Is A Strong Military Key To Building Strong Arab States?

Does Building A Military Help Build Arab States?
It once was held that the pathway toward a stronger nation-state was to invest in the military, however, with the virtual collapse in recent years of both militaries and states in Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen, raises doubts about this theory, argues Robert Springborg.

“The monarchies have behaved ostensibly as the European historical model would predict, redoubling their efforts to further expand military capacities in the face of various threats. However, those efforts have not been coupled with intensified domestic extraction nor with effective state building, suggesting that these patrimonial political systems are becoming militarily top heavy and hence politically unbalanced. Arab militaries, in sum, whether in direct control or as agents of ruling monarchs, appear not to have fulfilled their promise as state builders,” he suggests in an editorial for the Middle East Institute.

To Achieve Success, Cuba Should Follow Singapore’s Lead
The Obama administration this week opened a crack in the door to Cuba when it established an embassy on the island nation. The argument of those who support further normalization of relations is that it will lead toward a greater openness and economic prosperity. If the regime of Raul Castro truly wishes to spur economic development, Deborah Spar of Foreign Policy advises them to follow the path of Singapore.

She argues that the Asian nation has achieved success in the last fifty years as a result of what kind of investment it has chosen to make as much as the projects it has not pursued. For example, unlike Kenya and Brazil, who sought grand projects after they gained democratic status, Singapore has taken a more realistic approach to building its economy.

“Whoever these new leaders will be and however they will come to power, they will face a panoply of development options and an avalanche of advice. But they would do well, in the early days of their decision-making, to heed the model of another island nation—one dealing with the loss of a legendary leader and that arguably handled its post-colonial development better than any other small country,” says Spar.

Similarities Between Sympathizers Of Communism And ISIS
During the 1960s, a group of Americans became enamored with communism, even travelling to Russia to feed their interest and fascination. The allure which draws Westerners to the Middle East to either join or assist ISIS is not unlike that which enamored communist sympathizers, says Simon Cottee of The Atlantic.

On the surface they may not seem to share common traits, Cottee maintains that their “estrangement from Western society and the force of their belief in an alternative system far superior to it” reflects a similar sense of discontentment with these individuals.




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