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Create a narrative essay for political and military decision-makers

The PRC-Taiwan Crisis; Assessing Alternative Outcomes

When reporting the results of your analysis, it’s important to discuss the relative likelihood of all the hypotheses, not just the most likely one.  Analytical judgments are never certain; there is

always a good possibility of their being wrong. Decision makers need to make decisions on the basis of a full set of alternative possibilities, not just the single most likely alternative.  Contingency or fallback plans may be needed in case one of the less likely alternatives turns out to be true.  When one recognizes the importance of proceeding by eliminating rather than confirming hypotheses, it becomes apparent that any written argument for a certain judgment is incomplete unless it also discusses alternative judgments that were considered and why they were rejected.  In the past, this was seldom done.


1.  Overview.  Based on your analysis, create a narrative essay for political and military decision-makers describing the full set of alternative possibilities.


2. Instructions.  Prepare a six page essay ranking the three hypotheses (from most likely to occur to the least likely to occur).  The narrative essay must meet the criteria contained in the week six lessons folder.

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