Fareed Zakaria has some advice for the administration: Stick around and make sure those countries are rebuilt! I was against both wars, but I agree — if anything good is to be salvaged from these foolhardy adventures, we must stick around for a long time to make good on our promise of a better life!
Yes, Bosnia and Kosovo are not functioning liberal democracies with market economies. But they are a whole lot better off than they were, and than most poor and ethnically riven countries. If the base line is Germany and Japan—ethnically homogenous countries that had advanced economies before World War II—they have fallen short. If the base line is Somalia, they have done pretty well.
The key lesson of nation-building over the past decade is, don’t leave. In Haiti and Somalia, we left. In Bosnia and Kosovo, we’re still there. The corollary: keep sufficient force to maintain order. In Somalia and Haiti, the forces were too thin and too soon withdrawn; in Bosnia and Kosovo, large troop deployments remain for the long term.
CalPundit has a nice post about the number of troops required to maintain peace — and refers to the above article to point out that “in Afghanistan, we have just 5 percent as many troops, per capita, as we do in Kosovo”!
But while we are there, we must work towards creating real democracy!