In China’s ambition to tap Africa’s vast resources, U.S. entrepreneur, capitalist, former Navy SEAL, CIA spy, and Blackwater founder, Erik Prince, recognizes an opportunity after being blowtorched by U.S. politics.
"I would rather deal with the vagaries of investing in Africa than in figuring out what the hell else Washington is going to do to the entrepreneur next," said Erik Prince in a Wall Street Journal interview.
What Washington did to Prince was manifest in the political mistreatment of Blackwater, Prince's company of contractors hired to protect U.S. officials in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Blackwater was tossed under the bus by the U.S. State Department. Prince writes in his book, Civilian Warriors, that the job he loved more than anything was ripped away from him by gross acts of professional negligence at the CIA.
Referring to Benghazi, Prince said in his WSJ video that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens would still be here if the State Department had not fired Blackwater.
As an entrepreneur expert in ensuring the security of government officials, Prince claims "there's very little advantage to being an American citizen anymore. They tax you anywhere in the world you are, they regulate you, and they certainly don't help you, at all."
Not to be downed by the ineptitude of the U.S. government, Prince started a new firm in Hong Kong more for building a business and making money than executing a patriotic endeavor. China “has the appetite to take frontier risk, that expeditionary risk of going to those less-certain, less-normal markets and figuring out how to make it happen," he said.
The focus of Prince’s new firm includes expeditionary logistics and asset management, including the construction of China’s infrastructure in remote areas. Barging, trucking, and shipping will allow reliable industrial transportation. He explains further that a country may have "an extremely rich hydrocarbon or mining asset, but it's worth nothing unless you can get it to where someone will pay you for it."
It's Capitalism 101, he argues.
Developing good investments in Africa is by and large the best for the people of Africa that have a job, that have electricity, that might have clean water, that might have those things that we in the West take horribly for granted.
Of America, Prince declares that the U.S. has made its own dismal destiny. "America can pull its head out at any time. That happens at the ballot box. But the American electorate has to … pay attention. Otherwise they're going to [get] the government they deserve."
It has been said, sadly, that Americans got what they voted for.