To Save Congo, Let It Fall Apart
by J. Peter Pham
New York Times
December 1, 2012
The Democratic Republic of the Congo which erupted in violence again earlier this month, ought to be one of the richest countries in the world, given its immense mineral reserves and vast potential for agricultural development. Yet the most recent edition of the United Nations Development Program's Human Development Index ranked Congo last among the 187 countries and territories included in the survey. If some enterprises, public or private, can be said to be "too big to fail," Congo is the reverse: it is too big to succeed. Given the dysfunctional status quo and the terrible toll it has exacted in terms of lives and resources, the West should put aside ideological dogmatism in favor of statesmanlike pragmatism and acknowledge the reality that, at least in some extreme cases, the best way to break a cycle of violence is to break up an artificial country in crisis and give it back to its very real people.