Failed States

Each year, the Fund for Peace organization conducts a study to list the world’s so called “Failed States.” The Failed States index “ranks 177 countries using 12 social, economic, and political indicators of pressure on the state, along with over 100 sub-indicators” (Fund for Peace News).

1. Mounting Demographic Pressure
2. Massive Movement of Refugees or IDP’s
3. Vengeance-seeking  Group Grievance
4. Chronic and Sustained Human Flight
5. Uneven Economic Development
6. Poverty, Sharp or Severe Economic Decline
7.Legitimacy of the State
8. Progressive Deterioration of Public Services
9. Violation of Human Rights and Rule of Law
10. Security Apparatus
11. Rise of Factionalized Elites
12. Intervention of External Actors

This year Afghanistan has ranked seventh and Iraq has ranked ninth, with one being the worst. According to the Failed States Index, Afghanistan faces too many security challenges and must improve upon them or stability will be unlikely. In addition they are controlled by corruption and have a huge drug lord scandal currently. Iraq on the other hand is considered a Failed State because they are relying on “external actors” to keep their government running.

I suppose the problem I have is that if America has such a huge influence in the region right now, why are Afghanistan and Iraq in so much more of a critical state than we are? America is ranked 158, basically 150 spots above both countries. It seems to me that our efforts over there would have made some form of improvement by now, but considering Afghanistan has been listed as a failed state for five years straight, apparently nothing is happening.

It seems to me that if our interests became their interests, we would be able to help them much more appropriately. As Masha Hamilton said, we need to stop trying to run this country under fear, because if we fear the unknown we will never be able to help them.

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