Tue, 29 November 2011
Conventional wisdom holds that weak and failing states are extremely attractive to transnational terrorist groups because they have unmonitored borders and provide places where terrorists can plan attacks. If this is the case, why are only a minority of these states home to terrorist groups? In fact, mainstream beliefs about the threats posed by failing states are based on anecdotal arguments, not on a systematic analysis of the connections between state failure and transnational security threats. A country's institutional weakness is not the only appeal to terrorist groups; it is a state's ambivalent relationship with, or direct support for, these groups that attracts them. Join Stewart Patrick as he shows that while some global threats do emerge in fragile states, most of their weaknesses create misery only for their own citizenry and the real global threats originate farther up the chain in government.