In a recent article published in The Wall Street Journal, Blackwater founder Erik Prince made a number of interesting suggestions for the U.S. strategy in afghanistan. Perhaps the most irreverent is that a “Viceroy” be installed.

That term isn't one that is part of the modern lexicon and it hankers back to an era of sail power and an inbred monarchical power structure. A Viceroy was an integral part of the colonial system that dominated the geopolitical order for centuries, though the use of the term and position is somewhat out of favor currently.

A bold vision

Mr. Prince goes on to detail how the U.S. should adopt an organizational framework that is reminiscent of the East India Company, which was a for-profit enterprise at the height of European colonialism. The colonial era isn't embraced fondly in Eurasia, as it was a time of grave human rights abuses and no political representation whatsoever.

The situation in Afghanistan isn't pretty. With a decade and a half of carnage and bloodshed already behind the suffering nation, they aren't likely to be welcome additional U.S. regulation and militarism.

On the ground, the situation has been growing more violent recently, and a recent truck bomb illustrates this point. A recent truck bomb that was detonated in downtown Kabul killed more than 90 people and injured many more.

No one seems to want to take credit for this atrocious act, and even the Taliban has denied any involvement outright.

2016 was an especially bad year for civilian casualties in Afghanistan, with more 11,000 killed in acts of violence. The munitions that are used by all involved in the conflict are left behind, and in many cases, unexploded ordinance is found by children at play.

The death toll simply can't capture the scale of human misery that has developed during the conflict. Maimed children who hobble around blind and broken are not well described by the category “wounded,” so many outside the area can't understand the level of horror that Afghans live with on a daily basis.


Blackwater as such no longer exists, as the security company has changed its name to Academi.

The company, regardless of its branding strategy, would be a clear beneficiary if the U.S. decided to adopt a neo-colonial approach to the Afghan conflict.

As the violence rises across Afghanistan, The White House has said that as many as 5000 more U.S. troops may be deployed to the region. During the conflict in Iraq, Blackwater made more than a billion dollars by supplying mercenaries, and a number of other security services to the Pentagon.

If the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, Mr. Prince and Academi may be in a position to once again reap windfall profits from a truly horrible human catastrophe.