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jerryking : failed_states   22

Trump, Niger and Connecting the Dots
OCT. 31, 2017 | The New York Times | Thomas L. Friedman.

It is easy to ignore the recent story of four U.S. servicemen killed in Niger, the giant state in central Africa, because the place is so remote and the circumstances still so murky. That would be a mistake. Niger highlights a much larger problem — just how foolish, how flat-out dumb President Trump is behaving.

Trump is a person who doesn’t connect dots — even when they’re big, fat polka dots that are hard to miss. ..... To understand why groups affiliated with ISIS and Al Qaeda are popping up in that region of central Africa, you have to connect a lot of dots, and recognize the linkages between a number of different problems....As defense systems expert Lin Wells once put it: To ameliorate problems in places like Niger, you must never think in the box. You must never think out of the box. “You must always think without a box.” [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linton_Wells_II]

Why? Because what is destabilizing all of these countries in the Sahel region of Africa and spawning terrorist groups is a cocktail of climate change, desertification — as the Sahara steadily creeps south — population explosions and misgovernance.....Desertification is the trigger, and climate change and population explosions are the amplifiers. The result is a widening collapse of small-scale farming, the foundation of societies all over Africa. And that collapse is leading to a rising tide of “economic migrants, interethnic conflicts and extremism,”......Trump’s response to this reality? It’s to focus solely on using the U.S. military to kill terrorists in Africa while offering a budget that eliminates U.S. support for global contraception programs; appointing climate-change deniers to all key environmental posts; pushing coal over clean energy; and curbing U.S. government climate research.

In short, he’s sending soldiers to fight a problem that is clearly being exacerbated by climate and population trends, while eliminating all our tools to mitigate these trends.
That’s just stupid, reckless and irresponsible — and it evinces no ability to connect the dots or think without a box......Nothing Trump ever says has a second paragraph. His whole shtick is just a first paragraph: Build a wall, tear up the Iran deal, tear up TPP, defeat ISIS, send troops to Niger and Afghanistan to kill terrorists, kill climate policy, kill family planning, cut taxes, raise military spending. Every box just marks an applause line he needed somewhere to get elected. Nothing connects — and we will pay for that.
Donald_Trump  Niger  ISIS  climate_change  Tom_Friedman  Africa  connecting_the_dots  the_Sahara  terrorism  the_Sahel  misgovernance  desertification  sub-Saharan_Africa  weak_states  failed_states  farming  population_growth  U.S._military  mismanagement  destabilization 
november 2017 by jerryking
A crisis for many years, and many reasons, to come - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Sep. 05, 2015

The reasons are easy to identify, the consequences extremely difficult to assess, the solutions complicated and uncertain.

Europe is politically stable and prosperous; Africa and the Middle East are not. Europe’s population is steady or declining; Africa and the Middle East have exploding numbers. Europe’s geography is not seriously affected by climate change; parts of Africa and the Middle East, already dry, are getting drier and therefore less fertile.

War is all but unimaginable in Europe; military conflict is a fact of life in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya. Human rights are respected throughout Europe (with a few exceptions); human rights are systematically abused by authoritarian and theocratic regimes in some African and many Middle Eastern countries. Women have made startling advances in almost every walk of European life; women are still discriminated against in too many parts of Africa and the Middle East.

These pressures pushing or enticing large numbers of people toward Europe will not disappear. If anything, they will intensify as the years go on, because climate change, demographic pressures, fierce intrareligious rivalries, the lack of respect for pluralism and a host of other entrenched realities will not bend to moral entreaties or military interventions from Western countries.
mass_migrations  refugees  crisis  Europe  failed_states  Jeffrey_Simpson  root_cause  Non-Integrating_Gap  Functioning_Core  emerging_countries  developed_countries  demographic_changes  decline  climate_change  religious_intolerance  migrants  human_trafficking 
september 2015 by jerryking
The Grand Strategy Obama Needs
SEPT. 10, 2014 | NYTimes.com | Vali R. Nasr.

What’s missing is a grand strategy — a road map not just for managing two crises but for ending them....But Eisenhower had a larger goal — not upsetting the delicate balance of power in the Cold War. Above all, he sought to avoid greater conflict, especially when he was trying to start arms control talks with Moscow.

In other words, he had a long-term global perspective.

By contrast, American policy today sees the world in fragments — ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Russia in Ukraine. But those crises have something important in common: Both trace to political fragmentation in weak states living within unsettled borders. That leaves those states prone to internal dissent, and America’s recent minimalist posture has given these brewing troubles room to explode into crises....American grand strategy should identify these weak countries before they turn on themselves; bolster their political mechanisms for living together in pluralism; declare our unyielding opposition to any outside forces that would seek to divide them. America’s military strength could assure the third part. The rest is work for our political and diplomatic experts.
Obama  Ukraine  strategy  geopolitics  '50s  Middle_East  Russia  strategic_thinking  nation_building  failed_states  long-term  weak_states  diplomacy  grand_strategy  roadmaps  Non-Integrating_Gap  Dwight_Eisenhower  crisis  Vali_Nasr 
september 2014 by jerryking
There needs to be a sober examination of our state of affairs Georgetown, Guyana
December 6, 2013 | Stabroek News | Frank Fyffe.

Said Fenty: “I now lament the stark fact that politics, governance, discrimination, corruption, management of resources and lack of employment among other factors, have caused young Guyanese to yearn to leave this homeland still rich with resources. Do you realise what national hopelessness means amongst the larger portion of our population?” But who can honestly look you in the eye and deny that? And I’m not denying the hard, perilous and precarious times many are faced with abroad, but the very fact that they crave madly the opportunity to leave paints a picture and tells a different story ‒ too many things are amiss and adrift.
Guyana  letters_to_the_editor  failed_states  misgovernance  hopelessness  brain_drain  emigration  politics  governance  discrimination  corruption  mismanagement  unemployment  precarious 
december 2013 by jerryking
Chrystia Freeland | Analysis & Opinion
May 23, 2013 | | Reuters.com |By Chrystia Freeland.

Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and James Robinson of Harvard University.

In their seminal 2012 book, “Why Nations Fail,” Acemoglu and Robinson offered a powerful new framework for understanding why some societies thrive and others decline – those based on inclusive growth succeed, while those where growth is extractive wither.

Their new study, “Economics Versus Politics: Pitfalls of Policy Advice,” will be published later this year in the Journal of Economic Perspectives and is available now in draft form as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. It tackles an essential subject in the age of technocracy: the limits of technocratic thinking as a basis for policy.

Their critique is not the standard technocrat’s lament that wise policy is, alas, politically impossible to implement. Instead, their concern is that policy which is eminently sensible in theory can fail in practice because of its unintended political consequences.
Chrystia_Freeland  books  economists  unintended_consequences  failed_states  Non-Integrating_Gap  policymakers  policymaking 
may 2013 by jerryking
Good leadership is Africa’s missing ingredient
Mar. 04 2013 | The Globe and Mail |Robert Rotberg.

Because so many of sub-Saharan Africa’s 49 countries are preinstitutional, and not yet fully nations, leaders matter immensely, more than they do in the developed world. Leaders call the shots, as they have in most sub-Saharan African countries since independence in the 1960s. They set the ethical tone. If leaders are greedy, as many are, their citizens become more cynical and the quality of governmental discourse suffers enormously.

In Africa and elsewhere, governments are expected by their subjects to provide security and safety, rule of law, open political participation, sustainable economic prospects and a large measure of human development (educational and health opportunities and services).

In states where political institutions are weak, legislatures are subordinate to executives, the media are barely free and the judiciary is subordinate rather than independent, the manner in which leaders behave as presidents and prime ministers is much more decisive than it might be in a fully-formed nation where political institutions work and constrain overweening political executives.

A majority of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa are still controlled by men who are motivated not by what they can do for their people but by what their people can do for them. Such leaders exist to prey on their own citizens, to extract from the body politic corrupt rents and other privileges that benefit the ruler and ruling class, their families, and their cliques or lineages.
leadership  leaders  leadership_development  Africa  CIDA  capacity-building  weak_states  judiciary  institutions  greed  rent-seeking  institutional_integrity  failed_states  ruling_classes  sub-Saharan_Africa  Non-Integrating_Gap  autocrats  misgovernance  predatory_practices  developing_countries  independent_judiciary 
march 2013 by jerryking
Caribbean in greatest crisis since independence : Kaieteur News
November 18, 2012 | By KNews | Sir Ronald Sanders.

This is a worrying condition for the CARICOM region. For, if the public has lost faith in the willingness of governments and institutions to act swiftly and together to extract them from crisis, the consequences will be even more serious. They will include increased emigration of the skilled persons in our societies, shrinkage of investment by local business people, and a general malaise in the productive sector. In short, it will lead to a worsening of the crisis.
The sad aspect of all this is that every leader in the member-states of CARICOM, in its institutions and in the private sector know very well that deeper integration of Caribbean economies and closer harmonisation of their external relations would be an immediate stimulus to pulling CARICOM countries out of what Dr Anthony rightly describes as “this vicious vortex of persistent low growth, crippling debt, huge fiscal deficits and high unemployment”.
Caribbean  crisis  Caricom  failed_states  misgovernance  low_growth  brain_drain  unemployment  debt  sovereignty  downward_spirals 
november 2012 by jerryking
Africa Needs Tough Love - WSJ.com
July 15, 2003 | WJS By GEORGE B.N. AYITTEY.

President Bush correctly recognized that what Africa needs is straight talk, tough love. Short of recolonization, there's only so much he can do to help unless Africa's leadership is willing to get serious about tackling its innumerable woes.
Africa  tough_love  foreign_aid  failed_states  Robert_Mugabe  truth-telling  Zimbabwe  capital_flight  sub-Saharan_Africa  leaders  leadership 
august 2012 by jerryking
Africa's Poverty Trap - WSJ.com
March 23, 2007 | WSJ |By WILLIAM R. EASTERLY.

Economists involved in Africa then and now undervalued free markets, instead coming up with one of the worst ideas ever: state direction by the states least able to direct.

African governments are not the only ones that are bad, but they have ranked low for decades on most international comparisons of corruption, state failure, red tape, lawlessness and dictatorship. Nor is recognizing such bad government "racist" -- this would be an insult to the many Africans who risk their lives to protest their own bad governments. Instead, corrupt and mismanaged governments on the continent reflect the unhappy way in which colonizers artificially created most nations, often combining antagonistic ethnicities. Anyway, the results of statist economics by bad states was a near-zero rise in GDP per capita for Ghana, and the same for the average African nation, over the last 50 years....The cowed IMF and the World Bank never mention the words "free market" in thousands of pages devoted to ending poverty. Even the World Bank's 2005 World Development Report "A Better Investment Climate for Everyone" doesn't mention the forbidden words.World Bank economists are so scared of offending anyone on Africa that they recite tautologies.
William_Easterly  Africa  economists  IMF  World_Bank  foreign_aid  free_markets  failed_states  lawlessness  corruption  poverty  mismanagement  misrule  governance  poor_governance  misgovernance 
august 2012 by jerryking
Even the Prostitutes Have Degrees - WSJ.com
January 31, 2003 | WSJ | Daniel Henninger.

Accountability and responsibility may well be the two words Mr. Bush hopes most to deposit in our political vocabulary....Africa is the one big place in the world no one in politics wants to think about. Africa is "hopeless." Our leaders in Washington, however, can't escape Africa's realities entirely because they spend each day in the back seat of taxis driven by black men who have fled from Africa's non-functioning economies. It is always disconcerting when one talks with these African taxi drivers to find they are often better educated than American blacks in similar jobs. They are in America not because Africa is stupid but because Africa's politicians are often corrupt and have stupid ideas that ruin the people beneath them.
Daniel_Henninger  HIV  Africa  Kenya  Non-Integrating_Gap  hopelessness  failed_states  politicians  misgovernance  misrule  corruption  poor_governance 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Pentagon's New Map
March 1, 2003 | Esquire | By Thomas P.M. Barnett.

Show me where globalization is thick with network connectivity, financial transactions, liberal media flows, and collective security, and I will show you regions featuring stable governments, rising standards of living, and more deaths by suicide than murder. These parts of the world I call the Functioning Core, or Core. But show me where globalization is thinning or just plain absent, and I will show you regions plagued by politically repressive regimes, widespread poverty and disease, routine mass murder, and--most important--the chronic conflicts that incubate the next generation of global terrorists. These parts of the world I call the Non-Integrating Gap, or Gap.
Pentagon  Thomas_Barnett  globalization  security_&_intelligence  failed_states  mapping  Non-Integrating_Gap  Functioning_Core 
may 2012 by jerryking
Kwanzaa, in Principle - WSJ.com
December 27, 2002 | WSJ | By MATTHEW HAMEL.

Kwanzaa was started in the late 1960s by Maulana (ne Ron) Karenga -- a California civil-rights activist and now a professor -- as a series of days for blacks to reflect on "The Seven Principles," which constitute a credo "by which Black people must live in order to begin to rescue and reconstruct our history and lives." The principles themselves are utility, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith, each of which goes by its name in Kiswahili, the major language of the East African country of Tanzania (e.g., umoja, ujima, ujamaa).
African-Americans  Tanzanian  Tanzania  failed_states  self-determination  Kiswahili  Kwanzaa 
april 2012 by jerryking
Why Nations Fail - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: March 31, 2012

“Why Nations Fail.” The more you read it, the more you appreciate what a fool’s errand we’re on in Afghanistan and how much we need to totally revamp our whole foreign aid strategy. But most intriguing are the warning flares the authors put up about both America and China.

Co-authored by the M.I.T. economist Daron Acemoglu and the Harvard political scientist James A. Robinson, “Why Nations Fail” argues that the key differentiator between countries is “institutions.” Nations thrive when they develop “inclusive” political and economic institutions, and they fail when those institutions become “extractive” and concentrate power and opportunity in the hands of only a few.
book_reviews  Tom_Friedman  China  U.S.  Afghanistan  Non-Integrating_Gap  Egypt  foreign_policy  institutions  foreign_aid  failed_states  institutional_integrity 
april 2012 by jerryking

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