Privatizing the Afghan War: The New Gamble

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The New Gamble On October 7, 2015, the war in Afghanistan became the longest war in the history of the United States. The war lingers on even after the death of Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011, in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the sole person for which the country was bombed and invaded following the September 11 attacks on New York City and Washington, DC, in 2001. With Osama dead, the mission should have been accomplished and the war ended, but it does not seem like it. Since the war is definitely taking a toll on the US economy, there is a plan to “privatize” the war in Afghanistan and it is proposed by none other than Erik Prince, founder of the notorious private military company Blackwater, which is now known as Academy. According to Erik Prince, privatizing the war will save the government around $30 billion a year and private contractors can stay on foreign soil for a longer period of time without becoming a political risk that is associated with having regular troops on the ground. But the question is, will such a plan end the 16-year conflict? Over the past year the Taliban have been gaining ground and violent attacks have increased in a number of areas and the rise of the Islamic State, the extension of the infamous ISIS, is a worrying sign for Afghanistan and the neighboring Pakistan. The summer of 2017 was a bloody one as suicide bombers attacked funerals, banks and in June a bomb blast killed 150 people in Kabul. The government there only controls about 65% of the country. Are the private military contractors ready to take up what the US military has been fighting for the last 16 years? It’s a gamble the United States under the leadership of Donald Trump might be willing to take. President Donald Trump inherited this war from his two predecessors and views both of their policies and strategies as failures. His political future all depends on how he brings this war to an end and privatizing it is just one new method that can be experimented.

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