Afghanistan

Trump Still Wants to Privatize Afghanistan

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump briefly flirted with the idea of completely privatizing our presence in Afghanistan last year before finally signing off on plans preferred by his advisers and officials, but officials who spoke to NBC News say Trump is warming up to the idea again.

They say Trump's renewed interest in the idea is the result of watching a stupid video.

Trump's renewed interest in privatization was stoked by a recent video shot by [Blackwater founder Erik Prince], according to a senior administration official, in which Prince argues that deploying private contractors instead of U.S. troops, and using limited government resources, would save the U.S. money.

The White House currently has no plans for a comprehensive Afghanistan policy review, officials said. While one could take place after a new U.S. military commander of the war takes over in coming weeks, some officials said the president's team has been reluctant to conduct one now out of concern about what the president will decide.

Anyone who paid a single second of attention during the Iraq war could tell you that privatizing war does not save anyone money. The cost of the Iraq war ballooned far out of control because former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld privatized virtually everything right down to the preparation of food and laundry. Private contractors like those employed by Erik Prince also fought in combat in Iraq and that didn't save money either, with contractors taking home huge paychecks.

In fact, serving as a private contractor in Iraq was so lucrative, some former service members returned to Iraq just for the money. Chances are most people reading this knows someone who served in Iraq in some capacity related to the decision to privatize the war. One of my friends obtained a commercial driver's license just so he could go to Iraq and get paid three times as much for driving a truck.

Of course, People Who Paid Attention During The Iraq War is not a group of people that includes Donald Trump.

It's my understanding that we'll still be paying for the interest on Iraq war debt for the next 50 years. Interest payments could exceed the cost of actual combat operations.

  • muselet

    Erik Prince is an execrable human being, but he has the low animal cunning to entice Donald Trump with a video instead of a boring white paper.

    Should the worst happen and the administration decides to privatize yet another endless war, Blackwater/Xe Services/Academi/whatever the hell the company calls itself this week (and its parent company, Constellis Holdings, and all its sibling security companies in the Constellis Group) should be banned from bidding on any contracts. (Personally, I’d expand that to prevent them from receiving any government contracts until an hour after the heat death of the Universe, but that’s just me.)

    Stupid idea. Truly stupid.

    –alopecia

  • There was so much corruption when we privatized. So of course Trumpov wants to do it…he probably assumes he can either get part of the action or he’ll have the undying gratitude of the 1% (who basically run the military industrial complex–the ONLY people who will benefit from privatization).

  • Aynwrong

    Look! Up in the sky… It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… Glenn Greenwald, Jill Stein and Susan (Hillary will start WW III) Sarandon flying right on by and not even giving a shit.

  • katanahamon

    If we are still in military conflicts that we don’t talk about ending every day, we shouldn’t be fighting. Rump’s tweets, Kanye’s latest shitty “album” are what’s important in the news? No..perpetuating conflicts just to have an excuse to test weaponry and inflate the military industrial complex is wrong.