Blackwater founder Erik Prince arrives for a closed meeting with members of the House Intelligence Committee, Nov. 30, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince - the founder of the controversial private security firm Blackwater and a prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump - has been pushing a plan to deploy a private army to help topple Venezuela's socialist president, Nicholas Maduro, four sources with knowledge of the effort told Reuters.

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Blackwater founder Erik Prince arrives for a closed meeting with members of the House Intelligence Committee, Nov. 30, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince's new company is reportedly operating in Iraq, a country from which his former company was banned for killing civilians.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo / Sgt. Lucas Hopkins.

Neither the Afghan government nor the U.S. military believes in Erik Prince’s plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan, the commander of U.S. Central Command said on Thursday.

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Miller Center/Flickr

The former founder and CEO of Blackwater says he needs just six months and roughly 3,600 men to make the Afghan War look far different from the shitshow it is now.

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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.

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Associated Press/T&P

With more than $700 billion spent (and at least $15.5 billion outright wasted) on America's long war in Afghanistan, it's easy to understand why President Donald Trump might pursue unusual options to finally bring the 17-year-old conflict to a close.

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