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Tag Archives: nation building

We have met the enemy and he is powerpoint: NYT on the military

The New York Times had a front pager today on a story that this blog (twice: Dec 22, 2009 and Dec 12, 2009 ) and other blogs has been all over for months – the use of nonsensical Powerpoint slides to guide the US military in Afghanistan. The NYT reproduced the infamous Afghan nation-building spaghetti chart over most of the front page:

“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Gen. James N. Mattis of

Posted in Democracy and freedom, In the news, Military aid | Also tagged , 12 Comments

What’s so hard about nation-building?

From today’s NYT

Posted in In the news | Also tagged , 5 Comments

Top 5 reasons why “failed state” is a failed concept

1) “State failure” is leading to confused policy making.

For example, it is causing the military to attempt overly ambitious nation-building and development to approach counter-terrorism, under the unproven assumption that “failed states” produce terrorism.

2) “State failure” has failed to produce any useful academic research in economics.

You would expect a major concept to be the subject of research by economists (as well as by other fields, but I am using economics research…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Military aid | Also tagged , 18 Comments