Article (re)defined by JB.
Providing an overview of a mission to assist Liberians with the construction of army barracks, the author Aaron Boehm creates a celebratory tone resonating of the heroism and strength of the Michigan National Guard. He includes quotes from representatives of the Michigan National Guard to explain the importance of this mission and to highlight their previous international work.
Historically, the Liberian Armed Forces has received ongoing support from the United States since the settling of freed American slaves in Liberia. This historic partnership has been important to Liberia’s ability to maintain independence and essential in rebuilding Liberia post-war. However, the discourse around these kinds of missions continues to position the United States as the holder of knowledge and expertise. Countless scholars have critiqued this notion of the Western “expert” in developing countries offering claims that part of the reason so many countries continue to lack in their development efforts is because local knowledge is not valued, projects or missions are not designed with local people as part of the process and partnership efforts become ongoing because they are otherwise not sustainable on the ground. Continue reading