In my last post I used a combination of bootstrapping and educated guesswork to find confidence intervals for violent deaths in Iraq based on the data from the Roberts et al. survey. (The need for guesswork arose because the authors have not been forthcoming with their data.) Right after this went up a reader contacted me and … Continue reading Mismeasuring Deaths in Iraq: Addendum on Confidence Interval Calculations
We return again to the Roberts et al. paper. In part 5 of my postings on the Chilcot Report I promised to discuss the calculations of confidence intervals underlying these claims: One standard calculation method (bootstrapping) leads to a central estimate of 210,000 violent deaths with a 95% confidence interval of around 40,000 to 600,000. … Continue reading Mismeasuring War Deaths in Iraq: Confidence Interval Calculations
The American Civil Liberties Union had a successful FOIA request that yielded a document explaining how the Obama Administration approves actions to kill suspected terrorists. I learned about the release from this good article. What follows are just my personal angles, not a comprehensive treatment of the document. First, I don't know why these policies … Continue reading Targeting Terrorists and Near Certainty
Vox has yet another great article, this one giving good insights into how the Obama Administration thinks about foreign policy. I won't rehash it here. Instead, I just want to zero in on one point that I found particularly interesting. Zack Beauchamp interviews Susan Rice, President Obama's National Security Adviser. He notes, correctly, that the … Continue reading Does the Overreaction to Terrorism Justify the Overreaction to Terrorism?
I now continue the discussion of the Roberts et al. paper that I started in my series on the Chilcot Report. This is tangent from Chilcot so I'll hold this post and its follow-ups outside of that series. Les Roberts never released a proper data set for his survey. Worse, the authors are sketchy on important … Continue reading Mismeasuring War Deaths in Iraq: The Partial Striptease
B'Tselem is one of the finest casualty recording organisations in the world so the recent publication of its report on Operation Protective Edge (July 8 - August 26, 2014) is an important moment for the field. The report is simultaneously very good and very brief so I urge everyone to have a look. There is a well-organised interactive … Continue reading New B’Tselem Report on Operation Protective Edge…and a Critic who Fires Blanks at B’Tselem
I really love teaching my "Economics of Warfare" course. I don't get to meet my new students for another five weeks but I did just spend a fun few days updating the course outline. Please have a look. Feel free to send in suggestions for improving the course. Longer term I plan to produce book … Continue reading Economics of Warfare Course: 2016-17
Hello everybody. This is just a quick note to say that there were some interesting comments that appeared on my last two post on Chilcot (here and here). I've just replied to both. While I'm at it I have a question for Bill Kirkup (who made one of the comments). Can he give us a … Continue reading Comments Down Below!
This post continues my coverage of the three reports (one, two, three) written by UK government experts on the Roberts et al. 2004 article claiming that the 2003 invasion of Iraq caused a very large number of deaths. According to the abstract of the paper: We estimate that 98,000 more deaths than expected (8,000-194,000) happened after the … Continue reading Chilcot on Civilian Casualties: Part 5