Erik Prince, who is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and the founder of Blackwater has proposed to the Trump administration soldiers currently fighting off Taliban insurgency ought to be replaced by upwards of 5,500 private contractors. The proposal includes a 90 “private air force” that would provide air support in the nearly war against Taliban insurrgents, Prince told USA TODAY.
If you haven’t heard about Blackwater in a while, that’s probably because the company has re-branded itself twice in the wake of that ugly Nisour Square Masscare scandal. First the name was changed in 2009 to XE Services and since 2011 — it has been called Academi.
As would intuitively be the case for any war privatization plans proposed by the founder of Blackwater, Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis are… dubious. But Prince’s plan is still being considered by the White House, with Steve Bannon particularly open to the idea. Erik Prince says this privatization would save right around $30 billion in defense spending per year, which may appeal to President Trump.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged that the White House is seeking new strategies in order to bring America’s longest running war to an end. Tillerson said Monday, “To just say we’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing, the president is not willing to accept that, and so he is asking some tough questions.”