-25 institution (as identified by TRIP) were least likely to be correct. This is consistent with Philip Tetlock’s finding that the more famous and successful the pundit, the less accurate the predictions.
Self-identified Liberals and Constructivists did poorly, with Liberals both very unlikely to predict intervention and very likely to offer a definitive “no” rather than the “don’t know” answer that was very popular among Constructivists (who sometimes look dimly on the predictive ambitions of social science).
Next time someone throws their CV at you ... keep that in mind.

Oh, and if you are one of those with the well polished and worn CV, try to be humble.

You know what really makes this whole article and study sexy? Dude knows his statistics.
On request: in a multiple regression analysis (whether by OLS or (ordinal) logit) the two covariates that have robust sizable and significant (p<.01) negative effects on predicting a military intervention are being at a Top 25 institution and self-identifying with the Liberal school of international relations. I did not find an interactive effect between these two covariates. The significance of the other covariates depends on model specification.
Can we get this guy to do our sexual assault and command failure studies?

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