Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Urges Trump to Privatize Afghan War and Install Viceroy to Run Nation

The White House is considering an unprecedented plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan at the urging of Erik Prince, founder of the now-defunct private mercenary firm Blackwater. Prince told USA Today the plan would include sending 5,500 private mercenaries to Afghanistan to advise the Afghan army. It would also include deploying a private air force — with at least 90 aircraft — to carry out the bombing campaign against Taliban insurgents. The plan’s consideration comes as a federal appeals court has overturned the prison sentences of former Blackwater contractors who were involved in a 2007 massacre in Nisoor Square in central Baghdad, killing 17 civilians when they opened fire with machine guns and threw grenades into the crowded public space. For more, we speak with longtime investigative journalist and activist Allan Nairn.

ALLAN NAIRN: Well, as you mentioned, Prince, Erik Prince, is proposing for Afghanistan that the U.S., under a viceroy, send him in as a private contractor with a private air force and the ability, using iPads, to call in airstrikes all over Afghanistan. I —

AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to Erik Prince, so people can hear this, a very interesting discussion earlier this week that the former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince had with CNN’s Erin Burnett, talking about his plans, the proposal that he put forward to President Trump for Afghanistan.

ERIK PRINCE: You have to put someone in charge. There has to be a lead federal official, or, in this case, almost a bankruptcy trustee, that rationalizes the U.S. presence, that is in charge of all policy. Second, they have to stay there for a while, so you have that continuity of decision-making.

ERIN BURNETT: OK, so the word you used for that person was “viceroy,” was an American viceroy.

ERIK PRINCE: And I mean viceroy. That’s a colonial term. The last thing we —

ERIN BURNETT: It is a colonial term.

ERIK PRINCE: Sure. But that colonial term came from — in the British Empire, they had very little…

Read more