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State Fragility: Putting Our Mind and our Money Where our Mouth Is October 12, 2010

Posted by Guest Blogger in Uncategorized.
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By Dr. Pauline H. Baker, President of the Fund for Peace

Since the end of the Cold War, and especially after September 11, 2001, foreign policy experts have come to realize that the problem of failing states should be one of our top national security priorities. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated that: “In the decades to come, the most lethal threats to the United States safety and security are likely to emanate from states that cannot adequately govern themselves or secure their own territory. Dealing with such fractured or failing sates is, in many ways, the main security challenge of our time.”

Despite such warnings, U.S. foreign policy has not sufficiently adjusted to this new reality. Our foreign assistance programs are weak with respect to strengthening state capacity, subordinated to the two main themes that dominate our foreign aid: fighting terrorism and fighting poverty. For example, country breakdowns show that aid to weak states does not match the rankings in the Failed States Index, even when we remove states with sanctions, such as Sudan, and those in which the U.S. has special national security interests, such as Pakistan.. READ MORE

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