SPILLING BLOOD OVER BAD INK

Austin Bay writes about the now-virtually-ignored war in Congo, which is fueled largely by tribal enmity owing to the fact that colonial borders were drawn with no regard for the indigenous population. His implied solution is logical but more than a bit problematic:

Drawing new African borders has been anathema. As bad as the borders were, most post-colonial African leaders concluded the process of drawing new ones would unleash further violence.

But in this new century, it is a deep wrong to spill more blood because of bad ink.

Sadly, corrupt African governments, like the one in Kinshasa, show little interest in tackling their own problems. The corrupt elites who run them could care less. 9-11, however, demonstrated that anarchy in the world’s hard corners can’t be ignored.

I have long thought that redrawing African borders to more closely match ethnic-national living patterns was the obvious answer to the problem. But how one goes about doing this is unclear. Is the UN going to impose this somehow? Doubtful. Should the US do it? Certainly not. And, logical though it may be to reexamine the borders, the current ones empower the existing political leadership. They’re not going to agree to it voluntarily.

FILED UNDER: World Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.