Erik Prince, who used to head Blackwater, the mercenary outfit that assisted U.S. operations in the Middle East, came on Breitbart News Daily Tuesday morning to discuss the state of affairs in America’s foreign policy. Prince called into the show live from Beijing.
Speaking with Stephen K. Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News Network, Prince criticized the U.S. strategy in the Middle East.
“There have been boots on the ground in Iraq really since ISIS made the big push from Mosul,” he said in response to the White House announcement that America would be spending a handful of special forces into the region. “Because [ISIS was] threatening the U.S. consulate in Erbil, it pushed a small segment of soft troops in there,” he said of the territory fiercely fought over between Kurdish forces and those loyal to the Islamic State terror group”
“Everything else has been half-measures,” he said in critiquing the Obama administration’s lack of a grand strategy. The special forces “punch much bigger than their numbers would indicate, but it’s still not anywhere near enough to finish” ISIS, he explained.
The vacuum left from the U.S. withdrawal in Iraq “almost necessitates a guy like Putin to step in,” he added. “Putin had to put troops in” to protect the Alawite minority, a Shiite sect that controls the government under Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
“The president, the administration, is just trying to kick the can down the road for the next administration to sort out,” Prince observed, “almost like what Jimmy Carter did until the day that Reagan took office.”
Bannon then asked the former Blackwater chief if he saw national security issues being seriously addressed during any of the Republican debates.
“I certainly haven’t seen a lot of in-depth analysis,” Prince responded. “I like the candidate that will shape the national security apparatus and give it a shower and shave,” he said, adding the military has grown “very bureaucratized.”
“The next leader of the United States needs to have a different approach for how they do national security,” he said. “Our decisions are now made based on politics, not on merit.”