Should data analysis help determine foreign policy decisions?

Political scientist Robert Pape analysed data of sanctions leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941. Corbis

In 1998, Madeline Albright, then president Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, described the United States as “the indispensable nation”. In 2019, Russia is said to be becoming an indispensable nation, particularly in the Middle East. And last week, a new Atlantic Council report titled Global Risks 2035 defined a “new bipolarity” — the result, it said, of competition between the US and…