Originally Posted by perotista
We were pretty good with nation building if that's the right word with Germany and Japan after WWII and South Korea after the Korean War. But those countries had been countries long before each war.

I use the word “nation building” because it gets used a lot; I have never understood all its nuances. One of the definitions I found on the web says “Nation building aims at the unification of the people within the state so that it remains politically stable and viable in the long run.“

I have to differ where Korea is concerned. We still have active military personnel there some 60 years after the war; the country is still divided, and one-half of it is run by one of the worst despots in the world. It doesn’t fit the definition.

Iraq still is a problem. But we still have troops stationed there. So nation building in Iraq seems to have worked, at least so far.

Same problem. If we still have troops in danger in Iraq, if they are still necessary to maintain stability, then nation building hasn’t succeeded.

In fact I can’t think of an instance where nation building HAS succeeded (which certainly doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist.) As you note, both Germany and Japan were individual - and powerful - nations prior to World War I; they don’t fit the definition.

“It’s the shipwreck that leads you to the magical island.”
(Trevor Noah)