I like to claim that we are three-for-three in our predictions…

We have discussed on this blog before our analysis for the Gulf War, the casualty estimate for Bosnia peacekeeping mission, and the casualty and duration estimate for Iraq. In each case, we were either the closest public estimate or pretty much dead on. Just as a reminder:

Predictions | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

Now, back in late 1990 Trevor Dupuy made his predictions on the Gulf War. They are discussed here:

Forecasting the 1990-1991 Gulf War | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

Assessing the TNDA 1990-91 Gulf War Forecast | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

Assessing the 1990-1991 Gulf War Forecasts | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

In 1995 we provided the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) with our predictions for Bosnia. This was, as far as I know, the first formal attempt to make a prediction of casualties for an “operation other than war.” This prediction is in Appendix II of America’s Modern Wars and is discussed here:

Forecasting U.S. Casualties in Bosnia | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

In 2004 we provided the Center for Army Analysis (CAA) and OSD Net Assessment our predictions of casualties and duration for the war in Iraq. Again, as far as I know, this was the first formal attempt to make an analytically based prediction on casualties and duration for a insurgency. This prediction is discussed in depth in Chapter 1 and Appendix I for America’s Modern Wars and is discussed here.

Forecasting the Iraqi Insurgency | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

And then there are these posts:

President Obama’s Casualty Estimates | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

Casualty Estimates for a War with North Korea | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

The CRS Casualty Estimates | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

Casualty Estimates for Conflict with Iran | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

Casualty Estimates for Conflict with Iran – Killed and Wounded | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

How Common are Casualty Estimates? | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

Casualty Estimates for Conflict with Iran – Summation | Mystics & Statistics (dupuyinstitute.org)

I always like to claim that we are three-for-three, in that we have published three predictions before conflicts occur that are fundamentally correct. As significant, in my mind, is that we were correct, based upon historical analysis and using combat models build upon history for not only a conventional war, but for an unconventional or guerilla war and for a peacekeeping mission. This is a wide range of scenarios. We are not aware of anyone else who has done this.

 

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
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Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
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His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
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Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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