Magazine article Foreign Policy

The 50-50 Club

Magazine article Foreign Policy

The 50-50 Club

Article excerpt

IT'S THE GREAT DILFMMA of modern punditry. The best way to get attention is to make a bold prediction: that Israel will attack Iran's nuclear program, for instance, or that Mitt Romney (or Barack Obama) will win the U.S. presidential election. But get it wrong too many times, and there goes your credibility. So just do what the professionals do: Flip a coin and split the difference. With a 50 percent chance of getting it right, you'll look like a genius if it comes to pass. If not ... well, no one's right all the time.

Max Boot Senior fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

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Predicted in June 2010 that a "reasonable commitment of time and resources" would give a counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan "certainly better than 50%" probability of success.

Jeffrey Goldberg National correspondent, the Atlantic

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Reported in September 2010 that key Israeli decisionmakers and Arab and U,S. officials believed there was "a better than 50 percent chance" of an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear program by July 2011.

Bill Clinton Former U.S. president

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Told his annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting in September 2010 that "the chances are at least 50-50, perhaps better, that there will be an agreement" on Middle East peace in the near future. …

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