Trump May Back ‘Blackwater’ Erik Prince Plan To Privatize Afghanistan War: Report
President Donald Trump is considering privatizing the U.S. war in Afghanistan, and allowing Erik Prince — who founded the private military contractor firm Blackwater — to lead the effort, current and former senior administration officials told NBC News.
Prince — who is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — reportedly wants to replace U.S. troops with private military contractors who would be under a special U.S. envoy who would report directly to Trump.
Prince’s former company Blackwater was a military contractor in the Iraq war, and committed numerous human rights violations, including killing unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2007, noted The Guardian and Human Rights Watch.
In 2016, Prince, the current chairman of Frontier Services Group, was “under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies for attempting to broker military services to foreign governments and possible money laundering,” reported The Intercept.
Officials told NBC News that Trump’s national security team is worried that Trump’s impatience with Afghanistan will cause him to go with Prince or order a complete withdrawal from the longest war in the U.S. history.
Prince told NBC News that Trump advisers who oppose his plan are painting “as rosy a picture as they can” of Afghanistan and are claiming that “peace is around the corner.” Prince said Trump’s advisers “over-emphasize the fluff and flare of these so-called peace talks.”
Prince — who has claims to be a Christian — said he hasn’t spoken directly to Trump about the plan, but told NBC News he plans to launch an aggressive media “air campaign” to get Trump to embrace it.