Afghan President Firmly Rejects Erik Prince’s War Privatization Plan

Yesterday, I asked if Blackwater founder Erik Prince would ever pay a price for perjuring himself in his November 30, 2017 testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and noted that the way he keeps strutting around trying to privatize the war in Afghanistan, he doesn’t act like a man facing imminent arrest.

It looks like his dream is over, however, now that Afghan president Ashraf Ghani characterized his plan on Thursday as “destructive and divisive” and declared that “under no circumstances will the Afghan government and people allow the counterterrorism fight to become a private, for-profit business.”

He did give it his all, though.

In a remarkable interview with Afghanistan’s Tolo News network, Prince expressed how much he cares about Afghanistan. He does not discuss donating to any funds that might help support Afghan schools or businesses, or any plans to help resettle the thousands of Afghans displaced and living in squalor in refugee camps around the country.

He does, however, speak for about 23 minutes about a plan for which he would charge the U.S. government $5 billion a year.

He told Tolo that he wanted to bring back the 1970s days of “garden parties and music playing in the streets” of Kabul.

When the interviewer Lotfullah Najafizada asked if his “private army” would be the ones to bring back the Halcyon days for a country ravaged by decades of war and unrest, Prince bristled to the incredulous host that his would not be a private army. Unfortunately for Prince, the strap on the lengthy interview was “Erik Prince Discusses Privatization of Afghan War.”

I suppose we should grateful that Erik Prince will not succeed in billing us five billion dollars so that he can run a private war in Afghanistan supposedly on our behalf, but I still think that the Special Counsel’s office should either arrest him or (if he’s really so useful as a cooperating witness) at least make him correct his clearly false testimony about his trip to the Seychelles in January 2017 where he established a backchannel between Vladimir Putin and President-Elect Trump.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.