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Strategic Insights: Five Myths Associated With Employing Private Military Companies

Author: Dr Edward Mienie, Dr C. A. Pfaff

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In August of 2017, Blackwater founder Erik Prince offered a plan for privatizing the war in Afghanistan, where he would replace the approximately 23,000 multinational forces (of which 15,000 are U.S. troops) and 27,000 contractors with 2,000 special forces and 6,000 security contractors who would embed with the Afghan National Army. Though the administration apparently rejected the plan at the time, multiple media outlets report there may be renewed interest, especially given the United States remains unable to resolve the conflict despite adopting a new, more aggressive strategy. Predictably, and justifiably, this interest has sparked a great deal of concern. Both former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly, in addition to a host of others, are reportedly opposed to the plan. With their departure, another opportunity to reconsider Prince’s proposal may arise.