Former member of the Navy SEAL Team 5 and former Warfare Operator of the United States Naval Special Warfare Group Tej Gill has endorsed Erik Prince’s proposal for Afghanistan, calling H.R. McMaster’s proposal “the same old thing.”
Blackwater founder, and former Navy SEAL, Erik Prince is calling for the US to restructure and scale down the 16-year-long operation in Afghanistan by teaming mercenaries with local partners. Instead of having US military leading the seemingly endless fight, Prince and Stephen A. Feinberg, owner of DynCorp International seek to have experienced professional European soldiers take over. The proposal would cost just 8% of what the McMaster’s plan would cost.
Speaking to Big League Politics over the weekend, Gill endorsed Prince’s proposal.
“Well, the McMaster approach is the same old thing. It’s basically a failed plan that they have been doing since 2001. The first couple years were different, it was all special operations in Afghanistan. There were no conventional forces in there. Once the conventional forces got in, things slowed down — with the conventional forces comes bureaucracy and a giant price tag on everything,” Gill told Big League. “I think Prince’s plan is a good idea. We will see if he gets the chance to do it.”
Gill explained that he worked with a lot indigenous forces while he was in Afghanistan, and that what Prince wants to do is set up mentor teams between local forces and Navy SEALS.
“It sounds like a good idea, and it saves $40 billion a year — it’s worth a shot,” Gill added.
When asked if he thought that the Prince proposal would have a chance to win against McMaster and the war industry’s plan, Gill said that “in light of current events, it sounds like Big Washington and Big Politics is winning out. McMaster is on their side, Prince is the alternative plan.”
“It sounds like McMaster is on the side of the military industrial complex,” Gill stated.
When asked what he thinks the best way to handle Afghanistan would be, if it was up to him, Gill again endorsed Prince’s proposal, saying that special operations and contractors is the best approach. He explained that it already has shown to be the best method.
“It’s already been the most cost effective and most effective approach, period. The first couple years we went in there, before the conventional forces got in there, they crushed the Taliban and crushed al Qaeda and put them on the run,” Gill explained. “When conventional forces got in there, they slowly let the Taliban and al Qaeda come back into the country. They got stronger over the years, and now its to the point where they have taken over the country and the government in Kabul — they control I think it’s like 60/65% of the country right now.”
Gill explained that the reason why contractors have better luck is because they don’t have to go through a hundred layers of red tape and politics when something needs to be done.
“They don’t have to follow the rules of a bureaucracy and red tape — if they want to do something they get it done, they don’t have to go through a hundred layers of a chain of command and ask lawyers on a different continent for permission. It’s the same with special forces, they’re light and streamlined and they can act as they see fit,” Gill explained. “When these guys are in the field they’re empowered to act.”
On the flip side, Gill explained, if someone messes up or breaks the rules, they can immediately be fired. If conventional forces mess up they are likely to stay there because it is basically a federal job.
“I hope Erik Prince gets a fair shot and at least gets to present his plan to Trump and the National Security Council. Like I said, the military industrial complex is going to try to push hard to bury Prince’s plan because they are going to lose billions and billions of dollars if he gets his way. It is going to be a tough fight,” Gill said.
He added that the trillion dollars we have in looming veterans healthcare is just going to keep increasing as these wars go on.
“We can win these wars, very quickly, but they don’t want to because it’s an income generator. Why win it and shut it off when you can just run this war forever and run up the bill on the taxpayer?” Gill asked. “Between Special Ops and the Marine Corp, they could go into any of these countries and basically beat these extremists over night. You can’t beat the ideologies, but the fighters on the ground, we could crush them immediately. Big Military, Big Bureaucracy, and Big Politics won’t let you do that. If you’re too effective you get punished over there.”
In a previous interview with Big League Politics, Prince explained that he thinks his idea will also be better as the US soldiers are routinely rotated out every six to nine months, so we essentially have to start over with each new group. If the operation was taken over by professionals with insight from experience, who are in it for the long run, this would no longer be the case.
Gill agreed with this sentiment, saying that half the conventional troops never even leave the base — which has Baskin Robbins, Burger King, and many of the comforts of home. He explained that contractors are far more streamlined and focused simply on the task at hand.
“So many, particularly the left, hate the idea of contractors. The fact is that there are 25,000 contractors in Afghanistan right now. Under this plan, most of them go away — as would, eventually, all the conventional US soldiers. This is the off ramp for the US in Afghanistan,” Prince told Big League.
Prince added that, “just like a business in bankruptcy — the US must tear down and clean up its efforts. The US must go back and refocus on what is necessary to defend itself from terrorism.”