NPR has a wonderful article on the accuracy of certain amateurs who guess about important political-military events for the Central Intelligence Agency. Some people on the outside are better than experts in the Agency. A genuinely novel approach to forecasting: put the question out there; ask people, see who is consistently accurate, and listen to the ones who are consistently right.
What’s so challenging about all of this is the idea that you can get very accurate predictions about geopolitical events without access to secret information. In addition, access to classified information doesn’t automatically and necessarily give you an edge over a smart group of average citizens doing Google searches from their kitchen tables.