Outsourcing African security

LUIS LIWANAG/AFP/Getty Images The White House quietly revealed this week that the United States is cutting $193 million in funding for U.N. peacekeeping operations, mainly in Africa. The cuts will affect ongoing operations in Liberia, Rwanda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire and others. This is on top of the $500 million the ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
596493_080212_un2.jpg
596493_080212_un2.jpg

LUIS LIWANAG/AFP/Getty Images

The White House quietly revealed this week that the United States is cutting $193 million in funding for U.N. peacekeeping operations, mainly in Africa. The cuts will affect ongoing operations in Liberia, Rwanda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire and others. This is on top of the $500 million the U.S. already owes the U.N. for peacekeeping. The timing of the announcement could not be worse as Bush prepares for a seven-day tour of the continent beginning on Friday.

But it's not that America is stingy on African defense. It just has its own ideas about how to provide it. Sharon Weinberger writes over at Wired's "Danger Room" that the State Department is currently negotiating a five-year, $1 billion contract with three private security contractors to provide military assistance in Africa. Notice a trend?

LUIS LIWANAG/AFP/Getty Images

The White House quietly revealed this week that the United States is cutting $193 million in funding for U.N. peacekeeping operations, mainly in Africa. The cuts will affect ongoing operations in Liberia, Rwanda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire and others. This is on top of the $500 million the U.S. already owes the U.N. for peacekeeping. The timing of the announcement could not be worse as Bush prepares for a seven-day tour of the continent beginning on Friday.

But it’s not that America is stingy on African defense. It just has its own ideas about how to provide it. Sharon Weinberger writes over at Wired‘s “Danger Room” that the State Department is currently negotiating a five-year, $1 billion contract with three private security contractors to provide military assistance in Africa. Notice a trend?

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.