Erik Prince, the founder of the private military company Blackwater Worldwide, is hitting President Trump’s new Afghanistan war plan as an “Obama-lite policy,” calling Trump’s plan “a continuation of the same limited or failed strategy of the last 16 years.”
“This is a kind of Obama-lite policy,” Prince told The Hill, referring to President Obama’s 30,000 troop surge in 2009 in Afghanistan.
“This is a lighter but almost as expensive version. Remember, the Pentagon now is spending as much as when they had five times as many troops in the country. It’s horrendous how they’ve lost control of the spending. That’s what makes this so unsustainable,” Prince added.
The Hill added:
The president is expected to send about 3,900 additional U.S. troops to the country, on top of the 8,400 already there. In his prime-time address, Trump declined to say how many troops he would send or reveal a firm timeline for how long they would serve there.
Prince is doubtful that the president and Defense Secretary James Mattis are fully behind the strategy.
“I don’t think the president loves this plan, I don’t think Secretary Mattis does either. He’s not even on the same continent,” Prince said, referring to Mattis’s current trip to the Middle East and Europe.
“Our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check,” Trump promised of the latest strategy.
However, Prince is skeptical.
“He said it’s not a blank check, but the Pentagon continues to stand and plan and operationalize as if it is a blank check,” Prince said. “That’s the fundamental problem the plan now doesn’t address: How does this end. The Pentagon wants to position this like a forever occupation like South Korea. And I think that’s a horrendous and untenable position.”