Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to take over Afghan war

Erik Prince, the founder of the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater, is making a new pitch for his proposal to turn U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan over to mercenaries.

Price promoted the plan in a YouTube video released Tuesday that coincided with the recent NATO summit in Belgium.

“The Pentagon does what it does and wanted to keep doing the same thing it has done for the last 17 years,” Prince said in the video. He said CIA officers and 6,000 mercenaries should take charge in the conflict.

Prince also said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE has “stayed the course” in Afghanistan so far and that continuing a conventional war in the region is “reckless and it’s irresponsible.”

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Prince's comments come as he faces scrutiny from Special Counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE in his probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In late June, it was reported that Mueller had acquired Prince's communications. Prince, who is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, has said he is cooperating with the special counsel. 

Mueller is reportedly looking into several 2017 meetings that occurred in the Seychelles during a time period when Prince met with a Russian banker there. 

In an interview on Tuesday with The Independent, Prince said he had no concerns about Mueller's probe. 

Prince has pitched Trump before on privatizing the war in Afghanistan. But The Independent reported that senior members of the Trump administration have rejected the proposal. 

ABC News reported that Prince hopes the new video reaches "decision makers."  

“We have to get it right. Pulling out of Afghanistan is not the answer,” Prince said in the video. “A smaller more unconventional approach is necessary.”

ABC News reports that Prince has a lot of experience building contractor forces in Afghanistan and other countries as the former head of Blackwater and as the current chairman of Frontier Services Group.