Insights on and from Eric Prince, founder of mercenary group Blackwater
The Nation magazine has obtained an audio recording of a recent, private speech delivered by Eric Prince, founder of Blackwater (now known as “Xe”). In the speech, Prince proposed that the US government deploy armed private contractors to fight “terrorists” in Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia and Saudi Arabia, specifically to target Iranian influence. He expressed disdain for the Geneva Convention and characterized the work of some NATO countries’ forces in Afghanistan as ineffectual, suggesting that some coalition nations “should just pack it in and go home.”
Prince called those fighting the US in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan “barbarians” who “crawled out of the sewer.” Prince also revealed details of a July 2009 operation he claims Blackwater forces coordinated in Afghanistan to take down a narcotrafficking facility, saying that Blackwater called in multiple air strikes, blowing up the facility.
Eric Prince also went into detail about his company’s operations in Afghanistan. Blackwater has been in the country since at least April 2002, when the company was hired by the CIA. Since then, Blackwater has won hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for the State Department, Defense Department and the CIA. “We built four bases and we staffed them and we run them,” … Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) … in the north, west, south (Spin Boldak), and east (FOB Lonestar is approximately 15 miles from the Pakistan border.)
Prince also spoke of Blackwater working in Pakistan, which appears to contradict the official, public Blackwater and US government line that Blackwater is not in Pakistan.