It is sometimes claimed that 4GW thrives in failed/failing states. I’m not totally sure I buy this. For one thing, the 9/11 attacks were apparently conceived in Afghanistan, which had a pretty strong, even oppressive, government at the time, and planned in such places as Germany and the US.
On the other hand, it seems reasonable that 4GW groups — “global guerrillas” and similar transnational organizations — might do best where they don’t have a strong central government that could be pressured into interfering with their operations.
Whichever side you come down on, here is Foreign Policy‘s Failed State Index for 2012.
A couple of points that struck me:
- Note how much their map resembles Tom Barnett’s “Pentagon’s New Map.” Hardly a coincidence, of course.
- Look where the USA falls in their rankings.