Will Moore, Kentaro Fukumoto, and I have been working on a random walk negative binomial model for time-series of counts, based on earlier work by Kentaro on a negative binomial integrated (NB I(1)) model. We just presented a related poster in which we look at monthly civilian deaths in Iraq at Peace Science in Savannah, Georgia. Here is the actual pdf poster (it’s a big file, be warned), but the basic point is that ARIMA or classical count-models are not a good way to deal with time-series of counts, like monthly deaths in a conflict, and that we have a tested model for non-stationary counts that has some attractive features.
We are working on a draft paper, so I don’t want to go through the whole story, but if you’d like to try it out yourself and know how to use JAGS, all the R and JAGS code is available on github.
President Obama announced today that U.S. troops will leave Iraq by the end of 2011. What has the 9 year long war accomplished?
A few months ago the Defense Science Board Task Force on Defense Intelligence released a report on Counterinsurgency (COIN) Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Operations (pdf). Among its recommandations is that:
the government generally should increase investment in social science disciplines (anthropology, ethnography, human geography, sociology, social-psychology, political science, and economics) to inform a whole-of-government approach to understanding local cultures and customs and to support future COIN campaigns.
and the report notes that:
the United States government is not investing adequately in the development of social and behavioral information that is critically important for COIN.
Great news for someone hopeful to have a degree in political science in the near future! Read the rest of this entry »
A long time ago, in a place far away, I wrote this (pdf). Random thoughts on counter-IED in northern Iraq, and gripes about living there.
Not knowing, I was on my way to death from cancer at the time. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t positive.
In retrospect I have to also admit even more how much more difficult the combat arms soldiers and officers have it. My life was plush in comparison.