Putting State Legitimacy at the Center of Foreign Operations and Assistance

Author
Bruce Gilley
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
PRISM
Volume
4
Issue Number
4
Publication Date
March 2014
Institution
Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University
Abstract
It is a commonly expressed idea that a key goal of intervention in and assistance to foreign nations is to establish (or re-establish) legitimate political authority. Historically, even so great a skeptic as John Stuart Mill allowed that intervention could be justified if it were "for the good of the people themselves" as measured by their willingness to support and defend the results. In recent times, President George W. Bush justified his post-war emphasis on democracybuilding in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the Middle East with the logic that "nations in the region will have greater stability because governments will have greater legitimacy." President Obama applauded French intervention in Mali for its ability "to reaffirm democracy and legitimacy and an effective government" in the country
Topic
Government
Political Geography
Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East