Tags: Afghanistan | Al-Qaida | Donald Trump | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Trump Administration | War on Terrorism

Blackwater Founder Urges Trump to Reconsider Afghanistan Strategy

Blackwater Founder Urges Trump to Reconsider Afghanistan Strategy
Blackwater founder Erik Prince (AP Photo)

By    |   Wednesday, 30 August 2017 04:39 PM

The founder of the private military company Blackwater is urging President Donald Trump to reconsider his Afghanistan strategy — and rely on security contractors to thwart America's enemies there.

In an opinion piece posted by The New York Times on Wednesday, Erik Prince argued Trump's strategy to "add more dollars to the more than $800 billion already spent, not to mention more American troops to the thousands already dead or wounded . . . is sadly more old than new."

Prince, a former Navy SEAL who now is chairman of the private equity firm, Frontier Services Group, said a better path "would put in place a light footprint of American Special Forces, as well as contractors to work with Afghans to focus on the goal that Americans really care about: denying Americas enemies the sanctuary they used to plan the Sept. 11 attacks."

In making his case, Prince used the example of the Flying Tigers, a group of volunteer American aviators who fought Japan in China before the United States entered World War II.

"The Flying Tigers — who now would be called contractors — fought for China and the United States and, like paid American contractors in theaters of war today, fought as bravely and patriotically as American soldiers," he wrote.

"Such a force could be just the solution Afghanistan needs."

Trump is expected to send around 4,000 additional soldiers to Afghanistan to help end the 16-year war there, Prince wrote, and "In a war that has already lasted twice as long as Vietnam, is this the 'new' strategy we want?"

Before Trump's speech, Prince had been privately and publicly pushing a plan to replace most U.S. troops with just under 6,000 private military contractors — specifically former special operations veterans — to embed with Afghan forces at the battalion level, The Hill reported.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary James Mattis reportedly opposed the plan, but former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon was supposedly in favor, the Hill reported.

Prince took a swipe at "serving or recently retired Pentagon generals" in his opinion piece, saying they "monopolized the conversation" on an Afghan strategy, "so a conventional outcome was assured."

Prince argues using private contractors "costs less than 20 percent of current spending and saves American taxpayers more than $40 billion a year."

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The founder of the private military company Blackwater is urging President Donald Trump to reconsider his Afghanistan strategy - and rely on security contractors to thwart America's enemies there.
erik prince, military, strategy, terrorism
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2017-39-30
Wednesday, 30 August 2017 04:39 PM
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