Why ignoring the private security option in Darfur is a mistake.
Saving hundreds of thousands of lives in Darfur doesn't require protests or divestment or U.S. troops. It requires only that we recognize that there is a commercial value to humanitarian security, and then pay to deploy private forces to the region. But the activist campaigns to "save Darfur" don't seem to be ready to take this immediate step that will stop the slaughter. The obstinate party is not the Sudanese government or rebels in Darfur-rather, it is these ruthless humanitarians, who refuse to consider using private security to stop the violence.Some estimates claim that half a million civilians have died in the Darfur region since early 2003; the U.S. government has labeled it genocide. Since 2005, the African Union has deployed a small force of peacekeepers, and last year the U.N. passed a resolution to deploy its own more robust mission, which, however, is not expected to begin before 2008. A number of NGOs and advocacy groups have been admirably vocal in their calls for a larger military presence, but they limit their calls to international governmental action, refusing to consider the vast capability that resides in private security companies-companies that would deploy armed security.Stopping the killing in Darfur is not technically difficult. Numerous private companies stand ready to provide the security that humanitarian groups have been demanding for years. The for-profit sector has the ability and experience and, more important, the will and incentive to deploy professional security forces to defend at-risk populations in the region. Although the companies are private, they would be contracted by governments to support existing A.U. operations and future U.N. deployments. The costs of such an action would be a fraction of what is spent on current international deployments.
|Stopping the killing in Darfur is not technically difficult.|