The opinion of the founder of the former private security firm Blackwater, Eric Prince stated that if the United States is unwilling to send in ground troops, let the private sector finish the job.
According to The Washington Post, Prince wrote about the subject this week in a blog post on the site of his newest security and logistics firm, Frontier Services Group. Prince left Blackwater in 2010. The former firm was publicly ousted by its shady past in Iraq, which included the killing by contractors of 17 civilians in a 2007 shooting. The trial of four Blackwater guards involved in the shooting has been underway for months.
The former Navy SEAL, through his blog post, said President Obama’s strategy to counter the Islamic State is “half-hearted at best” and will not be able to dig the militants out of any urban centers where they seek shelter among civilians.
In Prince’s view, military clearing operations depend on foot soldiers, and the Iraqi military is “demonstrably inept after billions spent on training and equipping.” He pointed out that when the Islamic State attacked Iraqi units earlier this year, they succumbed and the militants were able to take hold of tanks, Howitzers, armored vehicles and ammunition, and other supplies and equipment.
“The Kurds, once a lean and strong fighting force that routinely rebuffed Saddam’s forces, now find themselves outgunned, under-equipped, and overwhelmed,” Prince wrote. “But they do fight, and they fight bravely. The Kurds’ biggest problem is the U.S. State Department blocking them from selling their oil and from buying serious weaponry to protect their stronghold and act as a stabilizing force in the region.”
The Washington Post reported Prince, a long-time proponent of using private military contractors to backstop U.S. policy abroad, added that the private sector has “long provided nations around the world with innovative solutions to national defense problems.”
“If the old Blackwater team were still together, I have high confidence that a multi-brigade-size unit of veteran American contractors or a multi-national force could be rapidly assembled and deployed to be that necessary ground combat team,” Prince wrote. “The professionals would be hired for their combat skills in armor, artillery, small unit tactics, special operations, logistics, and whatever else may be needed. A competent professional force of volunteers would serve as the pointy end of the spear and would serve to strengthen friendly but skittish indigenous forces.”
Prince is currently speaking with a private business in Africa for his new company. He is also releasing the paperback version of his bestselling book, “Civilian Warriors: The Inside story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror,” later this month.