Eric Prince – Trump’s friend who privatized the war

Printed copy by Dagens Nyheter, 2021-03-18 21:08

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Eric Prince has become a billionaire delivering soldiers to wars around the world. When his subordinates kill civilians, Donald Trump pardons them.

Eric Olson, DN’s Middle East correspondent, tells the story of how Eric Prince, the son of a right-wing Christian father, became the world’s mercenary king.

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General Khalifa Haftar, 77, leads the Libyan National Army, a dissident army that wants to seize power in Libya. Eric Prince wanted to link Haftar closer to the United States. Khalifa Haftar, a US citizen, believes that the internationally recognized government in Libya is too tolerant of Islamists. It is now supported by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia, among other countries, as well as by the Islamist Salafi movement Al-Madkhali.

Photography: Mohamed El Sheikhi

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Eric Prince standing with the Blackwater logo, teddy bear paw framed with binoculars. In 2008, when the photo was taken, Blackwater was on the verge of losing its gold contract with the US due to criminal suspicions.

Photo: Gerry Broome / AP

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Eric Prince appeared in the so-called Mueller Inquiry, which investigated suspicions that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign had links to the Russian government. Here, Prince is on his way to a hearing at the Congressional Intelligence Committee in November 2017.

Foto: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

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A star sign is waving outside the Blackwater headquarters in the small community of Moiok, North Carolina. In the surrounding marshland, Eric Prince harasses his mercenaries.

Photo: Gerry Broome / AP

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After the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the demand for private security contractors increased. No more than 100,000 armed security guards operate in the country. Here, a group of Blackwater stands on the roof of a house in Baghdad.

Photo: Patrick Paz / AFP

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One of the few images from Black Sunday in September 2007 when a convoy of armored vehicles with Blackwater employees opened fire on civilians in Baghdad. 17 people were killed, including women and children.

Photo: ABC NEWS / AP

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A Blackwater employee tattooed in front of a court in Washington where he accused four of his colleagues of committing a massacre of civilians in Baghdad. When their sentences fell in 2014, Eric Prince changed the name of the company and later sold it.

Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

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A Blackwater helicopter is patrolling Baghdad in the fall of 2007. After the September 17 massacre of the same year, the company’s operations in Iraq were questioned and eventually banned.

Photo: Khaled Mohamed

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Eric Prince has striking resemblance to the blonde tuxedo and hitch of James Bond actor Daniel Craig. But this does not impress the protesters appearing outside of Manhattan’s Yale Club. They harass Prince for his association with Trump adviser Steve Bannon.

Photo: Jinh Moon / Reuters

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