Trump’s desire to withdraw half of the current US forces from Afghanistan immediately makes mistakes similar to his reckless Syrian force withdrawal.
Trump’s wagging the dog may only ever be about wagging, as the nation gets sent to a farm upstate.
Erik Prince thinks the same mission can be done cheaper, reminding us about Rumsfeld’s attempt to invade Iraq on the cheap. It’ll only cost the equivalent of what Trump wants from Congress for this wall (this time). According to the NY Times, Prince proposed to send private contractors to Afghanistan instead of U.S. troops, and have the entire operation overseen by a “viceroy.”
Who wouldn’t want that? Because underwhelming your enemy is always a good strategy.
Privatizing certain wars with mercenaries also brings the potential of greater conflicts in wider theaters of operation and perhaps the spread of terrorism that comes from having smaller footprints for military forces and smaller networks of allies. In the Afghan case, reducing US forces might have a greater impact on the training role essential to make the Afghan army more effective. And then there’s serving the Russians’ interest in crippling NATO.
Blackwater took out a full-page ad in the latest edition of Recoil magazine with the message: “We are coming,” the Military Times reported on Friday. The ad comes a day after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced he would resign from his post and word emerged that President Trump will draw down troops in Afghanistan.
Former founder Erik Prince sold the company in 2010, but has maintained communications with Trump and reportedly pressed him to employ private contractors in Afghanistan, where the U.S. is said to be preparing to withdraw nearly 7,000 troops.
Prince — who has also been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into whether Trump colluded with the Russians during the 2016 election — does not have any known relations to the Constellis Group, the new name put on the company after it was purchased by Apollo Holdings Group. The firm reportedly shelved plans earlier this year to try to sell the Constellis Group.
“The 17-year-long struggle and sacrifices of thousands of our people finally yielded fruit,” said a senior Taliban commander from Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
“We proved it to the entire world that we defeated the self-proclaimed world’s lone super power.”
“We are close to our destination,” added the commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the group’s leadership had prohibited members from talking to the media about current events. He added that all field commanders had also been told to intensify training efforts to capture four strategic provinces in the run up to the next round of talks between the U.S. and Taliban, which are expected in January.
In 2017, Afghanistan overtook Iraq to become the deadliest country for terrorism, with one-quarter of all such deaths worldwide happening there. And the number of civilians killed in the country reached a record in the first half of this year, with a surge in suicide attacks claimed by the Islamic State group, according to the United Nations.
Despite years of fighting, only around 65 percent of the Afghan population lives in areas under government control.
The bills of goods sold by neoliberal privatization: outsourcing security always works, because rent-a-cops don’t have constitutional responsibilities, and they cost less.
Even if the US shouldn’t be the world’s policeman, national security is not like defending a shopping mall.
(September) Blackwater founder Erik Prince thinks the time is right to try a new approach in Afghanistan, one that he says will reduce war spending to a sliver of its current levels, get most troops home and eliminate Pakistan’s influence on U.S. policy there: Let him run it.
In an exclusive interview with Military Times, Prince shared new details about his proposed force and why he believes a small footprint of private military contractors and even smaller footprint of U.S. special operators may be able to accomplish what hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops and NATO forces over the last 17 years could not.
As you continue to see columnists like Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, David Frum, Robert Kagan, Bret Stephens, Kristol & Hayes ruminate about how terrible U.S. withdrawals from Syria & Afghanistan are, remember these were the same geniuses who thought we could turn Iraq into Germany.
— Daniel DePetris (@DanDePetris) December 22, 2018
Shocked. Devastated. Chaos. These are some of the words that multiple American allies are using to describe Donald Trump’s tumultuous foreign policy moves on Syria & Afghanistan, capped by the Mattis resignation.
w/@ErinBanco via @thedailybeast https://t.co/2bhDGm1FAs
— Kim Dozier (@KimDozier) December 22, 2018