Thursday, August 31, 2017

Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Believes Private Contractors Will Save Afghanistan

Erik Prince testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on security contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan on Capitol Hill in Washington October 2, 2007. Larry Downing, Reuters

Erik Prince, New York Times: Contractors, Not Troops, Will Save Afghanistan

In 1941, shortly after Pearl Harbor pulled the United States into World War II, a group of volunteer American aviators led by Gen. Claire Chennault known as the Flying Tigers fought Japanese aggression in China. They were so successful that many people believe they were decisive in holding back Japan, eventually leading to its defeat.

Although they were paid volunteers rather than members of the American military, they were not denigrated as “mercenaries.” 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.

As policy makers in Washington decide what to do in Afghanistan, they should keep the Flying Tigers in mind. Such a force could be just the solution Afghanistan needs.

The reasons are as obvious as they are compelling: Last week, President Trump announced his “new strategy” to end the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history. But in promising 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, President Trump’s strategy is sadly more old than new.

Read more ....

More Reaction To Blackwater Founder Erik Prince's Op-Ed In The New York Times

Blackwater founder calls for military contractors in Afghanistan -- The Hill
Erik Prince makes case for privatizing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan -- Shandra Martinez, MLive
Times Runs Pro-Mercenary Op-Ed by Mercenary Whose Employees Committed Infamous Iraq Massacre -- Slate Magazine
I Was a Mercenary. Trust Me: Erik Prince’s Plan Is Garbage. -- Sean Mcfate, Politico
Who Cares What Erik Prince Thinks? -- Rolling Stone
4 Insights About Blackwater Founder Erik Prince -- Ryan Lucas, NPR


Unknown said...

Me thinks he has been off the battlefield for a long time and see this problem from a rose tinted distance.

The chiefs will fight to the last Indian and then make more. The chiefs are secure in Pakistan. Is Prince's people going to go there?

I might be very wrong, but I just do not see this happening.

Alex said...

A salesman who believes in his product? Doesn't mean it's what you need!

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna take a controversial point here and say he's not only right, but it's probably the only thing the West can do at this point: unleash the beast that is capitalism.

Most wars are fought because of disputes over resources, territory or straight up for money. We just take out the middleman - the government- that gets in the way of effective killing.

It's like a manufacturing belt in a factory. If there's money to be made of killing, capitalists will make it as effective as possible due to the "invisible hand" and everyday pressures of the machine that is capitalism.

There's a great scene in the movie "Nixon" where students ask the president why he doesn't stop the war - after all he is the only one who could - but they notice in his reaction that he doesn't know how to/cannot just stop a war cold. Too many people are interested in keeping it going. From the military industrial complex to neocons,make your pick.

So, Prince not only realises that but he has the psychopathic traits of many successful businessmen to be single focused on accomplishing and worrying about moral later. It's a business, not a place to "be nice". A drone strike is cheaper than an invasion. A bullet for a headshot is cheaper than an RPG. A laser is cheaper and more effective than a radar guided missile etc. Etc.

There's a huge danger here, obviously, and that is that not only do we give companies more and more range and operational freedom/decision making within wars, but there's a good chance they are better at it than the traditional, steeped in beaurocratic militaries.

Militaries are terrible at changing. And they will get spilled and used to outsourcing stuff. Less oversight, less red tape, faster, cheaper.. I could go on. The point is this: Once that beast grows beyond a certain point you cannot stop it. .because the lobbyists won't let you. We are already at that point now and Prince is the king (not prince) of outsourcing wars. If we let him continue, he just might make Bezos and gates look like hippies. Imagine a ruthless billionaire with deep ties to the military industrial complex, being the personification of it, ...billions and billions of profit every year. And an own army.

If he gets his way, we will see a change in warfare we haven't seen since drones entered the game.

Anonymous said...

Just like his sister is going to save education....

Unknown said...

Some militaries are great at changing.

The U.S. military was desegregating at the end of WW2.
This was before 1949 to 1954.

That is it was 5 years to 10 years ahead of its time.


You do not understand capitalism. How can a term line "state capitalism" make sense?

The War in Afghanistan is not about profit. It is about 9/11 and Islamic terrorism.

It would have been won by now, but when you have 'partners' like Pakistan, it is impossible to win.

The PRC is a large enough 'boogey man' with its 9 dashed line, conflict with The Phillipines, Vietnam & India to cause the military budget to be increased. At this point in time Afghanistan is just a distraction from China. If Afghanistan did not have a decent president/PM now, I would have no qualms about advocating leaving.