Jun 19, 2007

Iraq is Number 2: Where Is Your Country on "The List"?

1. Sudan
2. Iraq
3. Somalia
4. Zimbabwe
5. Chad

What comes to mind when you read this list? Countries in states of civil war, chaos, dire poverty (well, Iraq had some oil wealth, though Saddam Hussein hoarded it)? African nations (except for the oddball, Iraq)?

The list goes on:

6. Cote d'Ivoire
7. Democratic Republic of Congo
8. Afghanistan
9. Guinea
10. Central African Republic
11. Haiti
12. Pakistan
13. North Korea

Ah-ha—countries with horrible governments, failed governments. How about Failed States?

Every year, The Fund for Peace puts together the "Failed States Index," a detailed list that is the analysis of "hundreds of thousands of articles from global and regional sources." Each country gets a score based on 12 criteria, such as demographic pressures, refugees, severe economic decline, criminalization of the state, deterioration of public services, etc.

The 2007 Failed States Index includes first world countries as well—all get ranking, and all get assigned a discrete color zone. Red is in danger or Alert status, orange is troubled or Warning status, yellow is better or Moderate status, and green is most successful or Stable status. The vast majority of countries are in the orange zone. The U.S.? In the yellow zone, just ahead of Chile. (The U.S. government kicked Iraq up to Number 2 status, while pushing Afghanistan into the Number 8 slot—clearly, we've got our issues.) Successful, green countries include, not surprisingly: Japan, Australia, Finland, Denmark, Canada.

Check it out here:

Failed States Index for 2007

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