Donald Trump plans to outsource the war in Afghanistan to mercenaries who have a legacy of killing civilians and utilizing torture while being paid off by the U.S. government.
Donald Trump plans to outsource a huge portion of the ongoing war in Afghanistan to mercenary groups like Blackwater, the company founded by Erik Prince — brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — and which has a reputation for killing and torturing civilians across the world in profit-generating operations.
After speaking to Prince himself, USA Today reports that the Trump plan would send 5,500 mercenaries to Afghanistan, including a 90-plane private air force to support their operations in the region.
They also report that the senior Trump advisers with military experience, including National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster — a three-star general — and Defense Secretary and four-star general James Mattis, have “misgivings” about the plan, which is being championed by white supremacist Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist.
The announcement comes after recent reports of a Trump meltdown in the Situation Room of the White House, where he screamed at military leaders for failing to implement a winning strategy in Afghanistan. Trump, who is currently — ostensibly — commander-in-chief, previously bragged about his genius at devising military tactics that would make America “win.”
Prince’s Blackwater came to prominence after former President George W. Bush gave the company over $1 billion in tax dollars to provide “private security” during U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The use of mercenaries to avoid the legal ramifications of engaging in torture and murder abroad came to light when Bush outsourced these missions to Blackwater.
Blackwater personnel played a key role in the horrific Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad in 2007, where 17 civilians were killed after they fired machine guns and grenade launchers into an unarmed crowd at a traffic junction.
Prince rebranded the company and then sold his stake, but he has resurfaced in the Trump era, and in familiar fashion: Prince met with a confidante of Vladimir Putin to setup a backchannel of communications between the Putin regime and Trump during the presidential transition period.
If Trump goes all-in with Blackwater and Prince, he would be enriching the family of one of his major donors, while continuing the Bush legacy of sullying America’s name around the world with this ill-fated approach to military strategy.