Jim Miller (via Instapundit) notes an interesting thing in relation to a recent article about private security firms that appeared in the Boston Globe:
This is the solution to some of Africa's many civil wars that I have favored for years, not because it is a good solution, but because it is the least bad solution available. UN forces have been — at best — ineffectual, in many of these conflicts, because the UN soldiers are too few, too poorly trained, too poorly equipped, and too undisciplined. Nations that do have effective military forces are unwilling to commit them to Africa. But the military tasks are often small enough so that they could be handled by mercenaries. (Sorry, private security firms.)Shouldn't there be an outpouring of outrage that in the name of a moralistic rejection of mercenaries, the West has condemned so many people to death?
So far, the answer to that second question is yes. The "international community", specifically the UN, does prefer genocide to using mercenaries. I was not surprised to learn, for example, that Kofi Annan had specifically rejected using a private firm during what Weiner calls the "Rwandan refugee crisis". (I assume she is talking about the time after the genocide.)
Finally, it is worth noting that, though the situation in Darfur is horrendous, there are many other civil wars in Africa. As far as deaths go, the worst is probably the civil war in the Congo, where three million may have died, according to common estimates. (That's far more than the US has lost in all our wars put together.) It might be possible to put together an effective international force for one or two of these conflicts, but not for all of them. All the more reason to use mercenaries to end some of these wars.