The founder and former CEO of Blackwater security company, Erik Prince, who insists in privatizing the war in Afghanistan, says that his forces can change the situation of the conflict in the country within six months.
In an interview with TOLOnews, Prince defended his scheme for privatizing the war in Afghanistan.
“Well, I would say six months after the program is fully ramped up, you have a very different situation on the ground, I will commit to that,” said Prince, who is the incumbent chairman and founder of Frontier Resource Group, a private equity fund investing in natural resource opportunities in frontier markets.
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”.
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.
According to Mr. 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.
“I would use contracted veteran mentors from the US and from NATO, the same countries over here now,” Prince said.
He said the contracted forces will serve for the same units and same places during their service of 2-4 years at a time in Afghanistan.
The Blackwater founder said the contractors would be equipped with airpower, weapons and would be joined by NATO and Afghan forces in every mission.
“They provide leadership, intelligence, communications, medicals and logistics expertise to their Afghan counterparts and go with them in the field all the time to make sure their Afghan counterparts are paid and fed, that they are well led, that they have a communications plan, all those essential elements of soldiering don’t break down,” he said.
Prince said his forces would be accountable for the laws in Afghanistan.
“These are Afghans that are in the lead of this mission all the time, under Afghan rules of engagement and under Afghan rule of law. If one of these contractors I am recommending, does an evil act, intentionally injures a child or something like that, they could be held account under the uniform code of military justice here in Kabul, investigated, trialed, incarcerated back in their home country. We have a clear path for accountability,” he said.
An Afghan analyst meanwhile said the increase in civilian casualties is the consequences of the efforts to privatization the war in Afghanistan.
“Blackwater (forces) were here once in Afghanistan. Their service has not been effective. They will not be effective if they come to Afghanistan because they will not obey the law,” said Aziz Ahmad Wardak, an analyst in political affairs.
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in a debate at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York made some recommendations on moving on the peace talks in the country.
“For the talks to get serious nature, a few things are required: one is that those who are supporting the Taliban need to be persuaded and convinced that they should stop supporting, and one country is key to that which is Pakistan. Inside the country, if Taliban are not under pressure, they might not be inclined to enter the talks, I mean military pressure. And then at the same time, efforts by us all together by our partners to seize the opportunities,” said Abdullah.