In 2001, two unlikely friends created a music festival in Mali that drew the likes of Bono and Robert Plant. Then radical Islam tore them apart.
The balance of power between strong states was for decades the dominant issue in discussions of international security. But today, it is fragile states that are seen by many as posing potentially greater threats. Weak infrastructures, internal conflict, and lack of economic development provide fertile ground for trafficking, piracy, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, disease pandemics, regional tensions, and even genocide.
As a result, there is a growing movement in the international community to find comprehensive ways to promote stronger states, and, more effective ways to deal with those that are already on the brink of failure.
In this Fragile States Gateway, you'll find reporting from around the world -- from East Timor to Haiti, from Guinea Bissau to Afghanistan. The reporting demonstrates the dangers weak states pose -- and also the international interventions that appear to be making a difference.
We hope you'll take advantage of the unique reporting and that you'll join the conversation too, by sharing your own stories and perspectives. These are issues that affect us all -- and all of us can contribute to the search for approaches that work. We'll be adding fresh reports on an ongoing basis, so come back often!
The Fragile States Gateway was produced by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in partnership with The Bureau for International Reporting. Support provided by the Stanley Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.