Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) paper
o The introduction should specify the topic; describe why it is important; explain the purpose of the paper; and conclude with a roadmap of the organization of the remainder of the paper.
Question you are addressing
o If the United States executed a full troop withdrawal from Iraq, would the Iraqi government likely turn to Russia for security and stabilization support?
Identify the Hypotheses.
My hypotheses might are:
o H1: Yes; The Iraqi government will view the US withdrawal as an overall lack of support and willingness to support security and provide stabilization and turn to Russia for support.
o H2: Yes; the Iraqi government will attempt, but fail, to provide self-sustaining support. They will then turn to Russia due to Russias current alliance with both Syria and Iran.
o H3: No; the Iraqi government will be able to provide self-security and stabilization without the need for outside support.
o H4: No; the Iraqi government will turn to Iran, whom is already working with security groups inside Iraq, for security and stabilization as well as a regional partner.
o H5: No; the Iraqi government will turn to China for security and stabilization. China will be able to provide military support as well as economic support to the Iraqi government and the Iraqis will welcome this support.
o H6: No; the Iraqi government will work together and more effectively with the Kurdish population to provide security and stabilization across Iraq.
o H7: No; the Iraqi government will continue to attempt to work with the US through other than direct military support to maintain security and stabilization.
o H8: Yes; a full troop withdrawal from Iraq would also result in a troop withdrawal from Syria. Once withdrawn, Russia will continue operations along the Syrian-Iraqi border and provide pressure to the Iraqi government into allowing Russian support inside Iraq.
o Determine (based on your research) what the relevant evidence (SEE LEF COLUMN IN ATTACHED EXCEL SHEET FOR EVIDENCE) is regarding your question. What information do we have that bears on your question? You will then go hypothesis by hypothesis against each piece of evidence (SEE LEF COLUMN IN ATTACHED EXCEL SHEET FOR EVIDENCE). In other words, youll work row by row down the column, determining whether that piece of evidence is (a) consistent with the hypothesis, (b) inconsistent with the hypothesis, or (c) not clearly one way or the other.
Following the chart, you should include a paragraph discussing what you think the most important pieces of evidence are; whether you chose to weigh some pieces of evidence more heavily than others and why; and if you were able to determine that any of the evidence turned out to lack diagnostic value (did not differentiate among hypotheses).
Explain how any specific biases might be at play with your analysis. How have you tried to account for them and mitigate their effect?
You should next note whether you were able to eliminate any hypotheses as being unlikely due to a prevalence of disconfirming evidence. Note that the ACH method focuses much more on inconsistent evidence (disconfirming) than on evidence that is consistent. The goal is to see if you can rule out some hypotheses.
The next section of the paper should be a narrative description identifying the things we should look for in the future (indicators and warnings) that would tend to confirm OR disconfirm each of the hypotheses. In other words, if Hypothesis 1 is right, what would we expect to see along the way that would let us know this H seems to be coming true. Likewise, if it is wrong, what would we expect to see? Do this for each of the hypotheses. This will likely be a fairly lengthy section of the paper.
Conclude the paper with a brief recap of the most important things youve discovered in the analysis.