April 26, 2006
Peacemakers for Hire
Whoah! Dystopian foreign policy idea of the week: Forget U.N. blue helmets in Darfur. Why not send in a private mercenary army to keep the peace?
Probably because it’s hella Snow Crash, per Matt Yglesias. I mean come on: These are companies with names like “Blackwater”… “Aegis”… “Dyncorp” (!?)… and “Executive Outcomes” (!!?). Let’s leave this plotline to the novelists.
GI-Net quickly concluded that going with mercenaries was a bad idea. But, as their search dragged on, the group’s members became increasingly frustrated that they were sitting on a pile of money when, seemingly every day, there was some new horror in Darfur. Finally, in January, GI-Net had a breakthrough. An African NGO was willing to take GI-Net’s money and, in tandem with the AU, train a contingent of female escorts to protect Darfurian women when they leave their refugee camps to search for firewood. This week, Smith is in Addis Ababa putting the finishing touches on the deal.