Some fresh ideas on “nation-building”

I like considering fresh ideas to approaching old problems and this article in the latest Strategic Studies Institute newsletter looks at fragile states in a new way.  Instead of looking at fragile states remedies from a top down state-building approach, Dr. Robert D. Lamb states  that outsiders, to include international state-building groups, can’t fix fragile states and he suggests a bottom up approach, recognizing that some subnational groups within fragile states manage to organize themselves and even govern themselves in some cases, despite the dysfunction at the national level.  His ideas deserve consideration, in light of the dismal failure of “nation-building”:

“Strategic Insights: Fragile States Cannot Be Fixed With State-Building”


Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Politics

3 responses to “Some fresh ideas on “nation-building”

  1. Kinnison

    The Kurds come to mind. An ancient people with their own culture and no nation, as their ancestral lands are divided by Turkey, Iran and Iraq. The Kurds are hill people, and as most hill people, fierce fighters. (Suliman the Magnificent was a Kurd.) And as I write this, the U.S. has sold the Kurds down the river for the third time in two decades, cutting a secret “deal” with Recip Erdegan in Turkey, allowing the Turkish Air Force to bomb the crap out of the Kurds in Turkey and Syria—and probably in northern Iraq—so long as they also drop some ordnance on ISIS and allow American planes to use an air base in southern Turkey to do so as well. The Kurds have always been sturdy U.S. allies in the region, and generally love Americans, but after this new betrayal, probably not so much…

  2. There are something like 30 million Kurds, who have been betrayed continuously – by their neighbors, the international community and the US. The Obama administration just wanted someone else on the ground to fight the Islamic State, with no clear strategy to deal with all the fall-out that would ensue with other ethnic factions and the regional governments.

    In light of the state of Iraq no longer actually existing and Syria also non-existent in reality, maybe the Kurds will get a lucky break for once. Not likely with this White House. The thing is the PKK complicates matters for other Kurdish groups. Recent terrorist attacks inside Turkey give cover to Erdogan cracking down on the PKK.

    Out of any group, the Kurds know from experience not to trust foreigners bearing alms – heck, didn’t we drop humanitarian supplies on their heads after Desert Storm?

  3. JK

    It doesn’t help [the Kurds] that the PKK is, besides being a Maoist group (unlike the greater number of other Kurdish factions – as opposed to the more usual, “clans”) has been along with the Turks, the US’ State Department, declared a terrorist group.

    Perhaps the most unfortunate thing for the Kurds is, insofar as Americans view “the Kurds” – the only way most view them is, “they’re the Peshmerga.”

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