Nation Building


Why does it seem as though armies trained by the US always turn out to be a joke? The South Vietnamese army (gone, but not forgotten) was famously ineffective, finally collapsing in the face of a North Vietnamese offensive. The US-trained Afghan army has been unimpressive. The US trained the Nigerian army, and they have proven to be useless in fighting the psychopaths that make up Boko Haram. (The US has sent advisors to Nigeria to do some more training. Maybe they will get it right this time.) And now, the Iraqi army, which the US spent $25 billion to train, has fled Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, abandoning it to an army of religious fanatics.

At the risk of sounding conspiracist, I can’t help but suspect that perhaps this is deliberate. Making sure other countries have weak armies keeps them dependent on the US. What’s more, it means their armies can never pose a threat to the US. (The logic here is not unlike that of Trotskyist and Maoist sects, which keep their front groups weak, so they can never pose a threat to them.)

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