Now Reading
Mattis is out, and Blackwater is back: ‘We are coming’

Mattis is out, and Blackwater is back: ‘We are coming’

Authored by Tara Copp via MilitaryTimes.com:


Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is out.

Mattis’ resignation comes amid news that President Donald Trump has directed the drawdown of 2,000 U.S. forces in Syria, and 7,000 U.S. forces from Afghanistan, a U.S. official confirmed to Military Times, a story first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

This month, in the January/February print issue of the gun and hunting magazine “Recoil,” the former contractor security firm Blackwater USA published a full-page ad, in all black with a simple message: “We are coming.”

Is the war in Afghanistan – and possibly elsewhere – about to be privatized?

If Blackwater returns, it would be the return of a private security contractor that was banned from Iraq, but re-branded and never really went away. By 2016 Blackwater had been re-named and restructured several times, and was known at the time as Constellis Group, when it was purchased by the Apollo Holdings Group. Reuters reported earlier this year that Apollo had put Constellis up for sale, but in June the sale was put on hold.

A representative for Constellis told Military Times late Friday that while it had acquired the former Blackwater training center in the 2016 purchase, it has no affiliation with the former security firm. It did not retain Blackwater’s founder and former CEO Erik Prince and has no current connection to him, or the firm’s former management structure.

The Recoil ad suggests Blackwater is making a resurgence on its own, but it was not clear in what form. The public affairs firm that handles Prince’s media engagements told Military Times Friday that he would not be able to speak beyond what was in the media “at this stage.”

Prince has courted President Donald Trump’s administration since he took office with the idea that the now 17-year Afghan War will never be won by a traditional military campaign. Prince has also argued that the logistical footprint required to support that now multi-trillion dollar endeavor has become too burdensome. Over the summer and into this fall Prince has engaged heavily with the media to promote the privatization; particularly as the Trump administration’s new South Asia Strategy, which was crafted with Mattis, passed the one-year mark.

Constellis, which had maintained a footprint at Camp Integrity by the Kabul Airport through its previous iteration as “Academi.” The firm no longer trains there, the Constellis spokesman said.

The news of a leaning on a smaller number of privatized forces, instead of a larger U.S. military footprint — and contracted support for U.S. forces that knew few bounds and at times included coffee shops, base exchanges, restaurants, a hockey rink and local vendor shops — may be welcomed by current U.S. military leadership on the ground. That includes former Joint Special Operations Command chief Army Lt. Gen. Scott Miller, a source familiar with Miller’s approach told Military Times. Miller replaced Gen. John Nicholson as the head of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan in September.

See Also

In an previous exclusive interview with Military Times, Prince said he would scrap the NATO mission there and replace the estimated 23,000 forces in country with a force of 6,000 contracted personnel and 2,000 active-duty special forces.

The potential privatization of the Afghan War was previously dismissed by the White House, and roundly criticized by Mattis, who saw it as a risk to emplace the nation’s national security goals in the hands of contractors.

“When Americans put their nation’s credibility on the line, privatizing it is probably not a wise idea,” Mattis told reporters in August.

But Mattis is out now, one in a series of moves that has surprised most of the Pentagon.

Drastic change would “be more likely” now, one DOD official said.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!

13
Leave a Reply

avatar
9 Comment threads
4 Thread replies
2 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
Robert SullivanCapPrometheusNormski1Blue Pilgrim Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Olivia Kroth
Guest

This was to be expected.
The USA never leave occupied territory. They come back in various forms, shapes and functions.

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

The hero-warrior Syrian army are gonna have a field day with these replacement terrorist-abettors!!

Cudwieser
Guest
Cudwieser

Thank you for knocking and ringing the bell. Now fuck off.

Cudwieser
Guest
Cudwieser

I was refering to Black Water. Should have made that clear. The fact we can paint a picture may not say they’re involved, but they are a known entity. One we can do without.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Mongols are coming??? The Mongol Empire also collapsed…

FlorianGeyer
Guest
FlorianGeyer

US contract mercenaries have always been experts in warfare with civilians. I wonder how they will live with battle-hardened soldiers fighting for their homelands or religions 🙂

Cudwieser
Guest
Cudwieser

The fallout will be severe for both Blackwater and all westerners in Syria. I wouldn’t blame Assad for making it simple on Westerns but throwing them out or putting them under untenable scrutiny. Simple pragmatism is needed and anyone not known or cleared to act in Syria will likely be met with swift and forceful treatment. The problem is that Syrians will face comparable treatment. The flip side, however, is is Assad were to offer the carrot now to all deposed Syrians, it would stand well for Syria and give the less scrupulous westerners, less targets for venting.

FlorianGeyer
Guest
FlorianGeyer

@ Cudweiser. President Assad has shown and demonstrated wisdom with his Reconciliation programme that as far as I am aware has not been implemented in the Middle East before. This clemency has resulted in thousands of natural born Syrians abandoning terrorism and accepting the writ of the elected Syrian government. All foreign entities hostile to the Syrian Government , have and will further, find it an expensive and deadly enterprise. FUKUS and friends have been hated and despised for their venal and barbaric Middle Eastern war’s by the majority of all informed people from around the globe for many decades.… Read more »

Blue Pilgrim
Guest
Blue Pilgrim

The nice thing about dealing with mercenaries is that, while engaging with US troops has political problems and can escalate a war very dangerously, tearing mercenaries to shreds is no more than destroying criminal gangs and foreign terrorists. They can’t even be passed off as ‘rebels struggling for democracy’.

Pirates are for hanging, and they are never prisoners of war.

Prometheus
Guest
Prometheus

Exactly. How much easier it is going to be to attack these mercenaries without the repercussions of WWIII. Perfect.

Normski
Member
Normski

If the US military can’t take on the Taliban and come out on top, I can’t see a bunch of second rate mercenaries doing any better – they should make good targets for the Taliban though!. Happy hunting Taliban – it’s open season!.

Cap
Guest
Cap

Rome did use mercenaries to do its fights…What happened to Rome? Gone! How long will it take for the USA to be gone too? Let’s hope soon rather than late!

Robert Sullivan
Guest
Robert Sullivan

What a laugh! Have at it, Blackwater, or whatever you call yourself. Your people will find new homes in the soil.

Copyright DRN Media PLC 2019. RSS: http://theduran.com/feed

Scroll To Top