September 17, 2017

Here's How Private Contractors Can Help Win the Afghan War

By CDR Daniel G. Straub, USN

The president has declared a “path forward” for Afghanistan. Given that the United States is at a nexus for strategic change, might there be an increased role for private contractors in positions previously held by U.S. troops? A proposal from Erik Prince, formerly the head of Blackwater Worldwide, claims that with the use of his “corporate warriors” he can end the war in Afghanistan. Can it work? History suggests that it can. But to be successful, it would require a level of commitment and integration not yet demonstrated. It also relies upon the imperatives of capability, capacity and efficiency, as well as the effectiveness of those chosen to perform the task that the U.S. military has been unable to accomplish: winning the war. First, though, there must be a real understanding of what private security contractors (PSCs) actually do, and how they can and will be held accountable for their actions.

Read the full op-ed in The National Interest.

  • Commentary
    • The Hill
    • November 20, 2019
    A fresh approach to peace in Afghanistan

    An effective peace process is possible and desirable in Afghanistan. Success, however, will require a careful, step-by-step course to test bona fides, build confidence, reduce...

    By Earl Anthony Wayne & Christopher D. Kolenda

  • Commentary
    • The Washington Post
    • November 14, 2019
    Trump was right to abandon the Taliban peace deal. Here’s what a good one would look like.

    Two months after President Trump declared U.S.-Taliban peace talks “dead,” diplomacy with the Afghan insurgents is reviving. With the administration already having negotiated ...

    By David H. Petraeus & Vance Serchuk

  • Commentary
    • Defense One
    • September 17, 2019
    The U.S. Military is Not, and Can Never Be, Afghanistan’s Police

    In 1829, the father of modern policing, Sir Robert Peel, established “Peel’s Principles” to describe the role of police at large. Almost 200 years later, policing has changed ...

    By COL Sarah Albrycht

  • Podcast
    • September 10, 2019
    Ending the war in Afghanistan

    Christopher D. Kolenda joins The World and Everything in It to discuss the latest developments in talks between the United States and the Taliban. Listen to the full conversa...

    By Christopher D. Kolenda

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia