The invited Leviathan in Iraq and Afghanistan: strong-men, the Afghan local police, and the Sons of Iraq
Bush, Michael R.
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Despite robust scholarship on the general themes of state-building, little scholarship exists on the strategies of exogenous powers on the construction of developing states. Further complicating these strategies is the influence of strong men, local elites who seek to mitigate the influence of both the developing state and the exogenous state on local modes of power and influenceoften through the development of armed militias. Appropriating the construct of Barnett and Zurchers peacebuilders construct and utilizing the Sons of Iraq and the Afghan Local Police as case-studies, this thesis seeks to explore the current relationship between local strong men, developing state governments, and the exogenous state (or the invited leviathan) in two states where U.S. policy has dictated the deployment of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops. Powerful arguments can be made regarding U.S. policy in support of, and against, these militias. This thesis will show that U.S. empowerment of these militias can not only improve local security conditions, but it can empower disenfranchised groups at the state level. Understanding the dynamics at play in these circumstances can help inform the nature of future interaction with strong men, militias, and developing governments.
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