“Literal Colonialism”: Blackwater Founder Calls For “American Viceroy” To Rule Afghanistan

By Jake Johnson

Displaying what one commentator called “sheer 19th century bloodlust and thirst for empire,” Erik Prince, founder of the private mercenary firm Blackwater, argued in The Wall Street Journal this week that the United States should deploy an “East India Company approach” in Afghanistan.

The country, he wrote, should be run by “an American viceroy who would lead all U.S. government and coalition efforts—including command, budget, policy, promotion, and contracting—and report directly to the president.”

Prince continued:

In Afghanistan, the viceroy approach would reduce rampant fraud by focusing spending on initiatives that further the central strategy, rather than handing cash to every outstretched hand from a U.S. system bereft of institutional memory.

Prince insists that these are “cheaper private solutions,” but such privatization would also be a boon for military contractors.

As one critic noted, it is hardly surprising that a “war profiteer sees profit opportunity in war.” Blackwater, the private military company Prince founded in 1997—which now operates under the name Academi—made a fortune off the invasion of Iraq. In 2007, a New York Times editorial noted that Blackwater had “received more than $1 billion” in no-bid contracts from the Bush administration; that same year, Blackwater contractors shot and killed more than a dozen civilians in what came to be known as the Nisour Square massacre.

But “war profiteering” doesn’t quite capture the scope of Prince’s vision for Afghanistan. Despite the fact that private contractors have a long record of abuse and deadly criminality, Prince believes that they should have a stronger presence in a war that has spanned nearly 16 years and cost trillions of dollars.

Such a recommendation, combined with Prince’s invocation of the East India Company—a vestige of the British empire that “conquered, subjugated, and plundered vast tracts of south Asia for a century,” in the words of historian William Dalrymple—amounts to a call for “literal colonialism,” says Anil Kalhan, chair of the New York City Bar Association’s International Human Rights Committee.

Prince’s past connections to President Donald Trump indicate that his advice could potentially have some measure of influence on the White House.

As The Intercept‘s Jeremy Scahill, the author of a bestselling book on Blackwater, reported in January, Prince spoke with the Trump “team on matters related to intelligence and defense” and offered suggestions “on candidates for the Defense and State departments.”

In April, The Washington Post reported that Prince, presenting himself as “an unofficial envoy for Trump,” met in January with “a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow” and then-President-elect Trump. Prince also donated $250,000 to the Trump campaign following the 2016 Republican National Convention, according to the Post.

Prince’s op-ed comes as the Trump administration is reportedly considering sending more troops to Afghanistan as civilian deaths from the war have “reached record levels.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Jake Johnson is a staff writer for CommonDreams.org, where this article first appeared.

Image caption and credit: Despite the fact that private contractors have a long record of abuse and deadly criminality, Prince believes that they should have a stronger presence in Afghanistan. (Photo: Melissa Golden/Redux)

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11 Comments on "“Literal Colonialism”: Blackwater Founder Calls For “American Viceroy” To Rule Afghanistan"

  1. So Blackwater’s Prince wants US to instill a ‘viceroy rule ” of Afghanistan. Perhaps he envisions himself as the commander in chief? Prince is a war criminal and should be captured and jailed for his misdeeds against humanity.

    • tresmegistus | June 4, 2017 at 5:28 am | Reply

      touche!. and ofcourse to add to your note feeeph there is absolutely no corruption in the usa and justice remains supreme for all ………ooops I nearly choked.

  2. Prince, advising Trump on a global resurrection of the Vietnam era Phoenix program has become a very powerful person and now represents the global version of a private CIA. while at the same time seemingly overseeing a world government intelligence behemoth.

    He has bases in Xinjiang training armies of Chinese mercenaries to be used as private contractors to protect global business interests, also a feature of Silk Road security which Prince has ties to.

    Prince also helped China subjugate Africa. Chinese private security bases are scattered around Africa.

    How Erik Prince, Founder Of Blackwater, Will Help China Subjugate Africa (Zero Hedge, 2014)

  3. 1st Advertised some years ago that America had 2 options. 1 looking for ancient civilisations, and used Bin Laden as 1 excuse. I have not signed OSA Official Secrets Act so am totally not in the loop. 2. Same cultivation OPIODS For Monsanto.
    Got 2 Blanks on these options, but that is life as go back to sleep.

  4. What a joke! Rampant fraud and corruption would only increase with an AMERICAN viceroy. The only thing the Mickey Mouse empire ever brought to the world was bomb craters and dead bodies on every continent. The Europeans whom the Americans despise, brought cities and roads and railroads and canals and harbours and airports and complete civil administrations and factories to their colonies, but the Americans only bring bomb craters and dead people.

  5. Does this man’s ability and temerity to speak about controlling another vassal nation not emphasize the degeneracy of America? Think about it. A war profiteer has the connections to the Washington political elite to blatantly go where few men have gone before and tout more war, more killing, more slavery (vassalage) in more foreign countries. I just shake my head at what has happened to the US in the last several decades.

  6. James Innewmex | June 4, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Reply

    Nullify his citizenship and deport him to the Congo.

    • how_many_victims_are_enough | June 5, 2017 at 5:22 am | Reply

      Try him for his very real crimes and let the state kill him. Problem solved.

  7. Luther R. Norman | June 4, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Reply

    Eric Prince would make a statement as ludicrous as that. promoting overt colonialism in Afghanistan. After all, his company Blackwater would profit the most, ‘protecting’ the legions of troops like in Iraq. Blackwater could write their own ticket, mostly they would have the opportunity to kill without impunity!

  8. maybe this what the us empire wanted the whole time

  9. Erik Prince is a deranged mass murdering criminal psychopaths who belongs at the end of a rope.

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