August 25, 2021
What kind of person sees tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan, where untold tens of thousands are desperate to escape ahead of the Taliban’s imminent takeover, and identifies an opportunity for profit? Erik Prince, the notorious Blackwater founder and brother of Betsy DeVos, that’s who.
Prince, the Wall Street Journal reports today, is currently charging $6,500 per person for a spot aboard chartered planes out of Kabul. From the WSJ:
Mr. Prince, whose Blackwater guards were convicted of killing civilians in 2014 while providing security for Americans during the Iraq war, said he was charging each passenger $6,500 to get them safely into the airport and on a plane, and it would cost extra to get people who have been trapped in their homes to the airport. It remained unclear whether Mr. Prince had the wherewithal to carry out his plans.
As I noted earlier, Prince’s plans to capitalize on tragedy come amid a broader effort by aid organizations to rescue as many people as possible as the US struggles to process visas and evacuate Americans still in the country and the tens of thousands of Afghans who worked for the US government over the past 20 years of war. His attempt to turn a profit fits right into his longstanding machinations to privatize every inch of the forever wars.