What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Friday, January 4, 2008


In the journal Planet Aerospace (No. 1/2008, pp. 56-58.) comes an article with the title 'Mission to the Hindu Kush.' It's full of what we used to call 'hooray-reporting' back in the times of socialism here in Hungary. All it seems to have been written for, beside some of the excellent market propaganda in it, is to run the point home that having "tactical air-to-ground reconnaissance capability, verging on magic," i.e. German Tornados based in Mazar-i-Sharif, in northern Afghanistan, is just doubleplusgood. (Minus whatever it counts that data collected by the Tornados can't be transferred to OEF forces without respecting certain procedural rules.)
I've already defended Germans once, with my basic argument being that if the German government is involved in involuntary free-riding in the ISAF coalition by staying put in the north, and so it's (at least partly) public pressure that keeps them from throwing their weight around more in Afghanistan, then it's not such a good idea to start teasing the German public with offending jokes. Might be counterproductive. But here I can't resist deploying some tactical air-to-ground criticism capability.
Look. A journal with offices in Munich and Paris has this to say about how the German parliament generously extended the original half-year mandate for the deployment of the above mentioned Tornado aircraft, together with the pre-existing mandate of German troops, with one additional year:
" On 13 October 2007, the German parliament extended the ISAF mandate for the deployment of German troops in Afghanistan by a large majority. This is thus the continuation of a success story that began at 21.30 CEST on 19 April 2007, when 'Full Operational Capability' (FOC) was announced to the ISAF headquarters in Kabul. Since 13 October, the announcement can be heard from the tower in Mazar-e-Sharif every day: 'German air force RECCE Tornados - you are cleared for take-off!' "
Personally, if I would be the German public, I'd find this more embarrassing than people making fun of me for saying 'ze' instead of 'the' when speaking in English. (I'm referring here to an article of the London Times, titled 'Ze teatime war' - hey, if you would have followed my internal link above, you would have already got to that blogpost of mine in which I scrutinised that article!)
Ok, here I finish. (My) State Failure Blog - you're cleared for landing!

Illustration: Ze Tohnado! (source, copyr.)

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