David Lake gave an interesting talk about the history of US policy on state-building.

State Building 1.0:  Installing puppets.  The underlying philosophy was Realpolitik.  This phase was exemplified by US support from Rafael Trujillo, “El Jefe”, dictator in the Dominican Republic.

State Building 2.0: Creating a legitimate government. The underlying philosophy is liberal.  It implies creating a functioning democracy with limited powers and a free-market economy.  This was attempted in Iraq and Afghanistan

Sate Building 3.0: Counterinsurgency.  This puts emphasis on providing security and public goods to the general population to get their support.  There is less emphasis on democracy and market reforms.

The audience found 3.0 controvertial – is there really a change in emphasis or is it really 2.0?  I personally found it persuasive and would add State Building 4.0: Intervention might decouple the provision of security from the creation of democracy altogether and instead install a puppet.  Some might say this is version 1.0 and perhaps this is right.  In any case, it certainly trends back towards version 1.0.  This is where the Afghan policy seems to be heading.  A puppet is important because there need to be American bases in Afghanistan to use for drone attacks against terrorists based in Pakistan.