The US is pulling back from Haiti and reducing the number of military on the ground and the sea. The Haitians are critical of that step. They need help. On the other hand, if the US stays too long, the Haitians will be uncomfortable that the US is acting like an imperial power. What is the US to do other than what the President has done — assuring Haitians they will not be abandoned but continuing to remove the troops anyway? Haiti is a nation that needs rebuilding from the ground up. The US could do that but it would take decades, and there would be no assurance of success. Nation building is messy. The US could allow Haiti to remain in its morass of corruption and poverty on the assumption that the people of Haiti must decide to lift themselves. There is no reason to believe this will happen either. From a relationship perspective, Haiti is a dilemma. It can’t help itself: On the other hand, it resents intrusion. Sometimes you can’t win.

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