With Mattis out, is Blackwater back?
With SecDef Mattis’s resignation and Trump’s recent announcement about the drawdown of 7,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the Trump administration may be reconsidering Erik Prince’s campaign to replace U.S. troops with mercenaries in the country. Since this summer, Prince campaigned heavily in the media and in DC for the use of a mercenary force to cut costs and overcome ongoing problems in Afghanistan. In a previous interview, Prince said that hey would replace the current NATO mission’s 23,000 troops with 6,000 contractors and 2,000 U.S. special forces. Mattis was highly critical of the plan, which was dismissed by the White House as well. But with the recent changes, a drastic strategic shift could give this plan a second life. And, as Blackwater’s full page ad states cryptically and ominously in the first 2019 publication of Recoil magazine against an all-black background, “WE ARE COMING.” Blackwater has been rebranded several times, and has switched parent companies; Prince is not currently connected to its current iteration and it is unknown what kind of connection would be made, if any, if his mercenary vision were taken up by DC.