Obviously, this is a serious issue, but I just read Spencer Ackerman explain:
President Obama’s ordering up a province-by-province study to “determine which regions are being managed effectively by local leaders and which require international help.”
And looking that over, it seems to me that a province-by-province study to “determine which regions are being managed effectively by local leaders and which require international help” would be a good idea right here in the USA. Someone can finally do something about, say, Mississippi. It persistently lags on human development indexes, its governor is dogged by corruption allegations, and election results simply break down along ethnic lines and re-enforce entrenched divisions.
A joke, yes. But it’s a reminder that state-building involves a lot of large assumptions about the capabilities of our own public sector institutions. Providing good government is difficult, and providing it in a foreign country can be very difficult.