A controversial proposal to bring American troops home from Afghanistan, replacing them with contractors, wouldn’t involve private citizens manning tanks or Humvees. Instead, they would fly military-style planes above the battlefield – amounting to a private air force. The proposal comes from Erik Prince, whose contacting firm Blackwater made headlines during the Iraq War.
The U.S. military’s plan for success in Afghanistan revolves around increasing the offensive capabilities of Afghan air forces. Prince submitted a proposal to the military in July that would use contractors, rather than U.S. troops, to fill in gaps, as the Afghans improve their capabilities and await delivery of Blackhawk helicopters and other equipment.
Shawn Snow, a reporter for Military Times, says Prince’s private air force has been used in conflicts around the world, providing close air support and other services. But the Afghanistan proposal represents a more significant role for private military air operations, involving them in using hostile force to take out enemy combatants.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.