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Fragile States and U.S. Foreign Assistance: Show Me the Money

Author

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  • Stewart Patrick

    ()

  • Kaysie Brown

Abstract

The Bush administration has increasingly acknowledged that weak and failing states represent the core of today’s global development challenge. It has also recognized that such states are potential threats to international peace and security. But despite the rhetoric, it has yet to formulate a coherent strategy around fragile states or commit adequate resources towards engaging them. Excluding funding for Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and HIV/AIDS, the administration’s FY07 budget request proposes to spend just $1.1 billion in direct bilateral assistance to fragile states—little more than a dollar per person per year. In this new working paper, CGD research fellow Stewart Patrick and research associate Kaysie Brown urge U.S. policymakers to consider increasing aid to fragile states and to think creatively about how and when to engage these troubled countries. The authors also call for the policy community to integrate non-aid instruments into a more coherent government strategy. To put its money where its mouth is, the U.S. should treat aid to weak and failing states as a form of venture capital, with high risk but potentially high rewards. This will require patience and perseverance, but will also reap greater rewards when successful.

Suggested Citation

  • Stewart Patrick & Kaysie Brown, 2006. "Fragile States and U.S. Foreign Assistance: Show Me the Money," Working Papers 96, Center for Global Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:96
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    File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/9373
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    weak state; fragile state; security; peace; U.S. foreign assistance;

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • F52 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - National Security; Economic Nationalism
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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