Friday, September 20, 2002

previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (0)


GRAND STRATEGY FOOTNOTE -- AFRICA NOW MATTERS: I just read through the new "National Security Strategy." Having worked in government last year, it's all too easy to spot the cutting and pasting that goes on in cobbling together a document like this. The natural focus is going to be on the articulation of the pre-emption doctrine. But what I found interesting was that the strategy suggests that Africa is now a higher priority than Latin America. The latter region gets a total of four paragraphs, whereas the former gets more play, including "three interlocking strategies." Of the four places listed as prime candidates for future bilateral free trade agreements, two of them (Morocco and Southern Africa) are in Africa.

Does this make sense? Sort of. The introduction astutely notes, "The events of September 11, 2001, taught us that weak states, like Afghanistan, can pose as great a danger to our national interests as strong states. Poverty does not make poor people into terrorists and murderers. Yet poverty, weak institutions, and corruption can make weak states vulnerable to terrorist networks and drug cartels within their borders." This would explain the focus on Africa. But some countries in Latin America have these problems too -- I hope the administration is not taking their stability for granted.

posted by Dan on 09.20.02 at 04:06 PM