Afghan officials reject push to privatize war

Afghan officials reject push to privatize war
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Afghan officials have rejected a proposal by Blackwater founder Erik Prince to have his private military contracting company take over the training and advising of the Afghan armed forces.

Prince lobbied several Afghan politicians on a recent trip to the country and has been discussing his proposal to privatize parts of the U.S. military mission in the country for over a year, according to Reuters.

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But Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has repeatedly dismissed the idea. 

“Under no circumstances will the Afghan government and people allow the counterterrorism fight to become a private, for-profit business,” Ghani’s national security adviser said in a statement to Reuters Thursday. 

U.S. Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisTrump needs a national security adviser who 'speaks softly' US could deploy 150 troops to Syria: report Trump blasts 'Mr. Tough Guy' Bolton: 'He made some very big mistakes' MORE has also rejected the proposal, saying in August, “When Americans put their nation’s credibility on the line, privatizing it is probably not a wise idea.”

Blackwater made a name for itself in Iraq, where it was accused of being involved in war crimes.

The U.S. currently has roughly 14,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of its training and advisory efforts as well as various counterterrorism operations.

A recent troop increase and surge in air strikes against the Taliban have been intended to bring the group to the negotiating table. 

Bob Woodward reported in his recently-released book “Fear: Trump in the White House,” that Trump is extremely dissatisfied with the military’s results in Afghanistan and has expressed a desire to withdraw the armed forces from the country.

Critics say such a move would lead to the collapse of the Afghan government and the revival of Afghanistan as a terrorist haven, citing the aftermath of the military’s withdrawal from Iraq and the subsequent rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.