Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The 10 states that fill out the top ranks of this year's Failed States Index -- the world's most vulnerable nations -- are a sadly familiar bunch. Shattered Somalia has been the No. 1 failed state for three years running, and none of the current top 10 has shown much improvement, if any, since and the Fund for Peace began publishing the index in 2005. Altogether, the top 10 slots have rotated among just 15 unhappy countries in the index's six years. State failure, it seems, is a chronic condition. This year's index draws on 90,000 publicly available sources to analyze 177 countries and rate them on 12 metrics of state decay -- from refugee flows to economic implosion, human rights violations to security threats. Taken together, a country's performance on this battery of indicators tells us how stable -- or unstable -- it is. And unfortunately for many of the 60 most troubled, the news from 2009 is grave.