Rss@dailykos.com (jen Hayden) · Tuesday, August 08, 2017, 1:35 pm
Erik Prince, brother of Betsy DeVos, is one of the largest donors to Donald Trump and the Republican party as a whole. He’s also the founder of Blackwater, the private “security” company that was one of several private companies the George W. Bush administration used in Iraq. It was an extremely lucrative time for Blackwater. In 2001, Blackwater had contracts with the U.S. government valued at $736,906. By 2006, those contracts skyrocketed to $593 million, with a combined total of more than $1 billion in those five years.
Erik Prince was also a “shadow” adviser for the Trump campaign. He even worked to create a secret backchannel between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin.
The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladimir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.
The meeting took place around Jan. 11 — nine days before Trump’s inauguration — in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said. Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would be likely to require major concessions to Moscow on U.S. sanctions.
We know Trump values loyalty above all else (even though he shows no loyalty to anyone who does not have the last name Trump) and Erik Prince is about to be rewarded with more massive government contracts, this time in Afghanistan. In an interview with USA Today, Prince revealed the new plan to privatize military operations in Afghanistan:
The White House is actively considering a bold plan to turn over a big chunk of the U.S. war in Afghanistan to private contractors in an effort to turn the tide in a stalemated war, according to the former head of a security firm pushing the project.
Under the proposal, 5,500 private contractors, primarily former Special Operations troops, would advise Afghan combat forces. The plan also includes a 90-plane private air force that would provide air support in the nearly 16-year-old war against Taliban insurgents, Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater security firm, told USA TODAY.
The unprecedented proposal comes as the U.S.-backed Afghan military faces a stalemate in the war and growing frustration by President Trump about the lack of progress in the war.