By Scott Morgan of Eagle Enterprises
Once again Erik Prince is at the center of controversy here in the United States. He has drafted a unique proposal to privatize the seemingly never ending conflict in Afghanistan.
Here is where the problems begin. Once people learn that this idea came from Mr. Prince it is automatically assumed that it is a bad idea. Most conversations regarding this topic end at this very point. But there are several factors that need to be considered
Mr. Prince has conducted prior business in Afghanistan. Do we as outsiders truly have any idea regarding what the Rolodex he has regarding Afghanistan? Several business projects and trips have led him to connect with individuals outside both the US and Afghan Governments sphere of influence. This is a factor that has to be considered regardless of how one feels regarding the proposal.
The actions of Blackwater during their operations in Iraq after the invasion by the United States in 2003 placed Mr. Prince in the crosshairs of Congress. Particularly those who were in the position of conducting oversight. The mere thought of this being considered will cause a certain glee for the body if they sense another chance to go after Mr. Prince. The Mid-Term Elections result of the Democrats regaining the House will make this an interesting theater to watch.
Other factors at play involve the US Military. One of the mantras that is often spoken regards the overextended posture of the Armed Forces. The planned retasking of the US Military to face new challenges from both Russia and China is currently underway. That being said just how many low intensity conflicts that the US has interests in will be shifted to outside contractors? One may ask if this is already taking place in other crisis spots. As the economy continues to show signs of strength how will the US Military be able to retain those fighters with the necessary skills to operate in crisis spots such as Afghanistan? Often these skilled fighters can make more than three times their annual salary in their first year of working in a private capacity. Will this lead to the Pentagon providing incentives for these men to reenlist such as those who have the necessary skill set for cyber warfare?
So there could be a vast pool of talented personnel with the adequate skill set who could be transitioning out of the military due to getting a better payday just waiting for someone to make the proper offer and hire them for any hazardous duty job. The cost of retraining will be low and their unique skills could have them become instructors themselves for the Afghan Government.
The concept being proposed here faces challenges due to the gentleman that first proposed it due to previous actions by a previous entity he ran in another warzone in the Middle East. It will be intellectually honest to look at other factors that will make this proposal necessary. But will the narrow minded people calling the shots actually be willing to do so?