'Founder of the notorious Blackwater firm Erik Prince wants to end the 18-year Afghan stalemate with… another war which could see 6,000 mercenaries replace US troops on the ground once they leave the country.
Prince, a private war mogul who made a fortune during the post-9/11 conflicts, believes he has a recipe for bringing the Afghanistan stalemate to an end. “I do want to end the war by giving the Afghan forces the means to survive and to be much more [offensive],” he proclaimed on Al Jazeera last week.
Some 2,000 Special Forces and around 6,000 Blackwater mercenaries would be enough to help the Afghan national army pacify the enemy, he explained. One question remains wide open, however: What would be the cost of a new private war for local civilians?
In Iraq, for instance, Blackwater had indiscriminately engaged civilian targets in broad daylight, with some of the incidents amounting to a potential war crime. One of their guards has been tried for the massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007. And in his own memoir, Prince called Iraqis “chanting barbarians American troops had been sent to liberate.”
Meanwhile, experts say Prince’s desire to descend on Afghan soil is about moneymaking, not winning or peace building. “I think he’s seeing this as a money-making opportunity and moneymaking endeavor,” said Jennifer Breedon, a US anti-terrorism expert. She told RT that “every single major security firm” is eager to come in and fill the gap if American troops withdraw.
“What the most important issue is, it’s up to our government, it’s up to our leadership to ensure that any private contractors are adhering to very strict US protocols,” she warned.'
Read more: Ending war with another war? Erik Prince wants to send 1,000s of mercenaries to fix Afghan quagmire
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