What is the public interest benefit of running an op-ed that that further supports the military-industrial complex? None, basically. The war in Afghanistan is the longest in U.S. history, and U.S. military intervention has been a disaster there for over a decade. The sensible solution is to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, stopping the massive misuse use of taxpayer funds that’s already been spent there.
Running proposed alternative solutions in op-ed pages for a subject such as education is one thing, but it’s another thing to run an op-ed with a violent, militaristic solution that’s obviously wrong. The New York Times should have devoted the op-ed space to retired military leaders calling for the end of U.S. military interference in Afghanistan instead.
The New York Times came under fire on Wednesday for running what critics characterized as “uncontested propaganda” in the form of an op-ed by notorious war profiteer and Blackwater founder Erik Prince.
As in his other prominent op-eds that ran recently in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, Prince—the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos—pitched his plan to largely privatize the 16-year war in Afghanistan. Many have denounced this for-profit scheme—which would place the war in the hands of an American “viceroy” and private mercenaries—as tantamount to “colonialism.”
“Why is the New York Times op-ed page publishing Erik Prince’s sales pitch for more mercenaries?” asked The New Republic‘s Sarah Jones.
The scheme being proposed “would make Prince, who now owns another private military company, Academi, very rich,” Jones added. “The conflicts of interest are glaring, and yet this advertisement was given pride of place in the opinion section.”