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America's Role in Nation-buildingby James Dobbins
Synopses & Reviews
'James Dobbins has long been one of those troubleshooters who never seem to miss a crisis. As the special United States envoy for Afghanistan, Mr. Dobbins was responsible for finding and installing a successor to the Taliban after they were toppled in 2001. During the 1990\'s, Mr. Dobbins hop-scotched from one trouble spot to another as he served as special envoy to Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti and Somalia. So when he offers a critique of the Bush administration\'s nation-building effort in Iraq, it is worth paying attention. Now out of government, Mr. Dobbins, who has worked for Republican as well as Democratic administrations, does not have a partisan ax to grind.
New York TimesPolicy recommendations contained in this study should be taken to heart and then further researched and refined for future use.
Graham DayJames Dobbins\' \'America\'s Role in Nation-Building\' must become essential reading among Washington\'s bureaucrats and in all six American war colleges. The author, an experienced nation-building (or reconstruction) practitioner, and his co-authors have written a no-nonsense, spare, well-analyzed and lucid volume that illuminates the path for those engaged in this difficult and thankless, but necessary mission. The authors cover two successes, Germany and Japan; two abject failures, Haiti and Somalia; Bosnia, a \'mixed success\'; Kosovo, a \'modest success\'; and one case too early to tell, Afghanistan. The final chapter is an application of lessons from all these case studies to the reconstruction effort in Iraq... There is outstanding wisdom in this book.
Book News Annotation:
Many factors influence the relative success of nation-building activities, argues this RAND report, but the most important are levels of time, manpower, and money. The report analyzes the cases of U.S. involvement in Germany, Japan, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, focusing on questions of security, humanitarian concerns, civil administration, democratization, and reconstruction. The report finds that multilateralism can be more complex, but is considerably less expensive and often results in more thoroughgoing change.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Examines U.S. and UN nation-building missions since WWII, to analyze military, political, humanitarian, and economic activities in post-conflict situations, determine key principles for success, and draw implications for future missions.
'In Iraq, the United States is facing its most challenging nation-building project since the 1940s. The authors draw lessons from seven case studies--Germany, Japan, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan--then apply these to the Iraq case. The results suggest that nation-building will be difficult but possible. Success will, however, require investing sufficient financial, military, and political resources--and time.'
Table of Contents
Germany — Japan — Somalia — Haiti — Bosnia — Kosovo — Afghanistan — Lessons learned — Iraq.
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