Why Good Analysis Is Essential To Understanding And Defining A Mission

The essence of problem resolution and decision making is that ALL data elements are assessed using the same light and microscope. It is the only method that will reliably produce the correct answer.

The New York Times ran a piece “Ukraine Provides Evidence of Russian Military in Civil Unrest” showing pictures of pro Russian separatists that have been allegedly “linked” to Russian special forces and intelligence services. So let’s take a look at this and see how it shapes up….


 The individual shown in the picture on the left has been identified by Ukranian sources to be a member of Russian special forces by the patch on his left arm. Now, this was a 2008 photo taken in Georgia. Let’s think about this for a moment. The guy is wearing multicam and he’s wearing a Russian special forces patch. How many guys do we know that suite out in multicam and wear U.S. military patches. Somehow, this makes the guy a Russian SOF. Everything that he is wearing with exception of the biker beard can be worn and is worn by the airsoft community on the planet. Not to mention self-fashion “militias,” and accessible for purchase on the internet.

Now take a look at the guy sitting down looking at the camera, his head is approximately 10 inches high. If you superimpose his head on the upper torso of the individual in question, you can reasonably estimate that our subject has a waist to top of the head dimension of 36 to 40 inches. Unless the guy has tiny legs, and his ass is dragging the ground you can reasonably assume that his lower torso is of equal proportions. So we have a likely overall height of 72 to 80 inches. We can draw a conclusion that this individual has a height of 6 feet or more.

Let’s move forward to 2014…


Now let’s take a close look at the two pictures on the left. The top photo was allegedly taken in Kramatorsk and the bottom photo was taken Slovyansk. Both pictures are allegedly taken this year in 2014. Take a look at the bottom photo with respect to the other individuals does the subject circled in the photo appear to be 6 feet tall or more? Not to my eyes.

So we need to be cautious about formulating plans and assessing conditions or basing problem solving on the basis of poor analysis.

Right here and now, I want to separate decision making  from swaying public perceptions.

Organizations, like the New York Times, display a remarkable propensity for testing absolutely nothing. Is it possible that the individual depicted in the 2008 and 2014 pictures is one in the same, yes it is, but on a decision tree that leg would receive a probability of less than .05 from me. Readers need to develop a critical eye, and regardless of what side of the fence you sit on with this Ukrainian issue, examine all data under the same light and using the same microscope.

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