Global Fragility Act Turns U.S. Peacekeeping Approach on Its Head
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Minnesotans and the rest of the U.S. population sometimes feel the ripple effects of instability in other parts of the world, and humanitarian groups hope a new federal plan to curb atrocities will help people abroad and at home.
This spring, the Biden administration laid out specific strategies under the Global Fragility Act, approved in 2019 with bipartisan support. It focuses on preventing some of the underlying drivers of conflict, like genocide or ethnic violence.
Felicity Gray, global head of policy and advocacy for the group Nonviolent Peaceforce, said people are well-informed about the direct effects of the war in Ukraine but other conflicts have their reach, too.
"Whether it's on the security front, or whether it's how much you're paying to fill up your car," Gray outlined. "By being really proactive about stabilization and conflict prevention, we can hopefully actually save a lot of money and a lot of heartache for communities around the world as well."
After consulting with partner countries like Haiti, the U.S. government will deploy 10-year commitments in vulnerable areas. Foreign policy experts said it should allow the U.S. to be less reactive, with fewer costly military interventions.
For Americans wondering about how to measure the progress of this initiative, Gray stressed patience will be key.
"And so, it's really more of a slow burn than we've usually seen in our engagement in other countries," Gray explained.
Gray noted in the future, people in affected regions will hopefully see more long-lasting stability. In the U.S., an eventual measuring stick might involve less panic over factors like inflation as it relates to foreign policy.
She added as the strategy is implemented, it is important for the federal government to maintain proper support, in terms of funding and training.
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