Robert Young Pelton: Crowd-Funding the Hunt for Jospeh Kony (Full Text – Foreign Policy October 2013)
ROBERT STEELE: I’ve known RYP for over a decade, perhaps more. I first learned of him when CIA was handing out his book, World’s Most Dangerous Places, as the best available primer for case officers going into darkness without bodyguards or armor (which is what real case officers do, don’t get me started on the clowns surrounded by protein shakes with ink). This is a guy that can get kidnapped in the middle of the Darien Gap, and by the time his captors get him to the chief, the chief knows who he is, apologizes, and begs for an interview. A self-made man in every possible sense of the word, a brother in arms tried and true, RYP is one of the most educated, versatile, and accomplished people in the real world. It merits comment that it costs up to $2.1 million a year to keep one US soldier in the field with all the generals, aviation, logistics, and so on that one US soldier brings with them. $450K for one man, one hunt is a BARGAIN.
Printable (4 Pages with Links): So Crazy It Just Might Work
Swashbuckling journalist Robert Young Pelton is crowdfunding a mission to hunt down Joseph Kony. Is it genius or folly?
BY ELIAS GROLL
FOREIGN POLICY, OCTOBER 29, 2013
Robert Young Pelton thinks he can do what no one else has done: find the fugitive warlord Joseph Kony. And he wants your help in doing it.
Pelton, a journalist-cum-adventurer, has traveled the world tracking down and interviewing the world’s most dangerous men. He was in Grozny hanging out with Chechen rebels while the city was getting pounded by Russian forces. He linked up with Liberian rebels during their assault on Monrovia. And he tracked down and interviewed Francis Ona, the leader of a separatist movement on the island of Bougainville in the South Pacific.
Now he’s turning his attention to the most wanted man in Africa. Together with two filmmakers, Pelton is planning an expedition to central Africa, where he will attempt to track down Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), in the jungle wilderness. Where activists and African troops — aided by U.S. Special Forces — have failed, Pelton believes he can succeed and find the man responsible for the kidnapping as many as 66,000 children and pressing them into service in his rag-tag army or as sex-slaves.
So is Pelton completely crazy? Or is he, maybe, just crazy enough to pull it off?