Top Ten Failed States 2006
1. Sudan (3)
2. DR Congo (2)
3. Ivory Coast (1)
4. Iraq (4)
5. Zimbabwe (15)
6. Chad (7)
8. Haiti (10)
9. Pakistan (34)
10. Afghanistan (11)
The numbers in parentheses indicate the 2005 ranks. The bottom-ranked state was Norway, while India placed 93rd.
A visual depiction of the Index is sobering and frightening in its global reach. The new order might be overdue, a breaking of nations might be soon coming.
The twelve CAST indicators used are:
1 - Mounting Demographic Pressures
2 - Massive Movement of Refugees and IDPs
3 - Legacy of Vengeance - Seeking Group Grievance
4 - Chronic and Sustained Human Flight
5 - Uneven Economic Development along Group Lines
6 - Sharp and/or Severe Economic Decline
7 - Criminalization or Delegitimization of the State
8 - Progressive Deterioration of Public Services
9 - Widespread Violation of Human Rights
10 - Security Apparatus as "State within a State"
11 - Rise of Factionalized Elites
12 - Intervention of Other States or External Actors
A few selected scores on the FSI Index are educational. Remember that a lower score is preferred.
In a related report, titled From Failed State to Civil War: The Lebanization of Iraq, 2003-2006, the Fund for Peace called for an international conference to explore a negotiated settlement based on greater autonomy or a peaceful partition of the country.
Making changes in the international landscape is never easy, especially in a unipolar world. The United Nations is unable to act forcefully enough or fast enough to resolve many conflicts. Development is stymied by commercial and local interests.
No answers or solutions here — sorry. Harry Truman said in 1949, "We must embark on a bold new program from making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas. The old imperialism — exploitation for foreign profit — has no place in our plans. What we envision is a program of development based on the concepts of democratic fair dealing."
Much of the promise of the global fair deal has been realized, but there are many miles to go before we can sleep.