Within minutes of Robert Zoellick’s announcement that he will leave the world bank being made public, Hillary Clinton announced that she was interested in the job. The World Bank has long been a favored retirement village for American warhawks. Considering the fact that World Bank is ostensibly about making loans to developing counties for capital improvements, it’s significant that three of the 11 World Bank presidents (Robert McNamara, Paul Wolfowitz and John McCloy) have come from the U.S. Department of Defense/War. Now Clinton, while not at the DOD, but very much the architect of the American war on Libya, wants the job. I suppose that after years of bombing developing countries into rubble, people like Clinton and Wolfowitz and McNamara think it might be fun to assuage their consciences by lending money to developing countries.
Whether such loans actually help matters for these countries if hardly clear. Given that the World Bank was founded by Keynesians at Bretton Woods, one might be somewhat skeptical of the economics and politics put forward as the justification for the scheme. On the other hand, we do know that the World Bank is a mechanism for exercising political control over the debtor nations. So it’s really just the same old story, and it’s fitting that agitators for wars of conquest find a home at the world bank. To paraphrase Carl von Clausewitz, perhaps the World Bank is war by other means.