KABUL (TCA) — In an interview with Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews, the founder and former CEO of Blackwater security company, Erik Prince, who insists on privatizing the war in Afghanistan, said that his forces can change the situation of the conflict in the country within six months.
“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 accountable 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.