Nation-Building 101

posted Jan 15, 2004

Some of the best-justified criticism of the Administration's Iraq plans I've seen to date. People who expected us to anticipate and have a plan for every possible contingency annoy me; such a thing is not possible. People who don't understand the value of flexible plans that involve intelligent agents in the field responding dynamically to local conditions annoy me; it may look like a lack of a plan but that "lack of a plan" is hundreds of times better then a bad, globally applied plan.

This article wisely avoids those errors. Instead, it has criticisms like "America's involvement in nation-building over the past fifteen years has yielded some significant knowledge about organizing for the task, as a recent study by the RAND Corporation demonstrates. But the Bush Administration failed to draw on this institutional knowledge." which are then well-backed up with evidence.

Kudos to a very even-handed and dispassionate critique; this is more valuable then thousands of screaming fits.


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