Private security firm Blackwater's founder exploiting Afghanistan crisis and selling flight ticket for $6,500 per head

WION Web Team
Kabul, Afghanistan Published: Aug 27, 2021, 01:37 PM(IST)

Hamid Karzai International Airport Photograph:( Reuters )

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Prince, who is a former US Navy SEAL officer, had previously batted for privatising the war in Afghanistan

The White House has criticised Erik Prince, the founder of the controversial private security firm Blackwater, who tried to sell tickets for a chartered flight from Afghanistan for $6,500 per head.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said: “I don’t think any human being who has a heart and soul would support efforts to profit off of people’s agony and pain if they’re trying to depart a country and fearing for their lives.”

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Prince, who is a former US Navy SEAL officer, had justified the extra cost for transporting people trapped inside their homes to the airport. He had previously called out the need to privatise the war in Afghanistan.

For Prince, the unlikely gambit represents the latest effort in a long campaign to privatise warfare. The wealthy son of an auto-parts tycoon has fielded private security contractors in conflict zones from Central Asia to Africa to the Middle East.

Prince has made headlines for years, first as chief executive of Blackwater, whose security guards fatally shot more than a dozen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007. 

Prince renamed the Blackwater security company and sold it in 2010, but he recently opened a company called Blackwater USA, which sells ammunition, silencers, and knives. 

Over the past two years, he had led an unsuccessful campaign to convince former US President Donald Trump to replace US soldiers in Afghanistan with security contractors.

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