Speaking of Yemen

Hillary Clinton on Development in the 21st Century Foreign Policy: "But whether it's to improve long-term security in places torn apart by conflict, like Afghanistan, or to further progress in countries that are on their way to becoming regional anchors of stability, like Tanzania, we pursue development for the same reasons: to improve lives, fight poverty, expand rights and opportunities, strengthen communities, and secure democratic institutions and governance; and in doing so, advance global stability, improve our own security, and project our values and leadership in the world."

Carl Bildt is very concerned about the development in the band of countries stretching from Somalia to Pakistan in his blog today and a comment on how the problem is approached is furnished by Hillary Clinton in a speech yesterday. I guess Clinton is striking while the iron is hot now after the plane bombing attempt by a Nigerian trained in Yemen.

It is interesting reading and as Clinton points out it works in some countries but not in others. Afghanistan looks like a failure today with its eight year in a row escalation of problems and a foiled democracy attempt in the recent election. The Taliban is apparently attempting a shadow government of their own as well. People like the Taliban would of course refuse the benevolent help of the US and EU. Let's hope the next one and half year will turn the tide.

If you don't have time to read the whole speech there is a short version in the Christian Science Monitor today. The key word is help with development: teach a person how to fish and they can feed themselves for a life time. Partnerships with countries risking to become failed states can do good.

A good question is what to do if the countries Bildt is talking about are beyond repair? Move in with the cavalry and mobilize them over 30 years or just let them necrotize. The last scenario is of course very difficult given a humanistic point of view. When the first alternative looks gloomy the whole story becomes very frustrating. A challenge that has to be met.

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