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Nordstrom’s book, Shadows of War, will put a spin on the idea that one can develop rules of engagement (ROE) for peace-keeping missions. How can one develop ROE when the soldiers, INGOs, GOs are all involved in every form of trade, resource extraction, etc., that a country can support. Or, are ROE only for highly-trained Western troops when they’re on good behavior?

As I read the book, I feel I could scan it, gloss over the details, because it seems I know the facts despite not having seen the Blood Diamond. The power is in reading it and sustaining attention to the subject.

I suspect Nordstrom had the same experience of finally seeing what she knew to be true. She mentions being awakened from “academic innocence” when she encountered the stories she’d only heard about: gem smuggling on INGO airplanes, the huge and senseless expenditures of the UN for a meaningless theater of elections in Mozambique.

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