Jun 18, 2022Liked by Robert de Neufville

Interesting, thanks! Metaculus seems pretty underconfident, considering the fairly lower base-rate of 5%

One small suggestion. I'm not sure whether this is an interesting forecasting question since a lot of people seem to be fairly confident in a positive outcome (my subjective, not quantified, feeling of the news - I may be wrong due to my poor following of the news in the last weeks). The question would be: Will Finland (and Sweden) successfully join NATO despite Turkeys current standpoint. GJO sees - in a transferable forecasting question - a 57% chance of resolving positively (https://www.gjopen.com/questions/2405-will-finland-and-or-sweden-become-members-of-nato-before-1-january-2023), which is far less confident.

I find this to be an interesting question regarding the near future of a (hopefully soon) Post-UKR-RU war and Russia's geopolitical ambitions.

Enjoy your vacation!

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Thanks! I think Metaculus is underconfident too, but in hindsight I probably should have noted that the base rate would be different if we looked further back in time (although as we go back the electoral dynamics seem more and more different). 1978 was another exception. Also, there were a few years were the party out of power gained fewer seats than the 9 Republicans currently need. So you can make a case that the relevant base rate is somewhat higher. It certainly may be that I am too confident.

That’s a great suggestion. I might take a look at NATO membership when I get back.

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Jul 4, 2022Liked by Robert de Neufville

Since the issue between Turkey, Finland and Sweden seems to be resolving itself after Turkey showed its willingness to lift its veto last week, I have another suggestion that may have even more impact.

What are the chances of the US leaving NATO if the GOP wins the next election?

One might consider this a negligible question with an inherently very low probability, also given the dependence on other uncertain outcomes (such as the future development of the war between Ukraine and Russia, the GOP winning the next election, and the GOP candidate likely having anti-NATO intentions). I think it is rather unlikely, but only to a degree that I am not very comfortable with. The current situation looks like a poetic battle between liberal democracy and authoritarianism, both in a global race for dominance. Fortunately, Biden has won against Trump, Macron against LePen, NATO is reuniting and Russia is seriously damaged. But on the other hand, we have a destabilised democracy in the US, the core of NATO, with forces in the GOP even calling for withdrawal from NATO. What if the increasing authoritarian tendencies in the GOP correlate (and I'm pretty sure they do, but I don't know about the extent) either with sympathy for Russia or with the urge to end the West's military responsibility, all fuelled by Russian propaganda that is showing its effectiveness all over the world?

Such an event could turn the geopolitical tide on China-Taiwan and Russia and its imperialist ambitions in Europe in unpredictable ways. One should consider articles that highlight Trump's private remarks about NATO during his last presidency, the GOP's declining support for NATO (e.g. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/04/06/house-gop-nato-support/) and the concomitant growing authoritarianism in the GOP, as well as the mindset of possible republican candidates and the legal obstacles to actually leaving NATO.

You may find this question interesting to think about. If you disagree and consider the question rather negligible because of its improbability, I would be grateful for a brief "sanity check" if you have the time. I hope you have a relaxing holiday without too much politics on your mind.

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Sorry, I didn't reply to this earlier. I'm afraid that your comment got lost between my vacation and my illness.

I don't think it is at all a crazy question or that the probability is negligible. I genuinely believe that if a Republican wins the presidency in 2024 a lot of things that seem crazy or would previously have been unthinkable could happen. In large part, that's because the GOP has become a personalist party, and Republicans who stand for anything besides whatever the party leader's says on a given day have been purged from the party. And to the extent that the GOP does stand for some broader ideology, it is for some kind of nativist nationalism against international cooperation as embodied by NATO.

It is something I'll have to think more about. What do you think the probability is?

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