Everybody's Got One
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Sunday, July 25, 2004

A failed non-state?  

Failed states are where the monsters breed. Where, on the new map, outside the connected core, the dragons be. Where the alligators gather, as the swamp shifts location. Where the gator-getters go.

Post-Taliban Afghanistan is becoming orderly again (as much as it ever was). Iraq as well, to the dismay of many. The Bekaa valley is nominally under Syrian control, but it remains a badlands. As Saudi authority continues to decay, parts of the desert become more so. Somalia, somewhat less so.

Sudan may actually provoke some sort of international intervention, which while doing little for the surviving Fur should bring in enough bumbling blue helmets and camp-followers to raise international visibility above anarchy-friendly levels. West Africa is down to a simmer as the De Beers monopoly begins to crumble, and Bush's AIDS initiative may sprinkle the sub-Saharan regions with enough NGOs to make training camps hard to conceal.

The Philippines have thoughtfully volunteered to surrender some sovereignty around Mindinao, and Indonesia is susceptible to a concerted push. The 'Stans are always a concern.

But that's for the short- and middle run. Noah Millman points to where the failure may migrate 20-25 years down the road:
Admitting Turkey to the EU, as currently constituted, makes it very difficult to conceive how both democracy and the EU survive.

So once again, Europe's statesmen have led their people down a path from which turning aside is no longer possible. The only directions are backward, or forward. To date, Europe has always gone forward, and no one should bet that they will flinch now.

Let me stress that I admire the achievement of modern Turkey, and that I am generally optimistic about the future of that state and that people. I don't think there's any reason why Europe couldn't assimilate a controlled flow of Turkish immigrants - if they wanted to. It's not at all clear, though, that they want to; the Germans, certainly, seem averse to the very idea of immigration, notwithstanding the fact that they have millions of immigrants (mostly non-citizens) in the country already. But union with Turkey would not mean a controlled immigration, but uncontrolled, and it would not be possible to assimilate Turks to European norms because Turkey would be an equal partner and equally justified in demanding that Europeans assimilate to Turkish norms. ...

[A] massive, sprawling EU quasi-state approaching 400 million souls, committed to something more than a customs union but incapable of being a functioning nation-state, will necessarily burden America. It will be unable to assist us militarily, unwilling to assist us diplomatically, unable generally to make coherent policy based on its interests because it will be unable, increasingly, to discern its interests. Though weak, it will be dangerous. [Emphasis added]
Because weak, it will be dangerous, in the interesting times ahead. We may have to go liberate what's left of France again after all.

posted by Kelly | 10:25 PM link