The White House is reportedly considering using private military contractors to take over the majority of U.S. operations in Afghanistan.
While private military contractors have longed worked with the U.S. government, this would represent an unprecedented action in America’s longest war.
From USA Today:
Under the proposal, 5,500 private contractors, primarily former Special Operations troops, would advise Afghan combat forces. The plan also includes a 90-plane private air force that would provide air support in the nearly 16-year-old war against Taliban insurgents, Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater security firm, told USA TODAY.
The plan remains under serious consideration within the White House despite misgivings by Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, an Army three-star general, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Other White House officials, such as chief strategist Stephen Bannon, appear open to using private contractors.
Prince claims that he can privatize the war in Afghanistan for $10 billion per year, significantly less than the $40 billion per year the military pays now.
Erik Prince is a Trump associate and the brother-in-law of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, however he’s probably better know as the founder of Blackwater, the private paramilitary “security” group guilty of the 2007 Nisour Square massacre that killed 17 civilians.
Prince is still in the private military business, has spent the past few years building a private, corporate military in China to protect interests without “bothering” the Chinese military, as we reported in Februrary.
Prince told USA Today that right now, President Trump “doesn’t own the Afghan effort yet” but that he will with “whatever decision he makes next.” This seems like an effective sales pitch to a businessman known for selling off his losses to some other suckers.
The contractors would wear the uniforms of the Afghan military and reportedly answer to the Afghan government when it comes to what military action they take.
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