President Donald Trump is showing renewed interest in a proposal by Blackwater founder Erik Prince to privatize the war, current and former senior administration officials told NBC News.
The idea envisions replacing troops with private military contractors who would work for a special U.S. envoy for the war who would report directly to the president.
It has raised ethical and security concerns among senior military officials, key lawmakers and members of Trump's national security team.
But a year after Trump approved boosting the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, his advisers are worried his impatience with the Afghanistan conflict will cause him to seriously consider proposals like Prince's or abruptly order a complete U.S. withdrawal, officials said.
Prince, a staunch Trump supporter whose sister is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, said he hasn't spoken directly to Trump about the plan, but told NBC News he plans to launch an aggressive media "air campaign" in coming days to try to get the president to embrace it.