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Blackwater Founder: My Group Could Have Crushed ISIS

Blackwater Founder: My Group Could Have Crushed ISIS
Erik Prince, chairman of Prince Group, LLC and Blackwater USA. (Lauren Petracca/mlive.com/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 September 2014 03:31 PM

Blasting the Obama administration, Erik Prince, former Navy SEAL and founder of the controversial, one-time "private security" or "mercenary" firm Blackwater, says his group could have crushed the Islamic State (ISIS) without using U.S. combat troops.

In a discussion before the Maverick PAC, featuring four-star Gen. James Conway, Prince said, "It's a shame the administration crushed my old business because, as a private organization, we could've solved the boots-on-the-ground issue," The Daily Beast reported.

"We could have had contracts from people that want to go there as contractors. You don't have the argument of U.S. active duty going back in there."

He said his men could have "gone in there and done it, and be done, and not have a long, protracted political mess that I predict will ensue."

Blackwater, now called Academi, ran into trouble seven years ago when its contractor guards gunned down Iraqi civilians in Baghdad's Nisour Square, killing17.

The U.S. is making its second attempt to try four of the five guards, Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Dustin Heard and Evan Liberty, with Slatten facing possible life in prison and the others facing 30-year terms, Talking Points Memo reports. The case is currently with the jury.

The Obama administration severed most government ties with the group, which had provided mercenary troops in Iraq, and Prince, now based in Abu Dhabi, insists he will never again work for the U.S. government.

Obama has launched airstrikes against Islamic State strongholds but, despite being contradicted by military leaders, has insisted there will be no necessity for U.S. ground troops in the conflict with the Islamic State.

On "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News, Prince told host Bill O'Reilly that his company could have destroyed the Islamic State. 

"It's possible and it's doable," Prince declared. "We're not going to crush ISIS with just air power. Someone has to go clear them out of those towns, villages and alleys. So, finding a cheap and sustainable way to keep pressure on Islamists is about the only way we're going to do it. There is a huge number of good men who will answer the call and do a professional job."

O'Reilly has argued for the creation of a 25,000-man mercenary force to take the war to ISIS on the ground, rather than the Obama plan of arming Syrian anti-government forces.

"America is bearing the war on terror with our blood and treasure, and that has to stop," Prince, author of the book "Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror," told O'Reilly.

"We can't afford to do it all over the world. Even if we wipe out ISIS now, there will be another ISIS. They're not going to stop."

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Blasting the Obama administration, Erik Prince, former Navy SEAL and founder of the controversial one-time private security or mercenary firm Blackwater,says his group could have crushed the Islamic State (ISIS) without putting American combat troops on the ground.
Erik Prince, ISIS, Islamic State, Syria, Iraq
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 03:31 PM
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