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The Mirage of the State: Why the West has failed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali and Central African Republic? Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 14 No. 15, July 2014

Larive, Maxime (2014) The Mirage of the State: Why the West has failed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali and Central African Republic? Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 14 No. 15, July 2014. [Working Paper]

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    Abstract

    The state still matters. However, the members of the Euro-Atlantic community may be misinterpreting this crucial baseline prior launching their military interventions since 2001. The latest violence and collapse of the state of Iraq after the invasion of Northern Iraq by a radical Sunni Muslim terrorist group, so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), demonstrate once again the centrality and requirement of a functioning state in order to maintain violent forces to disrupt domestic and regional stability. Since 2001, the US and its European allies have waged wars against failed-states in order to increase this security and national interests, and then have been involved in some type of state-building.1 This has been the case in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, and Central African Republic (CAR). France went into Mali (2012) and CAR (2013), which preceded two European Union military and civilian Common Security and Defense Policy missions (CSDP), in order to avoid the collapse of these two states. The threat of the collapse of both states was a concern for the members of the Euro-Atlantic community as it could have spread to the region and causing even greater instabilities. In Mali, the country was under radical Islamic pressures coming from the North after the collapse of Libya ensuing the 2011 Western intervention, while in CAR it was mainly an ethno-religious crisis. Failed states are a real concern, as they can rapidly become training grounds for radical groups and permitting all types of smuggling and trafficking.2 In Mali, France wanted to protect its large French population and avoid the fall of Mali in the hands of radical Islamic groups directly or indirectly linked to Al-Qaeda. A fallen Mali could have destabilized the region of the Sahel and ultimately affected the stability of Southern European borders. France wanted to avoid the development of a safe haven across the Sahel where movements of people and goods are uncontrolled and illegal.3 Since the end of the Cold War, Western powers have been involved in stabilizing neighborhoods and regions, like the Balkans, Africa, and Middle East, which at the exceptions of the Balkans, have led to failed policies. 9/11 changes everything. The US, under President George W. Bush, started to wage war against terrorism and all states link to it. This started a period of continuous Western interventions in this post-9/11 era in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali and CAR. If history has demonstrated one thing, the members of the Euro-Atlantic community are struggling and will continue to struggle to stabilize Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali and Central African Republic (CAR) for one simple reason: no clear endgame. Is it the creation of a state à la Westphalian in order to permit these states to operate as the sole guarantor of security? Or is the reestablishment of status quo in these countries permitting to exit and end Western operations? This article seeks to analyze Western interventions in these five countries in order to reflect on the concept of the state and the erroneous starting point for each intervention.4 In the first part, the political status of each country is analyzed in order to understand the internal and regional crisis. In a second time, the concept of the state, framed into the Buzanian trinity, is discussed and applied to the cases. In the last part the European and American civilian-military doctrines are examined in accordance with their latest military interventions and in their broader spectrum.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Middle East
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Islam
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-North Africa/Maghreb
    EU policies and themes > External relations > conflict resolution/crisis management
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > University of Miami, Florida-EU Center of Excellence > Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series
    Depositing User: Unnamed user with email kms214@pitt.edu
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 04 May 2015 15:45
    Number of Pages: 11
    Last Modified: 04 May 2015 15:45
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/63622

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