My input for Polarization vs Prediction: Iran

This is what I put in the form for the Iran Challenge for variables to model:

  • Pressure from Israel and Saudi Arabia on US Govt
  • Conflicting alliances in Iraq and Syria and Yemen conflicts
  • Influx of European investment in Iran
  • Russian interest and support of JPCPOA
  • Mullah regime aging and need to relax control somewhat to retain youth support vs desire to control and enforce religious orthodoxy

The root question is “assess the impact of the nuclear deal on Iran’s future in the region and the world”.   Let me refine the model a little bit and then suggest some questions in line with that.  First of all, the primary state actors are:

  • Iran
  • Saudia Arabia
  • Israel
  • US Govt
  • Russia

Secondary actors/theaters for primary actor force projection include:

Each state actor will be doing various kinds of force projection to achieve various goals including:

  • Economic gain and control of markets
  • Cultural domination
  • Political system domination

For example we could ascribe following goals to various actors:

  • Iran
    • Lift currency exchange and investment embargos, obtain investment
    • Promote Shiite Islam
    • Project force in Gulf region with conventional military
    • Project force in Gulf region via covert action
    • Pacify Iraq
    • Oppose Saudia Arabia
    • Control it’s non-Shiite population
    • Mullahs maintain control over national politics
    • Accomodate, control and incorporate younger generation
    • Develop industry and R&D capacity
    • Promote Palestinian independence
  • Saudi Arabia
    • Maintain control of oil market
    • Promote Sunni Islam
    • Project force globally via covert action
    • Invest in internal infrastructure using external vendors
    • Protect borders and project force and control into Kuwait, Iraq and Yemen
    • Control it’s non-Sunni population
  • Israel
    • Control Palestine
    • Oppose Iran
    • Homeland security
    • Retain US Govt subsidy and US relationship
    • Project force into Egypt, Syria, Lebanon as necessary to maintain border security
    • Control nuclear threat
  • Russia
    • Economic expansion
    • Expansion of political influence zone
    • Sell military hardware
    • Control oil market
    • Control nuclear threat
  • US Govt
    • Defend Israel
    • Open markets
    • Control nuclear threat
  • Europe
    • Open markets
    • Control nuclear threat
  • Turkey
    • Suppress Kurdish nationalism

Actions these actors can take:

  • Open or close markets and currency exchange
  • Conventional military operations
  • Covert operations through military or non-state actors
  • Send subsidies or ask for subsidies

These actors will all have measurable resources and related rates, such as:

  • GDP
  • Balance of trade
  • Annual revenue
  • # troops
  • # weapons
  • Annual budget for military or non-military items
  • Water resources
  • Energy resources
  • Land mass

My method here is to look for:

  • Roles
  • Goals and goal values
  • Resources
  • Actions and when actions can take place (“legal moves”)

Then the “stories” that come out of this will be the distribution of outcomes of actions taken by different rules to achieve particular goals consuming and exchanging available resources.

To expand on this a little more, let’s use a little formal notation, and focus on just Iran and Saudi Arabia which are the two major players in the region and have a relationship similar to Japan and China.  Additional players are Houthi, ISIS, and Iraqi National Government and the EU and the US Govt and Russia and Syria (Assad regime):

  • role(Iran)
  • role(SA)
  • role(Houthi)
  • role(ISIS)
  • role(ING)
  • role(EU)
  • role(US)
  • role(Russia)
  • role(Syria)

Let’s also distinguish some resources in particular territories whose control is under contention

  • land(Iraq)
  • land(Yemen)

and a control property of a role controlling a resource at a particular time:

  • control(R,L,T)

Also let’s define a property fx which denotes that two countries permit foreign exchange and permit trade and are at peace or have military alliance against a third party, all at particular times:

  • fx(R1,R2,T)
  • trade(R1,R2,T)
  • peace(R1,R2,T)
  • ally(R1,R2,R3,T)

and a rule that fx, trade and peace are bilateral:

  • fx(A,B,T) :- fx(B,A,T)
  • trade(A,B,T) :- trade(B,A,T)
  • peace(A,B,T):-peace(B,A,T)

Let’s also add a notion of compliance for JCPOA by Iran at a particular time:

  • jcpoa(T)

This compliance may be broken down into subgoals such as:

  • usAssemblyApproves(T)
  • iranAssemblyApproves(T)
  • uraniumStore355kg(T)

So that

  • jcpoa(T):- usAssemblyApproves(T1), iranAssemblyApproves(T2), uraniumStore355kg(T3),T1<=T,T2<=T,T3<=T

And maybe add a common sense rules that:

  • fx(A,B,T) :- peace(A,B,T)
  • trade(A,B,T) :- peace(A,B,T)
  • ally(R1,R2,R3,T) :- peace(R1,R2,T)

Now let’s assume that we can attach goal values to various states, and that each country has a total goal value which they are trying to maximize:

  • goal(R,S)
  • sumgoals(R)=sum(goal(R,S),S)

Let’s express some goal states in terms above from list below:

  • control(Houthi,land(Yemen) ,T)
  • control(SA,land(Yemen) ,T)
  • control(ING,land(Iraq) ,T)
  • control(ISIS,land(Iraq) ,T)
  • fx(USA,Iran,T)
  • fx(EU,Iran,T)
  • trade(USA,Iran,T)
  • trade(EU,Iran,T)
  • ally(USA,Iran,ISIS,T)
  • ally(Russia,Syria,ISIS,T)
  • ally(USA,SA,Houthi,T)
  • ally(Iran,Houthi,SA,T)

Finally lets express a few goal values on a scale of 1 to 100 to get the idea:

  • goal(Iran,control(Houthi,land(Yemen) ,T),100)
  • goal(SA,control(Houthi,land(Yemen) ,T),0)
  • goal(Iran,control(SA,land(Yemen) ,T),0)
  • goal(SA, control(SA,land(Yemen) ,T),100)
  • goal(SA,control(ING,land(Iraq) ,T),0)
  • goal(US, control(ING,land(Iraq) ,T),100)
  • goal(Iran, control(ING,land(Iraq) ,T),100)
  • goal(SA,control(ISIS,land(Iraq) ,T),100)
  • goal(US, control(ISIS,land(Iraq) ,T),0)
  • goal(Iran, control(ISIS,land(Iraq) ,T),0)
  • goal(Iran,fx(USA,Iran,T),100)
  • goal(US, fx(USA,Iran,T),100) :- jcpoa(T1),T1<=T
  • goal(US, fx(USA,Iran,T),0) :- not jcpoa(T)
  • goal(SA,fx(USA,Iran,T),0)
  • goal(Iran,fx(EU,Iran,T),100)
  • goal(EU, fx(EU,Iran,T),100) :- jcpoa(T1),T1<=T
  • goal(EU, fx(EU,Iran,T),0) :- not jcpoa(T)
  • goal(SA,fx(EU,Iran,T),0)

I haven’t elaborated the moves that the roles can play to get to the goal states, but you get the idea.  You can see though that jcpoa(T) enters into the goal values attainable by the players so that formalizes my model of how exactly to “assess the impact of the nuclear deal on Iran’s future in the region and the world”.  I assess the impact  by running the game 1000 times and then counting the states where sumgoals(Iran) is maximized and where it is minimized.

Now to get down to brass tacks (falsifiable questions to ask in support of the model).  Here are some to start with. All of these questions are with time buckets now to 01JAN16, 01JAN16 to 31JUN16, 31JUN16 to SEPJUN16, SEPJUN16 to 01JAN17, and “not before 01JAN17”.

  1. When will a retail individual customer be able to transfer money from Iran to the US at the 399 Park branch of Citibank with the same ease and level of declarations as for a money transfer from France to the US?
  2. When will military hostilities cease in Yemen in favor of Houthi?
  3. When will ISIS be evicted from Syria?
  4. When will ISIS be evicted from Iraq?
  5. When will Mecca stampede dispute be resolved to Iran’s satisfaction?
  6. When will 3 other non-Jason Iran hostages be released or death confirmed and body recovered?
  7. When will Boeing ship parts to Iran on a regular basis?
  8. When will a French car company open a dealership in Tehran?
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One thought on “My input for Polarization vs Prediction: Iran

  1. 1. not before 01JAN17 2. SEPJUN16 to 01JAN17 3. not before 01JAN17 4.not before 01JAN17 5. 31JUN16 to SEPJUN16 6. 01JAN16 to 31JUN16 7. not before 01JAN17 8. SEPJUN16 to 01JAN17

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