Somalia, Haiti, Liberia, Rwanda, and Angola are generally regarded as statebuilding failures. In each instance, argues UC San Diego political scientist David Lake, the external statebuilders faced three dilemmas in rehabilitating an existing anarchy. First, nations willing to bear the costs of reconstructing another usually have their own interests in promoting a local leader who shares their political values rather than those of the state’s own citizens. Second, statebuilders must attend to their own legitimacy, weakening the emergent legitimacy of the new regimes. Finally, though sovereignty in practice is quite permissive, the international community seeks to protect the principle of sovereignty and thereby limits the mandates and resources of potential statebuilders, including the United States. Lake is presented by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC San Diego.