04 August 2010

The Use of Bad Language & Nation-Building

"Wisdom begins with a definition of terms."
- Socrates

Joe Biden got a lot of flack awhile ago for using some coarse language that was picked up by the mic. In one way, however, he avoids the bad language that seems to pervade our media and politics.

Our single biggest policy mistake in the last decade has seemed to stem from a confusion of nation-building (which we always say we're doing) and state-building (which is what we're attempting in Iraq and Afghanistan).

We had some success helping to re-build states within nations after WWII (in Germany and Japan) and let that give us confidence that we could build nations within states after 9-11. Biden seems to me the person most clear that those two are distinctly different missions with timelines that differ by orders of magnitude.

Article here.

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