Administration Floats Privatizing the War in Afghanistan, Which Is A Bad Idea…Here’s Why

“Made his pitch to privatize the entire Afghanistan war just days after a federal appeals court threw out most of the cases against the guards.”

Erik Prince is an informal adviser for Donald Trump, and he wants to privatize the war in Afghanistan.  He is the founder of Blackwater, the private contracting firm that stands to make massive amounts of money if Prince gets what he wants.

Phillip Carter wrote a piece for Slate stating why he thinks privatizing any war is a bad idea.

Blackwater Rakes in the Cash and Takes no Responsibility for Mistakes

In 2007 five former Blackwater security guards opened fire in a crowded downtown traffic circle.  They used machine guns, sniper rifles, and hand grenades and killed 33 Iraqis. Blackwater claimed they were under attack when in reality, they weren’t.

Prince made his pitch to privatize the entire Afghanistan war just days after a federal appeals court threw out most of the cases against the guards.  They reduced their sentences and even threw one out.

How do we go back there, and face a room full of crippled Iraqis and family members of the deceased, and tell them the U.S. D.O.J. decided that they didn’t want to go too hard on the men who shot everyone that day? – John Patarini F.B.I. agent

Private Contractors

The US has become pretty reliant on private contractors.  However, it’s evident in the aforementioned court case; the U.S. has no idea what to do with them when things go wrong.  Contractors exist in this gray area that isn’t fully covered by federal or military law.

Violence and killing in the name of the state should be left to those sworn to defend it and the Constitution. – Mackenzie Eaglen

Before the Clinton administration, contractors were used rarely and only in specialized cases.  Former president Bill Clinton started using them more frequently.  At the height of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the contractors outnumbered the regular soldiers.

There are Many Reasons Why War Shouldn’t Be Privatized

There is no proof that contractors are more efficacious than regular soldiers.  Financially, it may be slightly less expensive to use contractors, but that is only because of the savings on medical costs, retirement, and disability pay.

There is absolutely no evidence that shows contractors are more effective on the battlefield.  There haven’t been any national security agency evaluations as to their effectiveness.  An audit to the extensive archives by special inspectors in Iraq and Afghanistan show that:

Contractors often struggle to perform, in large part because of their disconnection from themilitary and their dependence on commercial contracting systems for things like funding, schedules, and permission. – Phillip Carter

Privatization Offers Neither Quick nor Certain Victory

Not only is it proven an ineffective approach, as highlighted above, but there are also rampant abuses of the system and no real authority for holding anyone accountable.  Contractors are not held to the same standards as soldiers.

Carter said it best in his piece for Slate, “They are ultimately accountable to their bottom line, not the mission. And therein lies the problem: how best to align their efforts, and hold them accountable, when they ultimately work for a different purpose than the troops they serve alongside.”






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