From "Star Wars" to Darfur

Qatar has signed a $2.47 million contract (pdf) with Robert McFarlane's lobbying firm, McFarlane Associates to "sponsor and organize a peace process to resolve the conflict in Darfur and secure peace throughout Sudan." Under the contract, McFarlane is required to assist the government of Qatar in "facilitating additional agreements between the Government of Sudan in Khartoum and all marginalized ethnic groups in Sudan and the secure the assistance of respected U.S. third-parties towards this objective." Since May, McFarlane's firm has been paid (pdf) $1.23 million. McFarlane, who was National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan, was a promoter of the "Strategic Defense Initiative," which was also referred to as the "Star Wars" missile defense system.