New York Times–Erik Prince: Contractors, Not Troops, Will Save Afghanistan

US Marine Afghanistan Massoud HossainiAssociated Press
Massoud Hossaini/Associated Press

Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL, is the chairman of Frontier Services Group. He founded the company formerly known as Blackwater, a security contractor. In an opinion piece appearing in the New York Times, Prince wrote:

In 1941, shortly after Pearl Harbor pulled the United States into World War II, a group of volunteer American aviators led by Gen. Claire Chennault known as the Flying Tigers fought Japanese aggression in China. They were so successful that many people believe they were decisive in holding back Japan, eventually leading to its defeat.

Although they were paid volunteers rather than members of the American military, they were not denigrated as “mercenaries.” The Flying Tigers — who now would be called contractors — fought for China and the United States and, like paid American contractors in theaters of war today, fought as bravely and patriotically as American soldiers.

As policy makers in Washington decide what to do in Afghanistan, they should keep the Flying Tigers in mind. Such a force could be just the solution Afghanistan needs.

Read the rest here.


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