NELSON INSTITUTE DIRECTOR’S COLUMN PROPOSES USE OF PRIVATE SECURITY SERVICES IN DARFUR

May 26, 2006

HARRISONBURG—This week’s column for the World Defense Review by Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, proposes the use of private military companies (PMCs) in the conflicted Darfur region of Sudan as a way of overcoming the gap between the inadequacy of the African Union “peacekeepers” currently deployed and a more robust United Nations force that is still in the initial discussion stage.

According to Dr. Pham, the timing is critical in the genocide-afflicted region because of the seasonal cycles have rendered the normally precarious existence of the Darfuris even more vulnerable. Consequently, he proposes a fifteen month plan for using PMCs that would cost an estimated $48.2 million, a sum which he notes “is within the realm of collective possibility of the hundreds of thousands of American individuals who have been mobilized by the specter of genocide at the dawn of the new millennium—to say nothing of the U.S. government which, since the genocide began, has sent close to $800 million in humanitarian aid to Darfur, some of which has gone undelivered due to security concerns.”

Dr. Pham’s column, entitled “Strategic Interests,” appears every Thursday in the World Defense Review, a twice-weekly publication covering military and defense news and information.

This week’s column, “A Modest Proposal for Darfur,’” can be accessed by clicking here.