Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Return of the Conditteri*

This is truly amazing:

A consortium of mercenary groups has made the UN a deceptively simple proposal: give us $200 million, and we’ll help bring an end to the war in the Congo.

I suppose the bright side is, they’re offering to end the war in the Congo, not start a second one.

*Okay, quick history lesson: the conditteri were Italian mercenaries in the 15th and 16th centuries, responsible for a “Revolution in Military Affairs” in the early modern period. For more, read William McNeill’s Pursuit of Power.

1 Comment

  1. Heard a debate about this on NPR, but they prefer to be called military consultants, not mercenaries. And yes, pretty darn creepy. On the other hand, had you not inserted the note, I might have continued to think the word was just the Italian version of Konditerei, which–though it made no sense in the mercenary context–was instead a fairly clever application of the American trope of “Feed them pastries until they have no fight left!” I rather like the thought of ending a war with $200 million worth of Napoleons.

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