Timothy W. Coleman

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A recent press report quoted unnamed US intelligence sources saying Russia had no intention of invading the Ukraine. The appraisal became the subject of considerable debate when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his nation's military into Ukraine's Crimea region. Follow-on media reports said strategic assessments had been made by US intelligence and defense authorities that indicated there was a very good chance that Putin would do just that in response to Ukraine's internal uprising that threatened ties with Russia. Whatever the case may be and whatever the actual facts were that were used to inform senior policymakers at the time, the failure of the initial media reports -- which is generally always wrong -- raises a valid question about the role of biases in analyzing, assessing and predicting likely geopolitical outcomes. Unrecognized biases can wreak h... (more)