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Private Peacekeeping Help Is a Congo Option

June 16, 2003

Re "The Danger of Ignoring Congo," Commentary, June 11: We strongly agree with Jean-Marie Guehenno's plea for the Congo when he calls for more international action to support the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or MONUC. Unfortunately, the welcome, French-led multinational deployment can do only so much when it is limited to a single town and has a firm Sept. 1 departure date, after which an under-strength MONUC will again face mayhem.

Guehenno urges action but avoids specifics. He mentions that a modern mobile force could do much to control belligerents but does not suggest where it might come from, since Western states are loath to offer their own elite soldiers. A ready answer to this "Westernless" peacekeeping dilemma is private military service companies. These firms are prepared to provide armed air-mobile police and other critical services to support MONUC and make it a U.N. success story -- despite the West's malevolence.

Doug Brooks

President, International

Peace Operations Assn.

Alexandria, Va.

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