The Foreign Service Journal, November 2006

N O V E M B E R 2 0 0 6 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 11 This index, which was updated in 2006, uses 12 indicators to rank 146 countries in terms of fragility. The indicators include demographic pres- sures, movement of refugees, inequal- ity and uneven development, econom- ic decline, human rights violations and delegitimization of the state, among others. Though more extensive than the World Bank’s list, the Failed States Index is more descriptive than pre- scriptive. It does not attempt to suggest what ought to be done to rectify the situation, but rather serves as an instrument to measure the capacities of state institutions and to predict trends regarding fail- ing states. A third list comprising 46 fra- gile states is published by Britain’s Department for International Devel- opment ( files/fragilestates-paper.pdf# search=%22DFID%20fragile% 20states%22 ). The DFID report evaluates states according to indica- tive factors such as state authority for security, effective political power, eco- nomic management and administra- tive capacity to deliver services. It attributes problems in these areas to a lack of capacity and unwillingness to deliver within failing states. Like the World Bank, the DFID also address- es the inefficiency of current systems of foreign aid and tries to put forth solutions to improve assistance to fail- ing regions. While the various lists on failing states differ in methods and composi- tion, they all hit upon the same critical point: for the sake of all, in developed and developing nations alike, the bet- terment of poor and conflict-ridden populations remains crucial to a more secure world. — Lamiya Rahman, Editorial Intern Putting the “Security” Back into “National Security” As skirmishing over policy for Iraq and the war on terror accelerates going into the November elections, a new think-tank hopes to raise the level of debate over how to best safe- guard international and domestic security despite partisan concerns. The National Security Network ( ) , dedicated to promoting “pragmatic and principled foreign policy and responsible global leadership that will make America secure and prosperous,” was launched on Sept. 26 by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Represen- tative Jane Harman, D-Calif.; Rand Beers, a former special assistant to Presidents Clinton and George H.W. C YBERNOTES Site of the Month: As every globe-trotting Foreign Service employee knows, much of the charm in a new post lies in the chance to discover a country’s unique culture. At , exploring new cities is made quick and simple. This award-winning Web site “tells you more than a guidebook can. Quite how Whatsonwhen manages to keep track of events all over the world is hard to imagine, but they do it exceptionally well,” says The Guardian. The site features upcoming events in 111 cities and 30 countries — from film festivals in San Sebastian and canal tours in Amsterdam to opera on the Nile, and more. With its user-friendly format, you’re sure to find something of interest, whether you’re single or traveling with a family. Specified search options allow users to search by continent, country, city and date. In addition, the site includes a list of themes, ranging from “Clubs & Parties,” to “Performing Arts,” to “Kids & Family.” Whatsonwhen also offers a number of helpful travel services. Users can browse through leisure-event guides, watch travel videos, book hotels and tickets and even submit their own photos and events. Launched in 1999, Whatsonwhen started out with the aim to “let people plan their leisure time according to their interests and to make sure they did not miss an event they really wanted to see.” Though perfect for trav- elers, the site also serves high-profile clients such as Thomas Cook and Reuters. — Lamiya Rahman, Editorial Intern