Filling the Global Security Gap

Addressing the possibility that the U.S. and Europe will shy away from military interventions post-Iraq/post-Afghanistan, Richard Gowan suggests that emerging countries -- Brazil, China and India, in particular -- could very well step in to fill the gap in the context of U.N. state-building operations. It tracks well with what Matt Armstrong wrote in his WPR feature article, U.N. Peacekeeping as Public Diplomacy. (Gowan's article in that issue, The Tragedy of 21st Century U.N. Peacekeeping, makes for good reading, too, as a cautionary note.) In this case, emerging countries' interest in burnishing their global bona fides would overlap with U.S. and Europeans' interest in downsizing their global security footprint with regard to lengthy state-building projects. The fact that U.N. forces have gotten pretty at the job makes it an attractive option, and one we should be encouraging.

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