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Beloit College YAF chair responds to pushback against upcoming speaker Prince

As chairman of the Beloit College Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter, I would like to provide some clarity on the upcoming lecture by Erik Prince. People seem to relish being willfully misleading about his record and others are all too eager to believe them to advance a political agenda. 

I first want to explain why we invited Prince as well as reply to some of the careless assertions I have heard made about both private military contractors (PMCs) and Prince’s business ventures.

The Young America’s Foundation adopted its statement of principles at the home of William F. Buckley in Sharon, Conn. in 1960. Among the 12 beliefs enumerated in the Sharon Statement is the claim that market economies are the “single economic system compatible with the requirements of personal freedom and constitutional government.” We invited Prince because he has a proven track record of delivering dynamic and imaginative market solutions to some of the most complex problems faced by the U.S. military. His perspective and experience are unparalleled and we are honored to host him.

Further, YAF is grateful to Beloit College for standing by its commitment to free inquiry and respect for diverse opinions.

Needless to say, many have strong disagreements about the morality and usefulness of PMCs and, to demonstrate this, have employed all sorts of rhetorical flourishes such as “war criminal” or “war profiteer” to describe Prince’s work.

The requirement that profit never undergird military action is both historically ignorant and impractical. In fact, the U.S. owes its very existence to private military contractors.

The American Revolution would have been a lost cause without the assistance of thousands of foreign nationals enlisted to fight the British.

Abraham Lincoln turned to the private sector in order to gather intelligence on the South and tend to his personal security by enlisting the services of Allan Pinkerton and his paid guards.

Before the U.S. entered World War I, a group of American airmen decided not to wait around for Congress to declare war and joined the French air force to form the “Lafayette Escadrille.”

Similarly, President Roosevelt authorized a group of American airmen to assist the Chinese in their fight against Japan before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As for our 21st century conflicts, contractors made up over fifty percent of DoD personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Contractors provide essential support in the areas of logistics, intelligence and military affairs where conventional forces lack either the manpower or expertise.

Simply put, without contractors, you might be drafted to make up for the shortage.

When it comes to Blackwater, the incident at Nisour Square invariably comes up. The events there have been spun in the media and the blogosphere to suggest that Blackwater guards fired on innocent Iraqi civilians. Blackwater has vigorously contested this allegation, insisting instead that they began taking fire from insurgents in the area. Blackwater radio logs reported in the Associated Press seem to confirm this and there is everything to suggest that the innocents killed were the victims of a tragic battlefield accident rather than a criminal event.

The fact of the matter is that Blackwater conducted thousands of missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and guards only discharged their weapons in approximately one percent of those.

Furthermore, the Obama administration greatly expanded Blackwater’s brief despite Nisour and awarded the company contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars related to the CIA’s drone program.

Nevertheless, Prince has been maliciously labelled a war criminal without any thought given to the meaning of that phrase. Let us see where zetetic reasoning gets us.

Has a court convicted Prince of war crimes? No. Has he been indicted for war crimes? No. Has he even been investigated for war crimes? Negative. Alright, let’s assume he beat the rap–for what crime should he be prosecuted? Nisour, of course. Even assuming the worst about Nisour, did Prince shoot innocent civilians? No. Did he order his men to shoot innocent civilians? No. Where was he, actually? At home in the States. Well I’m afraid I don’t know the basis for your original claim, and I don’t believe you do either.

As for some recent headlines, Prince made news for writing a piece in the Wall Street Journal in which he proposed a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan. Immediately, people began fear mongering by saying he wanted to “privatize” the conflict. In reality, his plan was to withdraw conventional forces and significantly draw down the number of contractors. The crux of Prince’s plan focuses on streamlining leadership and rules of engagement, as well preserving the institutional memory lost when troops rotate out of the country.

Some other news items include reporting that Prince’s company, Frontier Services Group (FSG), was planning to build a training facility in the Xinjiang region of China where it is alleged that the Uyghur population is facing persecution. There is one problem, however: FSG is not Prince’s company. The largest shareholder is CITIC Ltd., a division of a Chinese state-run conglomerate. Prince was replaced as chairman before the announcement of the Xinjiang deal with a CITIC executive and now owns only a nine-percent stake in the company. Further, all that was signed was a preliminary memorandum and any construction would first require a board resolution which has not occurred, according to an FSG spokesman.

I hope students interested in learning and engaging with Prince during his lecture decide to attend. Those without an interest are, of course, not required to attend. Importantly, however, those with no interest have no right to decide on behalf of others who gets to be heard and who gets to listen.

Andrew Collins is the Chairman and Founder of the Beloit College Young Americans for Freedom chapter.

3 thoughts on “Beloit College YAF chair responds to pushback against upcoming speaker Prince”

  1. Leah says:

    You’re wrong. Just watch this, in a nutshell: Stop defending a terrorist. (Which is what Prince is)

  2. Jason Helvenston says:

    My name is Jason Helvenston and I am a victim of Prince Evil, aka Erik Prince. My brother, Scott, was Prince Evil’s tool as a slaughtered martyr.


    First and most important, what we think we know, WE DON’T KNOW!
    That is what this nightmare has taught a first hand victim the most.
    Knowledge is never absolute, it is dynamic. Most importantly for humanity, the most important driver of knowledge is how it is presented, not the actual knowledge. However, after almost 2 decades of knowing everything I could about Prince Evil, let’s get into the accuracy of his evil ways. Please feel free to interchange the word knowledge with TRUTH.

    Second, we are powerless to injustice and corruption. It is too late, we gave it up already. Once you see the money and power first hand, wielded like toilet paper in a public restroom, then the evil corruption becomes very obvious. Until you walk in our shoes or others… To have our phones tapped, our emails stolen, our mother’s life threatened, to see evidence disappear, to see witnesses lose their lives, to have scary people follow us, to have the entire case Red Acted for no reason because as you just watched, it was (and still is) the most watched international slaughter in the history of TV.

    It is sad to say the opinion “Starting a good-faith political dialogue doesn’t start with Erik Prince” was almost refreshing because as Andrew Collins pointed out that the Nisour Square Massacre gets all the attention. Horrible to say if you really walk in a victim’s shoes. Knowing is one thing but experiencing is another. We know it all while ignorance pervades us.

    Our Summary:
    Prince Evil and Dick Chaney realized that they could greatly benefit each other. Dick Chaney was desperate to take down Fallujah (do your own research) and Prince Evil was on a crusade to take down the Muslim’s… while making another fortune (do your own research).

    First red flag, my brother sent me two emails shortly before his death from Iraq that are no longer in existence. I have a minor in computer science and digital media so I actually have a RAID system for backing up everything. Also, the emails wsee sent to a Hotmail account and then forwarded to a Yahoo account for which there is no record of either. These emails described Scott’s unethical (possible illegal) observations in his short time in Iraq. Scott also explained that there was literally no way out until the end of his contract, Scott was trapped.

    Second red flag, the four mercenaries who were sent into the Bridge Massacre, had never worked together as a team. Most had never met each other. The Merc Contract stated very clearly that all missions must have at least eight team members. This team was put together literally in minutes and sent out immediately with no preparation.

    Third red flag, the team was sent to escort a large delivery truck which turned out to only have two little pieces of kitchen equipment in it. Ironically, the two un-armored Mitsubishi Pajero’s that the team were given to use in their escort mission could have easily fit the equipment with plenty of room left over. The Merc Contract stated clearly that all missions must have armored vehiclit and more than two vehicles.

    Fourth red flag, the team was given basic machine guns to escort the empty truck around Fallujah, not thru it. Per the Merc Contract, the team should be fooled with at least two M249 SAW type machine guns. None.

    Fifth red flag, the team was sent on the mission without an actual map. This is gone past negligence from the “best merc company” on the planet. Even after an unplanned stay overnight at a nearby military base, they were still not given a map.

    Sixth red flag, Fallujah was a NO MAN zone. Everyone knew to go way around. Why were they sent straight thru it?

    Seventh red flag, all the cameras and guns were sitting there waiting in ambush. They knew they were coming for a whole day because the team got lost.

    Eighth red flag, the driver of the truck gets away free and clear. Prince Evil’s version that actually exposes more of the False Flag (do your own research) corruption than covers ith up, states that the driver worked for the Iraqi’s. The Iraqi’s never had time to know about this mission and the Iraqi’s motivation would be for the opposite. With all the press and military connections, we have heard the direct versions from boots on the ground.

    Ninth red flag, one key witness on the ground at the time ends up dead. Another disappears. Another swears he won’t testify for fear of death.

    Tenth red flag, the whole thing gets covered up. After years of moving the case all over the country, a retired Federal Judge makes it all disappear. My mother has a Gag Order. YAF starts with Gag Orders if this is who they defend.

    Prince Evil receives record breaking contracts from all over the world including the U.S.
    Dick Chaney wipes Fallujah off the map. Second term guaranteed.
    Victim families get almost nothing, including any kind of truth or justice. In fact, mostly persecuted.

    Prince Evil’s sole motivation is greed and hate. Prince Evil seems to love money and hate Muslims (also LGBT). Everything in his long track record points to those things every time. The motivation of all our sytems are to conquer over another, so don’t be surprised what we motivate with our injustice and persecution.

    I have stayed on topic for which I have first hand knowledge of; but would be happy to write even more about Prince Evil’s weapon, drug, and human trafficking exploits. Or write about his extremely anti-nationalist deals with so many other countries and corporations. Or write about that he is actually being investigated by the U.S. for violating laws for his military dealings with other countries/corporations and his military arsenal growing too powerful. Or write about all the innocent lives lost to his Mercs. Apparently, they have a thing for Muslim children. Or just write about his extreme glutony for power, money, or more deeply his programed ideals (do the research). Talk about “Tiger Parents”!

    Clearly, the U.S. has lowered its standards for leaders. Prince Evil should never be on the list to lead anything for humanity’s sake. From our experience, the worse military leader ever. Either he is the most incompetent or he sell’s his own men out for money and power. Ask a military court what they would have done to the leader of the Fallujah Bridge Massacre? They would not have given Prince Evil the chance to carry out the Nisour Square Massacre.

    That will never happen because Merc’s are not accountable for anything. License to kill. Get out of jail free card. We do not even begin to know what goes on. Seriously, talk to a Merc. Most of them will scare the “Hel”venston out of you. Another trickle down effect a victim has to walk in.

    There has to be accountability and responsibility. The Merc system never allows for anything FREE. It’s a Pay to Play System. Highest bidder and bottomline approach to human lives and so called patriotism. Transparency is the only way. Don’t tolerate lies.

    We consider ourselves Jeffersonian at best. Please read my “white paper” submitted to the congressional hearings. We are disgusted with the bi-polar disease this country has been constricted with. Conservatives are not. Liberals are not. Red v. Blue. Cripts v. Bloods. White v. any color. Us v. Them. Whatever it takes to win, to be gluttonous.
    The majority of this country is Independent without any representation. Stop the extremism. Stop the fear mongering. Stop the hate.

    I ask God’s forgiveness each time I imagine one of Prince Evil’s merc’s killing him over a money dispute. Ironic Justice is our only hope now. Anything else just begets more war. We will drown them with LOVE! We actually believe in the Prince of Peace. We don’t understand what Prince Evil’s Crusade is for. However, we can just be kind.

    So ask some good questions. We would beg you to? Especially since even though he was the commander who led Scott and his team to slaughter; he has never manned up, soldier up, commander up, to actually meeting his dead soldier’s family. We wanted to come but too far, too cold, and Prince Evil almost always cancels. And this is the leader you want to give the spot light?

    Really contemplate the herd. Ask why all these others get their opinions published? Why the first hand stories have to post in the comments? There is so much we don’t KNOW! You are about to deal with the Devil, so beware.

    Good luck and God Bless. We love you.

  3. James Struble says:

    Well said Andrew, well said.

    Probably the only solid defense of Prince on the internet.

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