PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- The United States government may be operating on minimal auxiliary power, but there are regimes around the globe that find even that level of functional governance laughable.
As Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner vowed that there won't be an end to the shutdown anytime soon and a growing contingent of his fellow House Republicans suggested the opposite, word came down last weekend that U.S. special forces carried out raids in Libya and Somalia targeting key figures in al-Qaeda and the al-Qaeda-aligned al-Shabaab movement that killed dozens of people at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, two weeks ago. The government shutdown is embarrassing on all fronts, but even this political skirmish hasn't stopped the U.S. from operating on a level far more stable than its counterparts in Libya and Somalia -- which rank Nos. 54 and 1, respectively, on the Fund For Peace/Foreign Policy Failed State Index.
Don't get us wrong: The government shutdown is terrible enough that even the Fund For Peace felt the need to explain why the U.S. isn't a failed state. But within the group's explanation of just how long this shutdown would have to go on for that to happen is a reminder of just how many actual failed states exist with problems that dwarf those of the United States' hiccup:
"There is not violence. There is no rioting in the street. Borders are still protected, firemen are still putting out fires, and business continues somewhat as usual. That is what resiliency looks like -- and not every country can claim to have it, or the same level of it."