The epithet “nation building” provokes extreme reactions, especially among fiscal conservatives. Austin Bay makes a case, however, for “nation strengthening” of the type being practiced in Djibouti.
Nation strengthening there includes “political and economic development programs intertwined with security assistance, security training and intelligence sharing.” He sees current anti-terror operations in the anarchic Horn of Africa as a template for the next four decades.
The region needs peace — desperately. For three decades, the Horn of Africa — with Somalia as a particularly bitter American memory — has been a corner of violence and anarchy. The Horn and East Africa were an early battleground in Al-Qaida’s war on America. Seven years ago this month, Al-Qaida bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.