One of the most troublesome challenges for modern nations is determining what to do about failed states such as Iraq and Syria.
These are places housing millions of human souls, and they have little infrastructure, no real economy to speak of, and precious little hope for all these reasons.
For Iraq, this is after the United States spent trillions there—with a ‘t’—on putting in a government, training their security forces, and setting up key infrastructure to give them every chance.
But this failed. We killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, lost thousands of our own, and we wasted trillions of American dollars that could have been spent back home.
I think one thing is clear:
Any country that still has a dictator is—by definition—not ready to have it removed for them.
It’s sad to watch a country’s population be subjugated by a tyrant, but it’s to realize that it could be their ideal form of government.
So what are advanced and moral countries supposed to do when a country is in shambles? When it’s being harvested openly by extremists who rape and murder at will, and who twist and mangle the broken youth of that country into weapons themselves? How are we supposed to react?
I think we’re about to realize that there are only two options:
- Make a 15-year and 10 trillion dollar investment to move into the country and nation-build. Go in with 300,000 troops and professionals. Set up the government. Set up the security. Build the military. Build the schools. Teach secular and humanist ideals and stamp out any signs of religious extremism. Do this for 15-25 years.
- Avert our attention as evil preys on them. Starvation. Ignorance. Rape. Racism. Murder. Genocide. The religious indoctrination of the youth. The export of terrorism. That is what will be produced, and the world will have to deal with it once it extends past the state’s broken borders.
In short, we’ll have to either go in and take complete control—for decades—or do nothing.
Anything in the middle is theater for the purpose of deception. Maybe we’re trying to convince someone we’re good people. Maybe it’s someone pretending to help while extracting the resources for themselves. Either way, the half-measures don’t help the country that’s suffering. With half-measures, the scale of effectiveness goes from ineffectual to malicious, and we’ve seen the whole range in Iraq.
But let’s take it one further. I laid out both options in the hope that the truth would reveal itself to the reader.
Option 2 isn’t going to happen either. Not for much longer. The human suffering taking place in these locations, combined with the number of extremist elements that can be grown there, will make it so that our only option is #1.
So that’s my prediction. We’re about to enter a new period of world colonialism where the UN—or something like it—is about to start taking over failed states for the good of the world.
The alternatives of doing nothing and sending the occasional care package are becoming to grotesque and too dangerous to entertain.
I predict that within 10-20 years, much of Africa and the Middle East will be basically occupied by an international force. Not for a few months. Not for a few years. But semi-permanently. They will stay there until the country has a new generation of educated youth with secular ideals and a desire to take the reigns back for itself.
But imagine the spend. Think about the resources that will be required. Think about the distaste for the occupying force that will be present in many of the countries.
Occupying failed states on behalf of the planet is a terrifically bad solution to this problem. The only thing worse is the alternative.
- I’m not saying we went into Iraq to do good things. It’s complicated, but there’s little question that we were pursuing our own (Halliburton, et. al) goals to some significant degree.
- There is a soft option of helping through financing, political influence, and other nudging to encourage democracy when it blooms naturally within a country.
- There is another, even more unspeakable, option that will offer itself during times of extreme tension. That option is to simply wipe and start over. Annex. Destroy. Integrate into oneself. North Korea is now South China, or Iraq is now West Iran, etc., but with millions perishing along with culture and history and much more.