go to top

U.S. Must Remain Committed to Nation-Building Missions

Carol E.B. Choksy, Jamsheed K. Choksy Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010

After nine years of war in Afghanistan and seven more in Iraq, Americans are understandably weary of military interventions designed to remake or rebuild failed or fragile states. Nevertheless, many countries are still falling apart, or worse, falling into the hands of fundamentalists, terrorists, and other militants who disregard popular will and care little for human suffering. As a result, such nation-building interventions will remain necessary for the foreseeable future, as the U.S. involvement in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan demonstrates. So instead of renouncing these missions, the U.S. must better define why and how it will carry them out, to make sure the outcomes are effective and sustainable.

Causes of societal breakdown lie at local levels where lack of education, economic opportunities, healthcare, law enforcement, and government agencies facilitate the spread of illicit livelihoods, violence, indoctrination, and separatism. Yemenis desperately need basic education, primary healthcare, above-subsistence-level nutrition, and even safe drinking water to quash the deprivations that fuel militancy. Somalia's government operated on a national budget of approximately $11 million in 2009. By contrast, Somali pirates took in an estimated $200 million in ransom payments that year, using some of that loot to pay al-Shabaab terrorists for training and protection. Destabilizing conditions undermine lawful governance and hinder economic development while generating health, education, and welfare crises. No wonder those nations and others like them are failing. ...

Want to Read the Rest?
Login or Subscribe Today.
Quarterly
$ 25 for 3 months
  • Two-week FREE trial access.
  • Cancel during trial and pay nothing.
  • Just $25 quarterly after trial.
Try It FREE
Annual
$ 75 for 1 year
  • Two-week FREE trial access.
  • Cancel during trial and pay nothing.
  • Just $75 annually after trial.
Try It FREE