Foreign Policy has a neat report with statistics about failed states that should prove interesting to anyone interested in international politics. Most of their reasoning appears rational, except for their chart showing the effects of foreign aid and stability.

We compared the amount of foreign aid countries receive per capita with the index rankings and found that the countries at greatest risk of collapse often get paltry amounts of aid. The exceptions appear to be countries that have been the recipients of large-scale international military intervention. Afghanistan, Bosnia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, and Sierra Leone are high-risk states that get above-average foreign aid (Bosnia gets the most by far).

But "paltry" is only defined on the chart relative to Bosnia, Iraq, and the Congo, all three of which are statistical outliers that are occupied (or nearly so) by multinational forces. The other failed nations on their chart are spread out evenly across the spectrum of foreign aid, and the chart itself appears to indicate that there's no correlation between stability and receiving foreign aid.

I've written many times that most foreign aid goes straight into the pockets of tyrants and doesn't help oppressed people at all. In fact, it's easy to argue that foreign aid to failed states actually aids oppression by preventing the removal of the dictators who ruined the state in the first place.

(HT: The Belmont Club.)



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