Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham is quoted by Al Jazeera America on Liberia’s growing military:

“In many respects, this long, 10-year process has been successful in creating, I think, for the first time in Liberia’s history a military that is well regarded, that is respectful of authority, that is popular with the people,” says J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center and author of “Liberia: Portrait of a Failed State.” But he adds, “The military force that Liberians can afford on their own is not likely to be large enough or sufficiently well equipped to do much good should they face a real, conventional threat. However, even a small force, especially if it is disciplined and nimble, can cause mischief.”

Liberia has avoided relapsing into violent conflict, despite the fact that many analysts expected it to within a few years of the war’s end. Here in the capital, there are visible signs of change: new slick apartment complexes and tall commercial buildings, paved roads, neat rows of trees in the city’s center and new electricity lines that generate the most expensive public electricity in the world. Its security, meanwhile, remains fragile, amid reports of endemic police corruption and mob and gender-based violence. A U.N. peacekeeping force of 5,700 still operates in the country. And while there have been changes in the capital, Liberia remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with the majority of the population living on less than a dollar a day. 

Read the full article here.

Related Experts: J. Peter Pham