America's Role in Nation-Building

America's Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq

James Dobbins
John G. McGinn
Keith Crane
Seth G. Jones
Rollie Lal
Andrew Rathmell
Rachel Swanger
Anga Timilsina
Copyright Date: 2003
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    America's Role in Nation-Building
    Book Description:

    The post-World War II occupations of Germany and Japan set standards for postconflict nation-building that have not since been matched. Only in recent years has the United States has felt the need to participate in similar transformations, but it is now facing one of the most challenging prospects since the 1940s: Iraq. The authors review seven case studies--Germany, Japan, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan--and seek lessons about what worked well and what did not. Then, they examine the Iraq situation in light of these lessons. Success in Iraq will require an extensive commitment of financial, military, and political resources for a long time. The United States cannot afford to contemplate early exit strategies and cannot afford to leave the job half completed.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3486-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xxx)
    (pp. xxxi-xxxii)
    (pp. xxxiii-xxxvi)
  8. Chapter One INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-2)

    Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has invested significant military, political, and economic resources into conducting operations in the aftermaths of conflicts or civil unrest. Numerous studies, articles, and reports have been published on various aspects of these operations, but most have focused exclusively on the post–Cold War period. This is the first effort of which we are aware to review the major U.S. experiences in nation-building exercises since 1945, compare and contrast the results of these operations, outline significant lessons and best practices, and then suggest how those lessons might be applied to the...

  9. Chapter Two GERMANY
    (pp. 3-24)

    World War II was the bloodiest conflict in European history. Millions of soldiers and civilians were killed in battle or in Nazi Germany’s concentration camps. In May 1945, Germany surrendered unconditionally to the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom. The Allies had already decided to occupy Germany militarily. The United States, the United Kingdom, and France occupied zones in the west, while the Soviets occupied the east. The capital of Berlin was also partitioned among the four occupying powers. Common Allied policy was developed in a series of summit meetings, most notably at Casablanca in January 1943,...

  10. Chapter Three JAPAN
    (pp. 25-54)

    The U.S. use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, led to the conclusion of the war in the Pacific, which for Japan had started in northern China in 1931. Between the dropping of the two atomic bombs, the Soviet Union entered the war and began moving into Manchuria. U.S. troops had captured Okinawa and were poised to invade the home islands. The specter of defeat led to a crisis within the Japanese government and a decision by the emperor to accept the Allied terms of surrender. Under the pressure of these events,...

  11. Chapter Four SOMALIA
    (pp. 55-70)

    The overthrow of the regime of Major General Muhammad Siad Barre in 1991 led to a bitter struggle among competing clans for the reins of power. Somalia rapidly descended into chaos. In the absence of a national government, the country fragmented into factions headed by various warlords, two of which, General Mohamed Farah Aideed and Ali Mahdi Mohamed, competed for control of Mogadishu. The combination of a drought and fighting among the many warlords created a massive humanitarian disaster. Widespread suffering from famine and civil war led to humanitarian intervention in April 1992 under UN leadership.¹ The UN Operation in...

  12. Chapter Five HAITI
    (pp. 71-86)

    On December 16, 1990, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected president of Haiti in what was generally judged a free and fair election, receiving 67 percent of the vote. Nine months later, he was ousted by the Haitian military and forced to flee the country. Neither the United States nor any other government recognized the “de facto” military regime, led by General Raul Cedras, that had seized power. Over the following three years, the international community employed political pressure, economic sanctions, and eventually the threat of military force to secure President Aristide’s restoration. On September 18, 1994, General Cedras signed an agreement...

  13. Chapter Six BOSNIA
    (pp. 87-110)

    With the end of the Cold War and the fall of communism, the internal contradictions and tensions of Yugoslavia became too much for a highly diverse, multiethnic state first created 70 years earlier from the remnants of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires. In the late 1980s, using highly explosive nationalism to fuel his rise, former communist apparatchik Slobodan Milosevic became prime minister of Serbia. In a speech given in 1989 on the 600th anniversary of the epic Battle of Kosovo, in which the Kingdom of Serbia lost its independence to the Turks, Milosevic exploited Serbian nationalism to push for the...

  14. Chapter Seven KOSOVO
    (pp. 111-128)

    Serbs and Albanians have wrestled for control over the territory of Kosovo for hundreds of years.¹ In 1989, then Serbian and subsequently Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic revoked Kosovo’s autonomous status, disbanded its institutions of local government, imposed direct control from Belgrade, replaced Kosovar Albanians with Serbs in most official positions, and began to dispossess the Kosovar Albanians of their equity in most communally owned enterprises through a rigged process of “privatization.” As Yugoslavia disintegrated in the 1990s, the majority Albanian Kosovar population’s resistance to Serbian rule grew apace. Initially nonviolent, Albanian resistance began to take more-militant forms as the decade...

  15. Chapter Eight AFGHANISTAN
    (pp. 129-148)

    Whereas Yugoslavia was a strong state broken up by internal tensions, Afghanistan has been a weak state pulled apart by its neighbors. The 1979 Soviet invasion sparked a period of civil war and unrest that lasted over 20 years. After the Soviets withdrew, various factions occupied and then lost control of the capital, Kabul, until the rise of the Taliban in 1996. The Taliban gained control of the urban areas and most of the countryside and established an Islamic fundamentalist regime under Sharia law. Under this regime, women had no rights; there was no freedom of the press or religion;...

  16. Chapter Nine LESSONS LEARNED
    (pp. 149-166)

    This chapter compares the results of the operations in the seven cases—Germany, Japan, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan—with the resources that the United States and the international community invested in them. We compare the cases in terms of five measures of inputs (military presence, police presence, total economic assistance, per capita economic assistance, and external assistance as a percentage of GDP) and four measures of outcomes (the numbers of postconflict combat deaths among U.S. forces, time until the first elections after the conflict, return of refugees and IDPs, and growth in per capita GDP). Because of the...

  17. Chapter Ten IRAQ
    (pp. 167-222)

    In March 2003, a U.S.-led force invaded Iraq with the explicit aim of toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein. The rationale for the operation was that regime change provided the only sure means of disarming Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction (WMD). At the same time, the U.S. administration argued that the construction of a stable and democratic Iraq would promote reform and, hence, security in the wider Middle East. Having failed to secure support from the French, Chinese, and Russian governments, all veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council, for a second UNSCR explicitly authorizing the use of...

    (pp. 223-224)
    (pp. 225-242)
    (pp. 243-244)