Opposing Viewpoint Discussion
In his article “Nation Building Works” David Brooks examines the gains made by the US in Iraq to support his claims. He is of the opinion that the US has managed to make several gains in the country through several development efforts, although it had gone there primarily for war. Dan Ehrlich on the other hand argues that the US has embarked on several failed missions by engaging in wars with different countries. He notes that the US has not managed to change the mentality of the people in Iraq concerning nation building despite its efforts to ensure that the country has democracy. The leaders have gone back to their old way of thinking, which involves seeking to secure a permanent position of leadership by dictatorship, rather than democratically.
Brooks supports his argument by pointing out that Iraq has experienced progress economically and socially. More people now have jobs and better standards of living. People have access to social amenities. The country has progressed tremendously and there is a greater mobile and internet penetration rate in the country. The country is now able to produce oil, which will benefit it economically. The country has increased security forces, and more people have gained confidence in their military and police. Ehrlich observes that American efforts to ensure that there is democracy in Iraq have failed. America has a history of engaging in wars for economic and political reasons most of which have failed to achieve any positive results. The US has increased its debt because of engaging in many wars over the years.
I tend to agree with Ehrlich’s perspective more. Although the US has engaged in several efforts in countries where it has engaged, it has not managed to change the perception of people in those countries concerning nation building. Instead, it has imposed many of its views, whether political, development, or social, on the people in those nations. In addition, it has handed many of these ‘nation building efforts’ on the people such as the different infrastructure and development efforts, on a silver platter. The people do not know the meaning of working hard to get to where they are in their development. By doing so, it has missed an opportunity of changing people’s mindset and attitude, which has led to the wars in the first place.