Lines in the Sand

A nation-state’s borders are not sacrosanct. Failed states should be fragmented into more governable parts.

Issue: Jan-Feb 2007

We owe to Rousseau the insight that if there were no nation-states there would be no wars, and to Hobbes the insight that without nation-states there would be no domestic order. Foreign policy choices often involve judgments about the lesser of these two evils. Over the next several years, the United States must decide whether its interests are better served by trying to preserve threatened nation-states or by dismantling them-not least in the case of Iraq.

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