I am not referring to his reputation as a world-class plunderer, but as a revolutionary and rather civic-minded leader who brought together the disparate tribes of the Mongolian steppe, promoted freedom of religion, modernized warfare, and, relatively speaking, was decent to the conquered.
Oh, sure, he slaughtered the leaders of the vanquished, but generally disbelieved in slavery and had boundaries when it came to women and children. He assimilated the conquered into his own tribal families, thereby creating loyalty and a close-knit government group. He ran a tight, efficient ship.
Were he alive today, I don’t think Genghis Khan would need an International Monetary Fund bailout. He would have one of the most promising countries – one blessed with natural resources and well-educated people – humming along, to the envy of Ukraine’s neighbors.