Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, Congressman Stephen F. Lynch, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Security, sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to oppose any efforts to privatize essential U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, including the privatization proposal advocated by former Blackwater USA Chief Executive Officer Erik Prince in recent meetings with Afghan Government officials.  The letter has been signed by Full Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) and National Security Subcommittee members Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), and Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA).

“The outsourcing of core military functions to a private security force comes at great risk to the safety of deployed U.S. military and civilian personnel in theatre, and will dramatically increase American spending on a war that the U.S. Department of Defense estimates has already cost American taxpayers more than $718 billion since 2001," said Lynch.  

“We strongly oppose the outsourcing of core U.S. military functions and combat missions to mercenaries employed by ‘for-profit’ corporate interests and we also believe that converting the world’s most effective fighting force into a commercial enterprise would tarnish the honor and diminish the sacrifice of those who have served our country.  In total, acquiescing to Mr. Prince’s plan would gravely damage U.S. standing in the world," added Lynch.

Mr. Prince continues to promote his plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan by replacing the estimated 23,000 American and NATO troops on the ground with a much smaller force primarily led by approximately 6,000 U.S. and multinational private security contractors.  This private security force would be supplemented by 2,000 U.S. Special Operations Forces.  According to the New York Times, Mr. Prince recently “made his sales pitch directly to a host of influential Afghans,” from “lowly militia commanders, to former cabinet officials and entrenched regional strongmen to several potential presidential candidates.”

“The outsourcing of core military functions in Afghanistan to private for-profit corporations sends the wrong message about U.S. commitments and will serve to further destabilize the country and degrade the security of U.S. military and civilian personnel stationed in the region,” wrote Lynch. 

Read the letter here.