The Spread of Ebola

While specific criticisms can be leveled at the international community, I find it hard to fault the initial opinions of the WHO and others. Ebola simply is not a huge problem to contain if a state has any degree of infrastructure and effective governance. What is lacking in Sierra Leone and Liberia is the effective form of a state altogether. Barely any doctors or nurses, an untrusted and untested military, not nearly enough hospitals, etc. Two decades of civil wars, likely kept alive longer by foreign aid and interventions, have brought these countries into a strange amalgam of past and present: barely the institutions of a functioning state, yet inhabiting the World of 2014. This state is unnatural – without foreign subsidies, food aid, medicine and so forth, it will be impossible for a dictator or set of warlords to continually feud over the ruins of Liberia (or Sierra Leone). They would be unable to feed and care for their own supporters, let alone the general populace and vulnerable to attack. We are living the legacy of Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor – one we very much helped to create.


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