The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

AFR Column: We need to forecast war...

In the AFR today I respond to a question posed by the Lowy Institute on how best to deal with strategic uncertainty. I advocate using detailed data on wars over the last 200 years to forecast the probability distribution of the future conflicts that Australia may face. While this is a standard approach to anticipating the frequency and severity of crises in insurance, finance, and any weather-dependent industry, I was surprised to learn that it is not practiced in defence, or by the associated academic literature. You can read the column outside the AFR paywall here.