Wednesday, September 22, 2004

William Kristol Gets It Right
A Wee Suggestion for a Free Market Solution in the Sudan

William Kristol and Vance Serchuk get it right in todays WaPo: we must stop the mass murder in Sudan NOW. Here's one kind of thing that neo-cons and hawkish liberals can agree on.

I know we're overstretched thanks to Bush's Folly in Iraq, but we simply cannot stand by and watch this happen. To Hell with Russia; likewise China. We need to get in there and start splashing those shiny new MIGs they bought and start blowing Janjaweed into itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny smoking little pieces. Those murderous bastards seem to fancy themselves brave men when they're strafing and slaughtering starving, unarmed civilians. I'm interested to see how they'd feel about a bit of a tussle with the 101st Airborn and a squadron of F-15s.

If the U.S. or the U.N doesn't act soon, then I suggest that it's time to stop giving money to Oxfam and Doctors Without Borders and time to start collecting money to hire mercenaries to stop the genocide. A sub-optimal solution, needless to say, and one that will generate its own problems. But we can cross that bridge when we come to it. There seem to be some at least semi-reputable "private security firms" out there these days--we needn't hire drooling Soldier of Fortune-type lunatics. One might worry about armed mercenaries running amok, but (a) that situation would be no worse than the one we already face in Darfur, and (b) it is unlikely to occur given that it would, of course, be written into their contracts that they would forfeit all pay and benefits if they failed to conduct themselves in a just and humane manner to the extent that this is possible.

Perhaps this is part of the solution to the problem of humanitarian interventions in the 21st Century. Some have qualms about risking the lives of American solidiers to save the lives of non-Americans. These qualms should be dissipated at least to some extent by the realization that we have an all-volunteer military (ignoring problems raised by stop-loss orders that is). But the qualms in question must evaporate entirely if the humanitarian military force is comprised entirely of people who freely agree to fight for pay in the specific conflict in question, and who can stop fighting and exit the conflict whenever they choose.

That is, perhaps a free market solution is in order here. And that should be an added incentive for the neo-cons to get on board.


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