Thanks to Gunnar posting over at GovFresh, we have some insight into some of the advanced policy work being done in the Gov20 world. It is interesting to see this coming from the intelligence community and can be insightful in many more areas.
ACH has multiple applications outside of the defense or intelligence spheres. In almost every area of public policy we have massively competing hypothesis. In many cases we also have a multitude of data sources available to analyze that could lead us to more stable policy development long term. It could also have a positive effect of cleaning up our political discourse or at least abrogating the difficulty that we have in separating out political rhetoric from long term policy development.
Take Argentina as an example. During the late 80′s, Argentinian inflation was incredibly out of control. People didn’t ask for their change in transactions because it wasn’t worth their time to wait. Buying decisions had to be made in hours as opposed to days. Mortgages and other long term credit were in disarray. Domingo Cavallo was brought in by newly elected President Carlos Menem, a Peronist, to help stem the tide. His austerity program, admittedly steeped in criticism in its detail, stopped the free fall. But the challenge was too much value had dropped and lives destroyed because of the disconnect between what would have traditionally be understood from a Peronist point of view (or in general a left leaning point of view) and the austerity programs embraced by Cavallo. Again, he stopped the hyperinflation, but the delay was caused by the fog of political/policy divisions.
What if Burton’s work were applied as countries start to feel the upcoming inflationary pressures? Could it help guide policymakers in making tough decisions that Menem eventually made in a quicker way? Could his solution be applied to issues steeped in politics? What if we had used it to analyze global warming earlier? What about micro-lending or LDC loan forgiveness? What about the MDGs?