10:39 GMT +321 October 2018
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    Plainclothes contractors working for Blackwater (File)

    Kabul Rejects Blackwater Plan to Privatize Afghan War as 'Destructive'

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    Erik Prince, founder of the private military company formerly known as Blackwater, which is now named Academi, has been floated the idea of his firm privatizing the US war in Afghanistan since 2017.

    The Afghan Office of the National Security Council (NSC) has lambasted a proposal by Blackwater founder Erik Prince to turn the US mission in Afghanistan over to private military companies.

    "In no manner does the government of Afghanistan condone this destructive and divisive debate," the NSC said in a statement, warning that the government would never "allow the counter-terrorism fight to become a private, for-profit business."

    READ MORE: Bolton Open to Hiring For-Profit Mercenaries in Washington’s 17-Year Afghan War

    The statement also referred to Afghan security and defense forces which "have the primary responsibility and authority for safeguarding […] our national sovereignty, and the independence and territorial integrity of our beloved country and people."

    In August, US Defense Secretary James Mattis rejected Prince's plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan, which the Pentagon chief said was not a "wise idea".

    Also that month, media reported that US President Donald Trump was allegedly interested in the plan, something that was stoked by a YouTube video Prince released in July to suggest that the switch would save the US money and resources.

    READ MORE: Taliban Forces Overrun Military Base, Key Highway in Endless Afghan War

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, for her part, said that Trump is "committed to finding a political solution to end the conflict in Afghanistan."

    Prince has tried to sell his Afghan War idea since last year, when he proposed through an op-ed in the New York Times during the president's Afghanistan strategy review that troops should be replaced with private military contractors overseen by a special US envoy that would report directly to the president.

    In an effort to put an end to the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan, which has already claimed the lives of more than 2,400 Americans, the US has been bombing the country at a rate that is unprecedented since the US military started publishing data on its aerial campaigns in 2009.

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    Tags:
    proposal, debate, government, war, territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence, Blackwater, Erik Prince, Donald Trump, United States
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