TCS Daily

The MacArthur Model

By Peter F. Schaefer - September 25, 2006 12:00 AM

Playing to their historic strength, the Bush State Department released the latest statement on US policy for dealing with terrorism just after Labor Day. Entitled the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, it is being promoted by the Administration as an important advance in the "Long War." The document says the solution to terrorism is the "freedom agenda" which aims to protect freedom and dignity "by effective democratic institutions" which are the "long term antidote to the ideology of terrorism." Fighting terrorism is a "battle of ideas," not just a battle of arms.

Wisely, the Bush administration did not try to directly link this counter-terrorism plan to the situation in Iraq. But a Wall Street Journal article, published the day after the report was issued, discussed a new military approach to confronting terrorism in Iraq (WSJ, "A General's New Plan to Battle Radical Islam"). The WSJ says this approach " a part of a broader rethinking within the Bush administration of how best to fight terrorism, driven in part by the failures of the past five years."

The article details the planning and efforts of General John Abizaid, commander of US forces in the Middle East, to confront terrorism through non-lethal means. It quotes a US Army counter insurgency expert admitting that they are now "willing to accept a less-than-perfect democracy. Stability and security are more important." Their approach, he says, is an example of "mission shrink" not mission creep. But shrink from what? Well, obviously from the freedom agenda.

Of course the intention of the president to promote a freedom agenda trumps some unnamed "expert." But it is these experts who are on the ground and it is they who will implement the freedom agenda. And they aren't buying it -- but perhaps neither is President Bush. Although he is famous for his persistence, recently there have been small changes in White House rhetoric that suggest he is becoming comfortable with a shrinking mission. And he isn't alone. According to the polls, Americans' rapidly declining expectations in Iraq suggest that they accept trading the long-term goal of a modern, fully integrated Iraqi civil society for the immediate reality of stability and withdrawal. It seems clear that most American voters would now consider a tranquil Iraq, however achieved, as an enormous success, especially if we could bring the troops home quickly.

This rethinking is important because even General Abizaid's innovative approach has had minimal success, according to his own field commanders. And no one, including Abizaid, is predicting success. In fact, in recent interviews, they only seem willing to praise the worthiness of the effort and express a need to do something new.

An old saying goes: if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. But mission shrink just slows down the digging; the hole still gets deeper, just not as fast. We need to either fill it in or abandon it. Clearly most liberals want to climb up out of the hole and head home while most conservatives want to finish the job but don't seem to know how to do anything but keep digging. Even when we had a clear objective (a fully realized "freedom agenda"), the means to achieve it were fuzzy at best. Now that both parts of the mission are out of focus, we have a big problem.

Many commentators and analysts who continue to support US involvement in Iraq agree that the Bush administration does not appear to have a viable plan for building a new Iraqi nation. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Robert Kaplan is skeptical but still admits the verdict on Iraq is not yet in. He only offers a "provisional no" in his assessment of whether President Bush planned the war prudently. ("Hostage to Fortune" WSJ, (subscription)). In other words, if things work out, then the enterprise was a success.

Although Kaplan doesn't offer his own suggestions, a recent Cato Institute article (link to "Failed States and Flawed Logic," by Logan and Preble) does offer a plan of sorts, which insists we should not be engaged in nation-building at all. Their argument seems to be that we have never really carried out nation-building successfully, therefore should never try again. It is correct that our efforts in Iraq come at the tail end of a string of failures to build modern nations, so there is substance to Cato's concerns.

However, to concluding that we should not attempt something so vital to our national interests because we have rarely had success is the stuff of bad policy. Past failures may not be an argument for abandoning the field to the enemy, but rather for figuring out how to do it right. Foreign Policy offers a list of sixty failed states -- and there are many more than the ones listed. In such an interconnected world, the need for effective nation-building has never been clearer --and our challenge is far from over.

Unfortunately what General Abizaid is doing, though well-intended, will not work. He quotes the great Lawrence of Arabia who writes "It is their war, and you are to help them, not win it for them." But helping the state of South Vietnam would have never created a Vietnamese nation even if we had stayed another 20 years. Little projects enacted by the state, no matter how well planned, tightly targeted and gratefully received, will never cause people to coalesce into a nation. In fact, because we have limited funds -- and thus have to pick winners and losers -- we might make social conflict worse.

So what do we do? What will work? The Bush strategy paper admits that "elections alone are not enough" which is the argument I made in TCS in an article explaining how we misunderstand democracy. But what is enough? What is the strategy and what tools do we have to achieve our objectives?

It must be very tempting to the Bush administration to search out a pro-US version of Saddam Hussein and be done with it. I am sure there are plenty of unemployed thugs in Iraq who already have extensive security training. But true peace, peace that is not the result of repression and fear, is really the outcome of a process of nation-building that ends up creating a modern, dynamic, civil society. We must have a serious debate in this country before we trade Iraq's modernity for our security. If we leave too soon, the real casualty may well be our rejection of any future attempts at high-risk nation-building, creating a permanent Vietnam-syndrome. This would be tragic.

We are a great nation with vital interests in the region, and we need to keep in mind that we have only been in Iraq three years and have sustained modest casualties. Nevertheless, opinion leaders and popular sentiment has turned against the war, giving those opposed to the war an opening to politicize the conflict. As a first step to making our discussions productive, the Iraq debate must be tempered by history.

Even if the Bush administration's efforts in Iraq fail, it will hardly be a singular event.

William Easterly at Columbia University estimates (White Man's Burden) that in the last sixty years the developed world has spent well over two trillion dollars in aid for poor states to build modern nations. But there is little to show for this investment. Throughout these sixty years we have been reaching for the same "tools" over and over. We provide health services, education, physical infrastructure, food, money, and policy advice on land tenure, taxes, trade, stable currency, investments, agricultural policy, budgeting, security and planning. We have tried, literally, everything -- all with enormous goodwill, generosity and real concern for poor folks. But all this assistance to states has never coalesced into a modern nation. At best we have only helped create a less-failed state.

What is missing is an effective model of modernization, and one that doesn't take centuries. Should we turn Iraq's modernization over to the UN? To do what? What model of past UN "success" will they follow? No one can know his heart but I suspect that candidate Bush's dismissal of nation-building five years ago was not mean-spiritedness but rather, skepticism stemming from this disappointing history.

In fact, all our postwar presidents have been men of goodwill and high intellect, but none of them succeeded in building new nations; try as they might. Indeed the only real success was Harry Truman who took a poor feudal country, with a nearly ruined industrial base, and created a modern, liberal state in less than a generation. Instead of Marshall's money for European states, MacArthur gave America's system to the Japanese nation; a constitutional democracy, based on the rule of law that protects both lives and widespread property rights. I explained this critical distinction in a 2002 Washington Post article, "Nation-Building From Scratch". Japan became a tranquil nation because MacArthur was able to amplify the common interests of different social groups and then mediate their conflicts.

A "nation" is a virtual thing that is formed from a sense of unity and identity. A "state" is the political manifestation of this virtual reality -- the apparatus of a nation. Totalitarian states impose a "consensus" on the masses, but are not nations; while a genuine democratic state, with its laws and institutions, is the outgrowth of such a national consensus. It should be no surprise that when we send agents of our state structure to help another country, they do what they know best how to do -- stabilize the currency, build a port or train the police. Ultimately necessary. But not sufficient.

In Vietnam the swamp in which we became mired was not one of fighting a war but of building a nation. However, we lost because our programs were never truly aimed at fostering a modern nation the Vietnamese people would support, but rather at creating an efficient, secure state. Before we condemn President Bush, we have to remember that the Vietnam War was the work of two Democrat presidents using, more or less, the same tools and tactics we use today.

The pre-modern world is littered with failed states but no one on either side has said, "Here is how we will help Iraqis build a modern nation." Instead, we toil at constructing the architecture of a state. But no matter what we do, it will be erected on a weak foundation, so we should not be surprised when it crumbles.

What we get is all process and no strategy; projects with no strategic purpose. The foundation of Japan's success is the same as that of all the modern states in Europe and North America. Helping people build this foundation is the only thing that has ever worked or ever will. The good news is that we did it once before and so we should be able to do it again. But we have to get past politics and labels. Can we? Seems to me, we must.

Peter F. Schaefer ran counter-insurgency operations in Vietnam. Since then has been involved in helping confront insurgencies in a number of countries by trying to plan and implement nation-building efforts both inside and outside governments.



Japan was different
For one, it was utterly devasted. For another, all the actors that initiated the war were humiliated and disowned by the remaining Japanese. It was literally rebuilt from ashes, the ashes of their moral and material superiority that literally went up in the mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

No such parallel exists in Iraq. Saddam's army just disappeared into the volk. The infrastructure and power centers remained largley intact. We didn't devastate it the way Japan was.

For Pete's sake, we didn't crush Al Sadr, a small time bandit. The Iraqis do not have the same repsect for American power as the surviving Japanese had.

It is a pipe dream to think that the Japanese model can be replicated in Iraq.

Have we ever helped a backward nation become modern and successful?
I thought about it for a while... does Korea count? I guess the Phillipines doesn't quite qualify. It does seem like there should be a few more, but I can't think of them.

Interesting article, but what are the specific points of the MacArthur Model?
Makes you think, but got no sense of what specific points or actions that represent the "MacArthur Model".

If only
The previous posters have it right. Iraq is not like Japan, a highly patriotic and educated people wanting to rebuild a lost industrial infrastructure.

> " ... most American voters would now consider a
> tranquil Iraq, however achieved, as an enormous
> success, ... "

Maybe Iran could stabilize Iraq the way Syria stabilized Lebanon.

Finally, some remarks on the writing. A good essay starts with a clearly stated thesis. It continues with supporting arguments and ends with a summary of the arguments that explains how they support the thesis. This post has little of that structure. If it had, maybe the argument part would have said what we should be doing in Iraq to make it like Japan.

Borders, language, culture
So many failed states in recent history have disintegrated along ethnic lines.
Yugoslavia, East Timor, FSU, for example.

Pakistan was split from India as was Bangladesh.

What a state is imposed upon a nation of peoples, that state will have a difficult time stabilzing. Japan worked because they were a nation and a state.

USA, Canada, Austrailia and some South American countries can integrate multiple cultures because everyone was at one time a recent immigrant.

Original boundries for Israel and Palestine were drawn based upon demographics.

Iraqis will need to decide what they are as a nation before they can create a stable state.

Let's learn our lesson and not try it again
The following by the author is just plain nutty:

"However, to concluding that we should not attempt something so vital to our national interests because we have rarely had success is the stuff of bad policy. Past failures may not be an argument for abandoning the field to the enemy, but rather for figuring out how to do it right."

What enemy is going to go around creating states? The Russians? The Chinese? Some Muslim nation? Who? There is no one. The neo-cons are warrior wannabes in search of an enemy. If they can't find one, they create one.

Fact is, we are surrounded by two vast oceans that protect us from mass invasions. The only way to get across them is to infiltrate small groups of terrorists. You say that is a reason to stay engaged in the world? Wrong. That is all the more reason to avoid trouble -- because it can follow us home, in the form of terrorist infiltrators.

Don't believe me? Here is a link to a terror timeline. There few Islamic/Arab anti-American incidents until there were U.S. boots on the ground in the middle east. That is very strong evidence. that it was U.S. military presence in the region that inpired Islamic/Arab terrorism directed at the U.S. --

If we burn ourselves repeatedly, maybe it's time to stop playing with fire.

The author further writes: "If we leave too soon, the real casualty may well be our rejection of any future attempts at high-risk nation-building, creating a permanent Vietnam-syndrome. This would be tragic."

Tragic? Nonsense! Try "smart" or "wise".

The author further writes: "A "nation" is a virtual thing that is formed from a sense of unity and identity."

Well, that's true. But the author ignores the fact that the the Iraqi (and Vietnamese) sense of identity is much more rooted in the primitive pre-industrial era of oppression than in the modern, free world. Which means if we attempt to build a "state" or "nation" it will be oppressive, because that is what the culture produces.

Iraq and Vietnam are not like Japan or Germany, which had modern industrial societies ripe for freedom.

The author doesn't understand what MacArthur faced nor how the Japanese think
The author gives too much credit to MacArthur's policies as opposed to a receptive audience who realized the system that defeated them was batter than what they had. The Iraqis and the entire Middle East is resistant to change.

A semantical discussion between the author and himself?
I'd like to read a lot more from the author about the distinction between nations and states. I'd also like to read some specific recommendations about what we are doing that we shouldn't be doing and what we are not doing that we should be doing. This article sounds very learned, but I don't find it very useful as a guide for policy changes and new and different tactics on the ground in Iraq.

Not Mission Shrink
Hoo boy, somebody slept through Bush's 2nd inaugural. One of the big things that President Bush made clear is that the free countries we are promoting are not ones to be cookie cutter stamped out by US experts but are to take into account local conditions and culture. So when we are shrinking from a "perfect" democracy, perfect according to whom? The metrics we have been using are US metrics based on US experience and shifting the goals so that tribal, sexual, and economic peculiarities in Iraq and Afghanistan are accommodated is not mission shrink but a closer hewing to a particular part of the Presidential vision as enunciated in the inaugural.

The viable strategy is there but, being ugly, is not stated much. We're there to provide a ceiling past which the Iraqi and foreign resistence to the constitution and government of Iraq (as well as similar local and foreign resistence to the new state of affairs in Afghanistan) cannot ascend while providing advice and training to government and civil society forces.

The other side cannot assemble in numbers large enough to take out the government or entirely shut down civil society and we keep strengthening them so eventually they will find an Iraqi/Afghani model they can live with over the long haul.

This means that Iraqis/Afghanis die, and die in significant numbers until they get their own affairs in order and have a sustainable social contract. We're spilling blood too, but now in much smaller portions and that's likely to continue to go down as the process moves to its painful, but positive, conclusion.

Maybe the militias need to kill each other.
I agree with those here who point out that this isn't Japan. We didn't go into Iraq the way we did Japan. We didn't try to destroy everything and subjucate its people. The comparison is inapt.

I've been reading "The Shia Revival" by Vali Nasr, who argues that the Shia have been suppressed by the Sunnis in Islam for longer than the U.S. has existed, and that there's a huge pressure for payback. He suggests that this rage may have to burn itself out.

By far, Iraqis want to have peace and not another dictator. I don't think we appreciate that, when we look only at those busy taking revenge and trying to seize power.

I see our options as either really occupying the country with about a half a million troops and running it like we did Japan, or securing some safe areas and leaving others to the people who want to kill each other. The Anbar Province seems to be the Wild West.
We don't have troops there, but it seems to be making progress as tribal leaders are beginning to support the national army.

These are largely Arab people, and they have a violent culture. We should concentrate on going after foreign fighters and supporting the elected government. It won't be peaceful, but sometimes there's a case for letting the wicked kill the wicked.

In League With The Stones...
Every September, I recall that is more than half a
century since I landed at Nagasaki with the 2nd Marine Division in the original occupation of Japan following World War II. This time every year, I have watched and listened to the light- hearted "peaceniks" and their light-headed symbolism-without-substance of ringing bells, flying pigeons, floating candles, and sonorous chanting and I recall again that "Peace is not a cause - it is an effect."

In July, 1945, my fellow 8th RCT Marines [I was a BARman] and I returned to Saipan following the successful conclusion of the Battle of Okinawa. We were issued new equipment and replacements joined each outfit in preparation for our coming amphibious assault on the home islands of Japan.

B-29 bombing had leveled the major cities of Japan, including Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama, Yokosuka, and Tokyo.

We were informed we would land three Marine divisions and six Army divisions, perhaps abreast, with large reserves following us in. It was estimated that it would cost half a million casualties to subdue the Japanese homeland.

In August, the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima but the Japanese government refused to surrender. Three days later a second A-bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. The Imperial Japanese government finally surrendered.

Following the 1941 sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, a Japanese admiral said, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant..." Indeed, they had. Not surprisingly, the atomic bomb was produced by a free people functioning in a free environment. Not surprisingly because the creative process is a natural human choice-making process and inventiveness occurs most readily where choice-making opportunities abound. America!

Tamper with a giant, indeed! Tyrants, beware: Free men are nature's pit bulls of Liberty! The Japanese learned the hard way what tyrants of any generation should know: Never start a war with a free people - you never know what they may invent!

As a newly assigned member of a U.S. Marine intelligence section, I had a unique opportunity to visit many major cities of Japan, including Tokyo and Hiroshima, within weeks of their destruction. Took part in the first free election including women's vote for the first time in history. For a full year I observed the beaches, weapons, and troops we would have assaulted had the A-bombs not been dropped. Yes, it would have been very destructive for
all, but especially for the people of Japan.

When we landed in Japan, for what came to be the finest and most humane occupation of a defeated enemy in recorded history, it was with great appreciation, thanksgiving, and praise for the atomic bomb team, including the aircrew of the Enola Gay. A half million American homes had been spared the Gold Star flag, including, I'm sure, my own.

Whenever I hear the apologists expressing guilt and shame for A-bombing and ending the war Japan had started (they ignore the cause-effect relation between Pearl Harbor and Nagasaki), I have noted that neither the effete critics nor the puff-adder politicians are among us in the assault landing-craft or the stinking rice paddies of their suggested alternative, "conventional" warfare. Stammering reluctance is obvious and continuous, but they do love to pontificate about the Rights that others, and the Bomb, have bought and preserved for them.

The vanities of ignorance and camouflaged cowardice abound as license for the assertion of virtuous "rights" purchased by the blood of others - those others who have borne the burden and physical expense of Rights whining apologists so casually and self-righteously claim.

At best, these fakers manifest a profound and cryptic ignorance of causal relations, myopic perception, and dull I.Q. At worst, there is a word and description in The Constitution defining those who love the enemy more than they love their own countrymen and their own posterity. Every Yankee Doodle Dandy knows what that word is.

In 1945, America was the only nation in the world with the Bomb and it behaved responsibly and respectfully. It remained so until two among us betrayed it to the Kremlin. Still, this American weapon system has been the prime deterrent to earth's latest model world- tyranny: Seventy years of Soviet collectivist definition, coercion, and domination of individual human beings.

The message is this: Trust Freedom. Remember, tyrants never learn. The restriction of Freedom is the limitation of human choice, and choice is the fulcrum-point of the creative process in human affairs. As earth's Choicemaker, it is our human identity on nature's beautiful blue planet and the natural premise of man's free institutions, environments, and respectful relations with one another. Made in the image of our Creator, free men choose, create, and progress - or die.

Free men should not fear or envy the oppressor nor
choose any of his ways. Recall with a confident Job and a victorious David, "Know ye not that you are in league with the stones of the field?"

Semper Fidelis

Jim Baxter
WW II and Korean War

Job 5:23 Proverbs 3:31 I Samuel 17:40

See: "What is man...? God asks and answers: Earth's Choicemaker at

so, like any artist
We must start with a cleaner, more homogenius slate.

this entire article & following posts show what I have been trumpeting to the void for years now: we should have hammered the republican guards to shreds instead of letting them "melt away into the night". When I heard those words over the news, I put my head in my hands & cried for all the guys that would die because the bush admin tried to be MR friendly PC niceguy instead of waging a real war to win.

The other mistake made that is SO damned glaring is Iran, why isn't Iran getting punished for playing Russia to Iraqs Vietnam?

the Zarkawi gambit would have worked and A peace would rein NOW if Iran hadn't scrambled that deal, that peace offering the leaders of anbar province made to us & the Shia.
Iran made sure the local Shia blew it and rejected the peace offering of zarkawis death.

Was Yugoslavia a nation, in the spirit of the Sioux nation, or was it a state?

Those whom you kept free
There are those whom you kept free who fear freedom because they know they have no character, no faith, and know that given the opportunity, they would become tyrants. And they project their tyranical tendancies to everyone else.

I don't know how much sense that made, but thank you for your service Sargeant.

Author's Comments
As the author of this I have found the criticisms interesting. I will either comment on these critiques in a final comment or (if my answers prove to be sufficiently long and able to stand alone) as a follow up opinion piece. I will say that a few of you have missed the point of what I was saying and a few others seemed to just make their own statements. If I may suggest it, take a look at my Washington Post piece on this subject ("Nation-Building From Scratch," Dec. 27, 2002, pg. A25) as it is part of the syllabus of a West Point course on postwar activity. But I suspect that the criticisms are partly my fault for bad writing and partly the fault of the short format (my journal article on this is 45+ pages and not done yet). This is an enormously important subject that has been debated for sixty years by some of the greatest political economists of our time (Milton Friedman, Lord Peter Bauer and so many others)and so perhaps it was hubris on my part to try to distill the idea into 2000 words. Nevertheless, I can try to answer the very specific criticisms all of which may advance the conversation (or may just create more confusion, we will see).

Yugoslavia, a nation or a state?
Probably neither, a pseudo-nation/state cobbled together by the victorious allied powers after WWI and WWII. Look at it today for the answer to the question.

What ever happened to Regime Change?
What ever happened to Regime Change?

I always thought that the Bush Administration blew it by not focusing on the hundreds [thousands?] of violations of the Desert Storm Cease Fire.

No other justification needed. No one's approval needed to finish the job.

Yes, the Bush Administration (George Sr., Secretary of Defense, **** Cheney, and Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Colin Powell) are to blame. Of course, the Clinton Administration just continued its predecessor's impotent policy.

Great comment
A very insightful and useful comment. Because the Americans were guided by a wise and capable leader the Japanese did not resist and both sides achieved what I doubt either side could believe was possible. Unfortunately we have not the leaders, the unity of opinion, and we have not crushed the Iraqis.

Having said that your comments are worth reflecting on and should be on the editorial page of most newspapers. Unfortunately, we will always hear from those who have never served, never seen a battlefield and never dealt with a hostile foreign power.

Its what happens when you address the wrong question.
The inability to define the mission created the mess the Bush administration is in today. Not only its failure to use the violations of the ceasefire for getting rid of Saddam as the main reason for the war but it is the continued failure to get a declaration of war that would or should end the partisan politics that the democrats engage in during wartime.

America, Russia and the Bomb
Very well put. America had the Bomb all to itself for almost 5 years, during which time it gave up the Philippines.

Even before Russia had it (the Bomb), it gobbled up East Germany (40s), Hungary(50s), Czech Republic(60s) and Afganistan(70s) and indirectly controlled many others.

That is the reason why IRAN should NEVER be allowed to have it.

Yes, i think korea counts…
Especially when you compare the North to the South these days. i would say the Phillipines also qualifies, but not to the same extent. Also, it depends on when in history you are talking about. There are a couple of countries we did help out, then left and they slid back again.
But, generally speaking, I would say U.S. intervention has been more harmful than helpful. Most of Central and South America is a very good example of this.

Germany is a good example
We helped rebuild most of Europe after WW2. It is too bad they squandered the peace dividend we gave them with socialism. NATO protected them from Russia for years and they spent the money they would have had to spend on defense on social programs. This is why they have to do business with illicit dictators to keep their economies affloat today.

Good points. We also need to remember that Japan being an island made it hard for neighbors to sabatoge their rebuilding and road to democracy.

Good idea
We could pull back to the borders and secure them from the foreigners comming in with munitions and terrorists letting the factions fight it out until they tire of killing one another and are willing to work toward peace.
We would have to assist in getting the foreign terrorists that are already there also.

A well reasoned and well laid out piece who would have thought TCS, "Please can we have more".

When you do
When you do make a second post, please give clear and succinct answers some questions raised in you post but not answered.

1. Do you think current US troop levels are adequate?

2. If not, where should other troops come from? If
from US, how should they be raised and paid for?
If from other nations, which, and what
incentives/compormises should we provide.

3. What, specifically, should we do to promote economic
growth in Iraq? Do these include better
safeguarding of Iraqi infrastructure and energy
facilities? Do these include measures to discourage
Iraqi insurgents from attacking these facilities?
If so, why do you think they would be more effective
than present efforts?

4. Corruption seems to be a more serious problem in
present Iraq than in postwar Japan. What can we do
to reduce it?

5. Do you favor greater autonomy for Iraqi Kurdistan?
If so, how would you prevent military incursions
from neighboring Iran and Turkey? How would you
settle the status of Kirkuk?

It seems that you have two choices. One it to argue that present policy eventually will work, perhaps citing Japan as an example. That seems difficult in view of current trends in Iraq that have no counterpart in postwar Japan. The other is to argue for changes in policy to make a Japan style outcome more likely. Then you have to say what those changes would be, who would pay for them, how people would be persuaded to implement them, and why they would work.

...and Education
Prior to WWII the Japanese were able to engineer fighter planes that were among the best in the world. They also did a very good job of creating aircraft carriers and other highly technical war machines. They were able to conquer the logistical nightmare of stationing thousands of troops in China. Indeed, a few tens of thousand Japanese troops controlled a hundred million Chinese in cities like Nanking and Changchun for years prior to WWII. Name any modern Arab equivalent.

The Japanese economy produced war materials because they were educated and good at it. The bushido code had instilled the necessity of excellence in every day things for hundreds of years prior to WWII. That idea is exceedingly rare in most of the Mideast, including Iraq.

It's dangerous to extrapolate between people groups of people for anything. Cultures are too different. The Japanese of 1945 were educated and looking for a better way. The Iraqis of 2006 are not educated and not looking for a better way.

Can anyone name a manufactured product that comes from any Arab country? Indeed any product that doesn't flow through a pipeline? Where is the leading Engineering school in an Arab country? To which Arab country are Indian and Chinese doctors going for opportunity? Until easy answers flow to these questions all of the planning by the smart and treasure from the rich will be of no use.

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