USAID and the State Department operate under two distinct philosophies on how to promote democracy abroad. USAID underwrites technocratic democracy aid programs and sees democratization as a long-term developmental process. In contrast, the State Department focuses on politicians and political events, not on developmental processes, and wants immediate results.
Civil society is not the only group of actors which recognizes the potential political power of the Internet. Authoritarian governments are wary of the political communication the Internet makes possible. Many have pushed measures to control the technology and shape the Internet's development to their needs.
A large swath of Africa has been engulfed by war for several years. The situation is unlikely to improve because the conflicts arise from the disintegration of postcolonial states—the order that was imposed on Africa by outside states. Wars will continue to flare up until a new order emerges, either imposed by the international community or based on new territorial and political arrangements.
In the 1990s, the Clinton administration led the international community in pursuit of a grand vision of reforming African countries into modern free-market democracies. That vision, however, was a poor match for the reality of conflict and stagnation on the ground. U.S. resources fell short of the rhetoric, and the policy yielded few results.