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Predicting the unpredictable

By MICHAEL SUSSMAN

Jerusalem Post, 01/07/2013 22:55

Real-world, on-the-ground effort is one way Israel is able to showcase its unique abilities on the world stage.

Israel’s contributions in the hi-tech sector, innovative renewable energy projects, and breakthroughs in military technology are well known. What is less known are Israel’s achievements in strategic assessment, planning and predictive decision- making. One group that has made these achievements happen is the Program in Political Psychology and Decision Making [POP-DM].

The program, housed at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya has addressed pressing issues concerning strategic policy planning for the Israeli government and governments around the world.

Following the 2006 cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hezbollah, marking the end of the Second Lebanon War, a team comprised of prominent academics was assembled. The team was tasked with evaluating whether the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, would adhere to the terms of the cease-fire agreement.

Led by Professor Alex Mintz, an Israeli expert in political decision-making and currently dean of the Lauder School of Government at IDC, the team used techniques such as the Poliheuristic Theory of Decision Making (PH Theory) and the Applied Decision Analysis (ADA) technique to draw its conclusions. The major conclusion of the group was that “Nasrallah and Hezbollah would adhere to the critical terms of the agreement.” This conclusion diverged from the dominant opinion of most experts.

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Phi Beta Iota:  Some of the greatest minds on the planet, at least in the English language, live and work in Isarael — Martin van Crevald comes to mind right away.  Sadly, as in the USA, the greatest minds are not employed by their government, and are not listened to by their politicans.  In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.  George Orwell.