Now that Chad is partitioned and a fragile truce holds along an artificial line, it is worth taking stock of Chad and other Chad-like situations to see what lessons they may teach. For Chad's problems are not solved. Worse, there is nothing unique about its situation; it merely offers a particularly sharp example of what is taking place in a number of Third World nations.
Chad offers, first, a case of political collapse—an unusually complete case—not just of the overthrow of a government but of the total destruction of the state and its legitimate authority. Part of this has been the work of nature, part the work of the Chadians themselves. The basic fact of Chad is poverty.