Mattis Shuts Down The Idea Of Privatizing The War In Afghanistan

Bullet Points
AP Photo / Khalid Mohammed.

Breaking from his usual detachment, Defense Secretary James Mattis called bullshit on Erik Prince's scheme to hand over the Afghanistan war to mercenaries.


  • “When the Americans put their nation's credibility on the line, privatizing it is probably not a wise idea,” Mattis said when asked Tuesday if there were any advantages to using a private army in Afghanistan.
  • Prince founded the private security firm Blackwater, which became infamous in September 2007 when the company’s contractors killed 17 Iraqi civilians and wounded another 20 in Baghdad's Nisour Square.
  • For more than a year, Prince has been trying to whisper into President Donald Trump’s ear that his legion of contractors could do a better job fighting the Taliban than American and coalition troops.
  • Prince is now making another push to privatize the war amid recent Taliban successes, hoping to find a more receptive audience in Trump.
  • Mattis argued valiantly on Tuesday that the U.S. military is successfully applying pressure on the Taliban to move toward peace negotiations with the Afghan government. He got into a heated exchange with one reporter, who asked why Afghan troops and police were unable to stop the Taliban from occupying the city of Ghazni.
  • “First of all, I would not say they fell apart because there were six military objectives in Ghazni,” Mattis said. “They [the Taliban] did not achieve a single one. Now, could they go in and shoot up the residential neighborhood, chase the police out where they outnumbered them, outgunned them? This is not an easy fight. We’ve never said it was. I wouldn’t jump to a larger conclusion about this being emblematic. The fact is: innocent people are vulnerable to terrorism, whether they be in Brussels or New York City or Ghazni.”

WATCH NEXT:

Casperassets.rbl.ms

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less
Veterans Day at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, 11 November, 2018. Photo: Erich Backes/U.S. Army

In typical veteran community fashion, hundreds of people showed up to two separate funerals last week for veterans who otherwise would have been buried alone.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Darien J. Bjorndal)

KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban killed more than 100 members of the Afghan security forces inside a military compound in central Maidan Wardak province on Monday, a senior defense official said.

Read More Show Less
Coast Guard cutter Bertholf on a counterdrug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Trees

U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf left California on January 20 for a months-long mission in the Pacific to support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the largest of the U.S. military's geographic combatant commands.

Coast Guardsmen aboard the Bertholf left Alameda on the 30th day of what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. They left a few days after not getting their first paycheck since that shutdown started and without knowing when the next will come.

Read More Show Less
Plebes in the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2015 march into Bancroft Hall following noon meal formation in Tecumseh Court. (U.S. Navy)

Leaking pipes. Moldering walls. Condemned offices and balconies. Plumbing that can't handle its load and a stormwater system dumping unfiltered rainwater into the Severn River.

These aren't the issues of a long-abandoned factory. They describe the current condition of the Naval Academy.

Read More Show Less