View Full Version : We Should Pay to Plan for Nation Building

11-16-2005, 09:09 AM
16 Nov. LAT Op-Ed by Max Boot - We Should Pay to Plan for Nation Building (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-boot16nov16,0,2092905.column?coll=la-news-comment-opinions).

... A hundred years ago, this type of involvement in other countries' internal affairs would have been called, frankly, liberal imperialism. Today, we prefer euphemisms such as nation building, peacekeeping and stabilization. But whatever you call such operations, they are essential to stop the spread of problems such as infectious diseases, terrorism, genocide, narco-trafficking and refugee flows. The 9/11 attacks offered a nightmare scenario of what can happen if the U.S. ignores even a place as small and remote as Afghanistan.

The issue is no longer whether we will do nation building but how well will we do it? So far, we haven't done a great job, in part because it is a notoriously difficult task, but also because we have not put the same kind of effort into postwar work that we have devoted to winning military campaigns. The costs of this neglect are all too apparent in Iraq, where the U.S. was grossly unprepared for the challenges we have faced since the fall of Baghdad in May 2003...