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Civilian Response Corps: Stop Terrorism With Working Professionals

US to Stop Terrorism With Working Professionals

If you're an American engineer, city planner, law enforcement official, public health worker, economist, or judge, Uncle Sam wants YOU to move to dangerous and "failing" countries and help keep these places from completely collapsing into the death grips of eager terrorists.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has announced the Civilian Response Corps, a program Congress allotted $75 million in June. A response to September 11, the professional Peace Corps hopes to pro-actively prevent countries in turmoil from going to the dark side. The goal can also be described as hoping to avoid another post-invasion-Iraq disaster. The volunteers from the private sector and state and local governments will be trained to deploy rapidly (along with other federal employees) to countries in crisis or emerging from crisis in order to provide reconstruction and stabilization assistance.

Since the group will usually deploy with or after US troops, critics argue that the CRC is a thinly veiled plan for imperial expansion, or an effort to impose government institutions according to a model familiar, or friendly, to the US.

Arguments of nation-building can probably best be assessed in specific situations, so on the surface this plan sounds like a creative way to develop America's power beyond guns and bombs. What do you think?


Join The Conversation
stephley stephley 9 years
The pilot projects are in places like Haiti and Sudan. So apparently we help overthrow the government, or just watch the country sink, then send in "People who are engineers, people who are involved in the rule of law, meaning police men and judges and attorneys and corrections officials. People who are public administrators or public health officials" to rebuild the government as something more like us. Who could be cynical about a noble project like that?
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Bringing in contractors is an excellent idea. It's a nice transition move away from full military deployment in the area. The other advantage to using contractors is they are often more experienced than the spanking new military members that get sent out there with a four to six month training school if they're lucky.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
But we aren't currently in turmoil, and killing our own citizens. That's the kind of turmoil I am talking about. It would be like sending a group to venezuella, after Chavez has been gotten rid of, to make sure the country has an opportunity to rebuild, and become more self-sufficient.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I'm not sure the analogy is the same. It seems like the gist of this program is to send in people to rebuild and restructure after the U.S. has invaded. So, yes, I suppose if China invaded the U.S. I would hope they'd send in a clean up crew, too, but I'd rather not be invaded in the first place.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
torg - If our country was in turmoil, and about to be infested with terrorists, I'd welcome another country in, if they were going to help bring stability and drive the terrorists out.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I think it's our responsibility to rebuild if we were the ones who toppled the preexisting regime and infrastructure in the first place.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I just finished reading Three Cups of Tea so perhaps that will color my feelings on this post. I think that if we don't invest the resources to rebuild, we're going to keep losing ground. From the perspective of people in Afghanistan, for example, we came in their country, overthrew their gov't, and then left to deal w/ Iraq. Apparently only 1/3 of the promised rebuilding money ever got there. Is it our responsiblity to rebuild for them? I'm not sure. But since we made it our responsibility to go overthrow the Taliban, it seems like we should make good on our promises to rebuild. I personally like this plan, and will be interested to see how it goes.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I always try to put the shoe on the other foot. What would we think if another country set up this type of program?
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