2002 October 22 Tuesday
Sebastian Mallaby On Iraq Reconstruction

Sebastian Mallaby argues that since MacArthur's rule of Japan was too much like colonialism it will not be seen as acceptable to have an American General ruling Iraq for several years. However, I fail to see how his preferred alternative, a new international institution whose purpose is to rule conquered nations, will avoid any of the same accusations that will be hurdled at a pure US administration for Iraq. As long as the ruling Administration of Iraq is following American guidance it will be labelled a tool of American imperialism:

A really bold administration would not accept these weaknesses. It would think up a new international institution that could match MacArthur's vigor while avoiding an anti-imperialist backlash. This new institution -- call it the International Reconstruction Fund -- should be governed like the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund: It should have an American-led board rather than a system of squad vetoes like the U.N. Security Council. It should assemble the expertise and resources needed to put countries back together, including experts in constitutions and truth commissions, as well as a roster of peacekeepers and police officers from different countries who have been trained to work together. The reconstruction fund should amount to a pre-assembled, non-American MacArthur -- and thereby serve American interests far better than the American version.

The US will be damned no matter what it does. It is better for the US to do what will be most effective. At least that way we will derive some benefit in spite of the condemnations from all the usual suspects.

Update: For all posts on the problem of reconstruction and reformation of conquered countries see the Parapundit Reconstruction and Reformation archives.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 22 06:20 PM  Reconstruction and Reformation


Comments
Bob said at October 22, 2002 7:17 PM:

I think Mallaby is deluded. Neither rule by committee nor rule by playbook works.

MacArthur worked because someone was responsible for deciding and for adapting, and he had feet you could hold to the fire.

And of course, no small measure of luck contributed to success.

Bob said at October 22, 2002 7:20 PM:

I think Mallaby is deluded. Neither rule by committee nor rule by playbook works.

MacArthur worked because someone was responsible for deciding and for adapting, and he had feet you could hold to the fire.

And of course, no small measure of luck contributed to success.


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