The War Casualties And The Nation Building

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U.S. Military Deaths

Since President Bush left office, we have heard little about how many of our soldiers have died. For that reason, I am posting the casualties to date –
Operation Iraqi Freedom – 4,424
Operation Enduring Freedom – 1461
Read here: The Fallen

The Nation building is also questionable. We build a bridge, they blow it up. We build a school, they blow it up. We educate the women, they blow them up. The NY Times claims nation building is working though they did not believe so 3 years ago. Read here: NY Times, August 2010

Independent observers believe it has never worked. “A case in point is President Bush’s invasion of Iraq. He hoped that our military occupation would turn that country into a democracy, but there is no sign he considered the success rate for this kind of action. Over the past century, the United States has sent military forces to many troubled areas in an effort to establish democracy. Great Britain has done the same, several dozen times. Before invading Iraq, the president should have studied how these efforts have turned out, to know his chances of success.

He would have learned that a president who went around the world invading countries in order to make them democratic would fail most of the time. The record shows that of the 51 times the United States and Great Britain attempted nation-building by force over the past 150 years, they left behind an enduring democracy in only 14 cases, or 27 percent of the time. (For details of this study see the newly-released book by the Independent Institute, “Opposing the Crusader State: Alternatives to Global Interventionism.”)

This disappointing pattern can be seen in America’s first effort at nation-building, in Cuba after the Spanish-American War of 1898. Following the war, the United States administered Cuba for four years, turning power over to an elected Cuban president in 1902. A few years later, a violent revolution forced him from office, and U.S. troops came back in 1906. After more reforms and new elections, the U.S. again turned power over to the Cubans in 1909. More instability ensued, including another violent revolt. The marines came back yet a third time in 1917; restored order; set up another constitutional regime; and withdrew in 1922. After that, Cuba saw a succession of unstable and autocratic regimes, and now suffers the totalitarian dictatorship of Fidel Castro.

In Iraq, the batting average for nation-building is zero. The British occupied it from 1917 to 1932, and again from 1941 to 1947. Despite their efforts to cultivate democracy, civil strife, warlordism, and dictatorship emerged both times after the troops left.

Other failed democracy-building efforts in the Middle East include Lebanon, where the U.S. twice sent troops, in 1958 and again in 1982, and Somalia in 1992…” Read here: Nation building, does it work

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