Do Not ResuscitateIssue: Mar-Apr 2008
WE SEEM to be on constant red alert for state failure, but we can stop fearing and start looking. It's already happening in Somalia, Congo and Sudan; it is also likely to spread to Eritrea, Kenya, Nigeria and possibly even Ethiopia-and that's just on the African continent. These places do matter to the United States, but breaking them apart-rather than building them up-may be the answer.
Since the end of the cold war there's been a lot more conflict within states than among states. The ensuing televised death, destruction, famine and disease creates calls for humanitarian intervention. We hold up the crumbling foundations of statehood. Adopting a strategy of altering states to fit "nations" instead of forcing "nations" to fit states will put an end to the draining and futile efforts to prop up weak and tenuous countries. It is time to stop nation building and start nation razing.