Steve Bannon Wants to Outsource Afghanistan to Mercs

Chris Kleponis/Avalon via ZUMA

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Trump’s inner circle has developed a genius plan for winning the war in Afghanistan:

Erik D. Prince, a founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, and Stephen A. Feinberg, a billionaire financier who owns the giant military contractor DynCorp International, have developed proposals to rely on contractors instead of American troops in Afghanistan at the behest of Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law, according to people briefed on the conversations.

On Saturday morning, Mr. Bannon sought out Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the Pentagon to try to get a hearing for their ideas, an American official said. Mr. Mattis listened politely but declined to include the outside strategies in a review of Afghanistan policy that he is leading along with the national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster.

At great personal expense and after conducting interviews with dozens of Mattis confidants, I have painstakingly reconstructed what Mattis was thinking while Bannon pitched this idea to him:

Blackwater …. DynCorp …. wait …. is he serious? …. that’s fucking brilliant, Steve …. what could go wrong? …. maybe we should ask Putin for Russian troops? …. jfc …. stay steady Jim …. nod your head …. uh huh …. uh huh …. what’s that? …. Prince thinks his boys can operate “cheaper and better than the military”? …. I’ll bet he does …. hey, how about if we just nuke the place? …. that would be cheaper and better …. is this guy ever going to leave? …. does he think I work weekends for my health? …. I wonder how much money these guys would make if we actually did outsource the war to them? …. gotta be billions …. give ’em credit for balls, anyway …. hmmm …. what? …. “Oh yeah, great meeting with you Steve” …. “Sure, sure, anytime” …. fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

Mattis is either the world’s biggest sellout or the world’s biggest hero. Time will tell, but probably the latter.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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