In reaction to the possibility of privatizing the Afghan war, President Ashraf Ghani said he will not allow “foreign mercenaries” to operate in Afghanistan.
Addressing the 3rd Mayors National Conference, the president said the Afghan government forces have enough potential and have managed to save the country from “collapse”.
“You should know that the work which is done by Afghans cannot be done by any foreign mercenary and foreign mercenaries will never be allowed in this soil,” Ghani said.
Ghani’s remarks come days after Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater security company, in an interview with TOLOnews, insisted the Afghan war will end “a few months” using his plan to send in few thousand contracted mentors to Afghanistan.
According to Prince, 3,600 “contracted veteran mentors” from Blackwater will be deployed to Afghanistan – 36 for each Afghan unit and for two to four years at a time.
This is not the first time that Prince has called for the use of contractors in Afghanistan. His mission turned controversial in Iraq as contractors working for Blackwater were accused of killing over 10 Iraqi civilians in 2007.
In an interview with the UK’s Independent this year, Prince essentially proposed the privatization of the war. However, the Independent said he would prefer to call it “rationalizing and restructuring”.
Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s office also said that the plan is not applicable in the country.
“The plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan is not a working plan and is not applicable,” said Omid Maisam, a spokesman for the chief executive.
The Afghan parliament, the Wolesi Jirga, also reacted to the plan to privatize the Afghan war, saying it is not in Afghanistan’s favor.
“The question is that how a private company will be able to ensure security in Afghanistan? This is certainly concerning,” said Rauf Ibrahimi, the Wolesi Jirga Speaker.
“How can a private company win a war which US, NATO and its allies could not end it in 17 years?” asked Ghulam Farooq Majroh an MP.
On August 28, US Defense Secretary James Mattis reacted to the plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan and said “it is probably not a wise idea”.
“When Americans put their nation's credibility on the line, privatizing it is probably not a wise idea,” Mattis told reporters.