WHY COMBAT POVERTY INTERNATIONALLY
MBA Corps Volunteer
Consultants work to increase
the competitiveness of small and medium sized businesses in emerging
democracies and the developing world.
Our efforts assist in stabilizing the world by assisting in
the development of free market economies and democracies.
Democracies do not start wars with one another.
Waging the War on
Terror is a key part of MBA Corps’ mission because our thesis is
that economic development combats terrorism.
In the long run, full bellies and full employment (positive
economic conditions) are some of our best weapons against Terror.
Viewing the War on
Terror in a foreign policy context, as opposed to a criminal
prosecution, war fighting or national security context, creates an
environment where the MBA Corps engages as instruments to effect
significant change while promoting our nation’s foreign policy
goals. To wit, the
leadership of some terrorist groups consists of the wealthy and the
well educated. However,
their ability to recruit foot soldiers to carry out terror missions
is rooted in the soldier’s miserable daily existence.
Such existence results from poor economic conditions.
Many potential recruits are disenfranchised and
feel they have nothing to live for.
Terrorism is widely acknowledged as a product of such human
Corps’ economic development work at the grassroots level injects
counterterrorist goals into foreign policy.
MBA Corps can
improve the economic conditions in many nations that are breeding
grounds for foot soldiers of terrorism.
The Corps’ activities catalyze economic development helping
to launch an economy on a glide path to prosperity.
Such prosperity or the hope of prosperity is the antidote to
combat the virus of despair that creates terrorist cells in
developing nations. Initiating
the economic cascade that leads to the concrete result of increased
pay rolls and improved quality of life is the foundation for
sustained cooperation between foreign business leaders and community
opinion leaders and their U.S. peers.
overseas affect the resentments and motivations of those who may
resort to terrorism. The management of relations with foreign governments whose
cooperation is vital to combating terrorism has major consequences
for the effectiveness of the U.S. counterterrorism effort. A basic principle of the Corps is to engender cooperation
among members, businesses, and the community with its civic leaders.
This cooperation can enhance understanding, attenuate the
vitriolic message of radical anti-U.S. groups, and, ideally,
diminish the terrorists’ ability to recruit foot soldiers.
The final result will reduce the impact of terrorism on
In his recent book,
“Terrorism and US Foreign Policy”, (Brookings Institution Press,
2001) Paul Piller
indicates that the current U.S. policy on counterterrorism has
remained largely unchanged during past administrations.
Mr. Piller discloses much more, which we paraphrase and
comment on below….The official tenets are as follows:
concessions to terrorists and strike no deals;
to justice for their crimes;
apply pressure on states that sponsor terrorism to force them to
change their behavior; and
counterterrorist capabilities of those countries that work with the
U.S. and require assistance.
The first three
tenets are confrontational and fall under the
“fight-don’t-finesse” stream of American thinking about
terrorism. The fourth
tenet on counterterrorist assistance to cooperative countries is the
most broad-minded as it implicitly recognizes that counterterrorism
is more than confrontations, that the threat terrorism poses to
non-Americans matters to the United States, and that
counterterrorism efforts rely on foreign help.
This cooperation should extend beyond governments to their
citizens. The Corps’ programs demonstrate an effective commitment
to public diplomacy.
As a phenomenon of
broad political and social development, terrorism is a foreign
policy issue, as well as a national security issue.
The majority of terrorist acts that have damaged U.S.
interests are foreign, as are most of the terrorist threats that
confront the U.S. today. During
the past two decades, 78% of the Americans who died from terrorism
were killed by foreign terrorists, notwithstanding the World Trade
Center and Pentagon attacks, which, although perpetrated on American
soil, were perpetrated by foreigners.
experts have argued that terrorism is a problem to be managed, not
solved, and that the U.S. should disrupt terrorist infrastructures
terrorist attacks are seemingly committed by an organization few in
number, the reality is that there is a large infrastructure that
supports these attacks. The
maintenance of such an infrastructure consists of recruitment,
financing, and logistics. All
batteries should be brought to bear on terrorism including
recruitment interdiction—a result of the Corps’ programs.
The current Administration is attacking the financing
function. The Corps’
efforts should be highlighted as a sustained, long-term initiative
that combats terrorism; it is not a sporadic, knee-jerk,
Through the Corps
programs, and I underscore this for emphasis, we can undermine
the belief systems that drive terrorism when we give people hope in
the here and now, and improved quality of life in the near future
through economic development.
We envision the strategic principle of attacking
infrastructure to be part of the Corps’ mission.
This mission is reminiscent of the Strategic Bombing Campaign
during World War II. Then,
the infrastructure attacked was ball bearing manufacturing capacity
rather than personnel recruitment capacity.
The Corps is a key part of the long-term, strategic solution
to manage terrorism.
again we credit Mr. Piller for his insightful work.
He was deputy chief of the Counterterrorist Center at the CIA
and also author of Negotiating Peace (Princeton, 1983).