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I saw active service in conventional, clandestine and covert units of the South African Defence Force. I was the founder of the Private Military Company (PMC) Executive Outcomes in 1989 and its chairman until I left in 1997. Until its closure in 1998, EO operated primarily in Africa helping African governments that had been abandoned by the West and were facing threats from insurgencies, terrorism and organised crime. EO also operated in South America and the Far East. I believe that only Africans (Black and White) can truly solve Africa’s problems. I was appointed Chairman of STTEP International in 2009 and also lecture at military colleges and universities in Africa on defence, intelligence and security issues. Prior to the STTEP International appointment, I served as an independent politico-military advisor to several African governments. I am a contributor to The Counter Terrorist magazine. All comments in line with the topics on this blog are welcome. As I consider this to be a serious look at military and security matters, foul language and political or religious debates will not be entertained on this blog.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

SO WHO REALLY DECIDES?

Many governments in Africa are faced with growing external military threats, insurgencies, political upheaval and an escalation in violent crime. Indeed, this brutal phenomenon is not something new - Africa has faced it for decades – and will continue to face it in the foreseeable future.

Should a government decide - something it ought to be able to do without interference from foreign powers - that it wants to utilise outside sources to help it resolve these problems, it has four options:

1. Call on the United Nations and a multitude of NGOs to help
2. Call on the West to help
3. Call on the East to help
4. Call on a Private Military Company to help.

Arguably the largest sheltered employment agency in the world, the UN has time-and-again shown its ineptitude, inability and its partiality for rebel groups and other trouble-makers when “assisting” governments in Africa. The recent exposures detailing crimes by UN peacekeepers - in Africa and beyond - are likewise a major indication of its lack of control over itself. Additionally, the UN has, according to its own track-record, prolonged conflicts instead of bringing them to a closure. This large bumbling organisation and its associated NGOs have a habit of calling for ceasefires and giving the rebel movements critical time to prepare for their next offensive. Their dismal lack of achievement, which has no timeline and a never-ending budget, must surely rate at the bottom of the list of choices.

The West has a history of betraying African governments and backing both sides in a conflict. Coupled to this is the approach of giving sub-standard training under the guise of “military aid”. But these aid packages come at a price – “toe the line or else”. Additionally, the West is not beyond its own fraud and corruption. Take for example the latest report on the US military leadership in Iraq:

In what could turn out to be the greatest fraud in US history, American authorities have started to investigate the alleged role of senior military officers in the misuse of $125bn (£88bn) in a US-directed effort to reconstruct Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The exact sum missing may never be clear, but a report by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) suggests it may exceed $50bn, making it an even bigger theft than Bernard Madoff's notorious Ponzi scheme”.
(http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/a-fraud-bigger-than-madoff-1622987.html%20dated%2016%20February%202009)

And to think that the West is continually pointing a finger at Africa for corruption and fraud…but maybe this will serve as a warning for Africa.

Apart from this shocking exposé, the West’s recent containment strategies have not exactly yielded encouraging or significant results.

The East has always been keen to sell its weapons into Africa. More recently, the East has involved itself in a massive overt resource-exploitation drive in Africa. Despite voiced concern by the West, this has led to huge financial investments into Africa and in the process, some of these investments have found their way to both government and rebel forces. But the East has, like the West, not always dealt honourably with Africa. It too has its agendas and is not afraid to pursue them vigorously, regardless of the cost in terms of human lives or political integrity. But the East brings with it money and overt support to the government they are dealing with.

The last choice an African government has is it that it can contract a PMC to assist it. All such assistance is negotiated in terms of risk, cost and time and the PMC is contractually bound to give what it offered. Furthermore, the PMC is obligated to provide tailor-made training, achieve agreed results at a predetermined fee and fulfil its contractual obligations within a set time. The problem with PMCs is that they require careful vetting in terms of their REAL experience and not their own-imagined experience, their track record and their integrity. Ultimately, the fly-by-night, con-artist-types of PMCs should be exposed and weeded out – and there are many of them. (Note: Jake and Matt of http://combatoperator.com/blog/ and http://www.feraljundi.com/ respectively are working hard at showing the other side of the coin).

But for an African government to make such a decision, it is faced with problems that range from international condemnation, sanctions, political and economical blackmail, threats and even active support to the rebel movements.

To contract a PMC, these governments-in-need apparently require the permission of the UN, the NGOs, multi-national corporations, foreign governments and so on.

So, the question begs to be asked: Who decides what an African government can do to improve its security situation, ensure its territorial integrity, train its armed forces and assist it with the development of its national security strategy?

It appears that the under-siege government has no say in the matter and must instead bow to inept, unethical and/or corrupt foreign militaries.

Added on 19 February 2009: For those who thought I am forever having a go at the UN and its incompetence for no reason, please read the following - http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-02-19-un-accused-of-failing-to-protect-drc-civilians I rest my case.

33 comments:

TCO said...

Eeben,
I like being the first to comment!!

The first 3 choices you posed, the UN, the West and the East each come with many many strings attached. The fourth choice however, comes with many fewer strings attached. A government would run the risk of losing some aid or funding from the UN, the East or the West if it were to execute that 4th option but then it must ask itself: Has the aid that they now stand to lose really been of assistance? Or has it simply been a leash by which their master keeps them at heel?

All that is required to tip this house of cards is a few more examples of forward thinking and independent minded African leaders who are willing to try something else. Wasn't it Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is to continue doing the same things while expecting different results? I am sure I butchered that quote but the point remains. Governments need to ask themselves what partnerships and alliances have they traditionally chosen or been forced to accept? Are they satisfied with what that has brought them? If not then alternatives must be seriously considered.

Keep knockin' 'em dead Eeben!!

SF

Jake

graycladunits said...

Dear Sir:

I notice that you tend to side against rebel movements in general. Do you believe that there is ever a time when rebellion against established governments is justifiable? If so, under what circumstances?

Rgds, graycladunits

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Good points you raise about strings attached, Jake. That is hitting the nail smack on the head.

The day African governments realise that they alone control their destiny and can make lasting decisions based on their countries well-being, the continent will start its long walk to recovery.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

One of the things I personally look at when a government asks me for advice in combating rebels is who is driving the rebel force in terms of finances and covert support. The large majority of rebel forces in Africa use methods akin to what many in the West perceive as pure terror tactics ie, murder, rape, cannibalism, kidnapping, torture, bombings and so forth.

I am more than happy to give advice on how to stop these acts, GCU. And ironically, many of these so-called rebel groups (a large majority of them are actually not rebels but organised crime gangs) have foreign government and multi-national support. Ironically, it was the West that dubbed these gangs "Freedom Fighters" - even though freedom is seldom on their list of priorities. In achieving their aims, they couldn’t care less who their casualties are or what damage and destruction they cause.

Are these types of rebellions justified? I hardly think so as many of these so-called rebel groups do not start off with a political motive but rather an economical motive. It is only later as they gain support through fear and terror that they alter their motives to be political.

Are “true” rebellions against established governments justified? I would rather leave that for the more politically adept to answer.

Rgds,

Eeben

UNRR said...

This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 2/19/2009, at The Unreligious Right

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you for visiting, UNRR.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you for your comment, Lara. You are perfectly entitled to your opinion and I to mine. However, I did not post your comment as I do not want this blog, which I consider to be a serious look at military and security matters, to be used as a vehicle for political debate and profanities. Likewise, I am not willing to enter into political discussions and arguments on this site – there are many sites that offer visitors that opportunity.

Rgds,

Eeben

matt said...

Boy, last night I read through this, and my first thought is that I need to study up on Africa more before I could even enter the discussion.

In essence, I was saturating my brain with as much info as possible, so I could let it incubate. So now is the illumination part, I hope.

I stumbled upon an interesting Africa based group online, that is addressing a personal favorite topic of mine--Leadership. The group that is addressing the leadership issues throughout Africa is called the Mo Ibrahim Foundation:
http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/the-index.asp

Now I am not too into the politics of several of the members, but I do like the concept of making an index of the quality of governance throughout Africa. These guys identify the poor leaders, as well as the good leaders, and call them out with statistics to prove their findings. I like that, because it helps to highlight what country is getting it right, and what country is not in Africa. (imagine an index for PMC's?)

As for how they choose who is a good leader or not, I guess is up for debate, but the intent is what I like. So how does that tie in with this post?

Eeben poses the question "who decides", in regards to who gets to help who in Africa. Do these country's make decisions based on greed, political pressure, or what is best for the people of their country? I would like to see them base their decisions on what is best for the people, but often it is a mix of all of the above.

The trend though, according to some who have reported on Africa and based on the index itself, is that in post-colonial Africa, the people are running out of white guys to blame, and finally pointing fingers at their own leadership. That is good, because then you get true Democracy in action. You get people choosing a leader, not based on nationalism, but because that leader can deliver on the basic necessities of life with good governance.

The West and East and everyone else that has messed with Africa, during the entire history of Africa, has completely tarnished this concept. Leaders who were more concerned with greed, could stir up this 'us versus them' mindset, and do whatever they want under the guise of being the people's leader. So when foreigners like the Soviets, the US, or Colonial Europeans come in, it is very easy for these leaders to play the us versus them game, to get what they want. Hell, why not, these are foreigners on their soil messing with their lives. But yet again, under this meddling, a poor leader can certainly rise up as the man of the people.

I also look at countries like Zimbabwe, where years ago, there was a thriving society built around trade called Greater Zimbabwe. Africans quite clearly are able to do great things on their own, if left alone. I would once again like to see a Greater Zimbabwe again. But that requires two things--good leadership and industry. I still put it all on a good leader, because they are the ones that drive home the concept of industry and good governance in their country. Every country in African needs to understand this concept, or be stomped on again by the next wave of greed from the rest of the world.

And if you look at Zimbabwe in the last 30 or so years, they have totally taken a dump under the rule of Mugabe. Is he a good leader? No. Does he care about the people? No. Or is he only concerned with keeping in power and promoting this 'us versus them' nationalism? I mention the index again, because Zimbabwe is near the bottom and the history of that country is there for all to read about. Men like Mugabe took advantage and filled that roll of the people's leader, but because his leadership/governance/and vision for his country sucked, the whole thing tanked. Is this what the people want? I hope not, and this is certainly what they are getting. Here is a quote that sums up the performance of Mugabe:

Robert Guest, the Africa editor for The Economist for seven years, argues that Mugabe is to blame for Zimbabwe's economic freefall. "In 1980, the average annual income in Zimbabwe was US$950, and a Zimbabwean dollar was worth more than an American one. By 2003, the average income was less than US$400, and the Zimbabwean economy was in freefall."Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for nearly three decades and has led it, in that time, from impressive success to the most dramatic peacetime collapse of any country since Weimar Germany".

So I will tie this back into who gets to decide who gets what in the terms of military assistance? I think the country who has an elected leader who is genuinely interested in being a good leader, creating industry within his country, and pays attention to such indexes like the Mo Ibrahim one or world opinion is the guy that should have the right to use whatever means available.

I should also note that in the young history of the US, we highly depended on privateers to help fight the sea war in the Revolutionary War. No one ever talks about that part of my country's history, but if it wasn't for these privateers, then I think that war would have turned out a lot different. Private industry answered the call, and it was very effective in not only contributing to the sea war, but influencing the concepts of company organization and collaboration in the US. But I guess my point is, is that we used privateers or private pirate hunters as an instrument of war. African nations have that same right, and who are we(east and west) to stop them?

Africans should be helping themselves, and if they have the goods to be a stellar country, then they should have the right to seek out the help of a PMC. If I am a leader, who is doing all the right things in my country to take us forward and join the rest of the industrialized free world, then I should have the right to defend that process with any means necessary.

I also believe that the West needs to take a hard look at the logic and reasoning behind PMC's and their value to this process. Imagine if we all collectively said, hey, that new guy in Zimbabwe who just got elected will totally turn around that country--let's send the most ineffectual fighting force in the world to that country to back him up. Let's send the UN.....in two years, and when we can assemble enough forces. Pee shaw I say.

So what is the arguments against PMC's? They are blood thirsty mercenaries, only interested in diamonds or gold. Pffft. Or they cannot be controlled. Or they can destabilize countries more than help. I am sure I am missing a few arguments against. But the time is now, for the arguments for such use. Africans should be able to choose whatever tool they want to strengthen their country. And if the UN sucks at delivering on promises, or bringing security, then the time is now, for evaluating the use of of other means to accomplish the task.

Also, if the UN deems the African government as a good thing to support, and the Mo Ibrahim Index indicates that they are a good leader, but lack security, then hell, open up the gates for PMC's to step in and help. Executive Outcomes is a prime example of a company that could deliver on a contract, yet we cannot use them because of why?

Eeben also posted a great example of how the UN has done a terrible job, and has made things worse with their inefficiencies and poor leadership. It's time for the UN to recognize that they are wrong about their assessments of the PMC industry, and that they are denying a tool for the African nation to use in the defense of itself and of it's people.

I say give that new leader the option to do what he or she has to do, in order to achieve stability within their country. If they do not have a standing army, or they do not trust their army because it is filled with bad seeds, then why not outsource security. Just as long as this leader is recognized by the international community, and by the people of that nation as someone with the best interest of that nation in mind, why not? I mention world opinion and indexes, because how else are we to truly recognize who is getting it right, and who is the next Hitler or Mugabe?

But then we go back to the meddling of other countries in Africa. The oil, the gold, the slaves--everyone has come to Africa to take these things, and divide that continent just long enough to take it all. And then they all left when it ran out, or when their colonialism became unpopular. Don't forget about the Cold War, and it's impact on who gets to decide what's what. Now all of that is gone for the most part, and if Africa can grab hold of this momentary pause and get up to speed, perhaps they can defend against the next wave of greed.

I say greed, because oil is the new gold for Africa, and China and others are all playing the same familiar game that Africa is so used to seeing. And as oil becomes more scarce, Africa will become more of a player in the great energy game. Perhaps if we were able to recognize that at this time, with post-colonialism drawing down, that we could be identifying and supporting those leaders that deserve support, give them the breathing room needed, and allow them the tools necessary to succeed. Security is a big factor in that endeavor, and to not give these leaders all the tools available for success, is despicable. It also shows that the great energy game in Africa, certainly requires poor leaders who are easily bought and manipulated, all with the expressed interest in securing those energy resources. Gold, eat your heart out.

Robby Noel said...

Are “true” rebellions against established governments justified? I would rather leave that for the more politically adept to answer.

Allow me Eeben.....Although I am aware of the spin Hollywood usually puts on historic events the movie "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson is a perfect example of rebellion against a established government.

The ironic part it is not dissimilar to the struggle between the Boers and British....

It was this experience that Americans wrote this into it's constitution

"When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce [a people] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government,"

In a nut shell if your government becomes tyrannical, you must overthrow it.......I hope I have planted a mustard seed :-)

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Wow, Matt, that was a pretty good summation of things out here – thank you for your efforts.
There are many reasons why a not-so-good leader could become the president of a country. You mention Zimbabwe as an example…during the war in what was then Rhodesia, Mugabe was endorsed by then-Pres Carter/Andrew Young, despite the fact that he did not win the elections which took place. I shan’t go into the history of the war and its subsequent political fall-out. Needless to say, here was a man installed by the West. The result is there for all to see.

Whereas military leadership is a critical issue, we see a trend developing where many military men are emulating the politicians and visa versa. This blurring of functions permeates down into the lower ranks of the military and ultimately leads to a deterioration in the security situation. It is the poor security situation that is then exploited and impacts very negatively on the political direction of a country. This situation then snowballs. Of course, it is not as simplistic as I write it but the end result is the same.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for your comment, Robby.

E Richard said...

Hey Eeben,
Trying to figure out who the real freedom fighters are can be elusive. In what is a true democracy, all are represented, with the majority opinion prevailing, all the while coexisting peacefully until the next election cycle. Percentage wise, what would be the tipping point of freedom fighter to rebel in relation to population?
In a repressive regime, dissent is not allowed. So a difference of philosophy can not be forwarded to the level of national policy. If you can't obtain representation by peaceful means, and your aims are within the framework of the normal operations of a nation, can armed struggle become acceptable?
I guess in real time, the UN would be the first body beyond the borders of the conflict to weigh in on this, attaching the good guy, bad guy labels to the appropriate parties. After labels are sewn on, the east / west affiliation becomes evident.
Can there be a solution that can remove the warring outcomes to these differences? This is the 21st century you know.

matt said...

Thanks for the platform Eeben. I know I am a lightweight when it comes to Africa, but getting your perspective on things, and reviewing the history of the continent with all it's pain and suffering, just makes me shake my head. It is the birthplace of the human race, and yet we treat it like it is the sewage plant of the human race.

I agree with you about Carter, and luckily he was voted out of office after his term was up. And for a Naval Academy graduate and former governor, I was pretty disappointed with his performance in office. The fiasco with Iran comes to mind, as does your point about his administration supporting Mugabe.

Awesome topic by the way, and I hope it jars something loose in the minds of the readership. It is a rational discussion about a subject that deserves further review. Cheers.

Greenbar said...

This is an interesting article. This is because a PMC is profit oriented and so are governments (in the end.) Some governments I know of would not hesitate sacrificing their soldiers for the benefit of outside interest, be it another government or corporation etc. Especially people in leadership position (generals etc) have been known to deliberately lead their armies into disastrous situations in war while all along taking money from other parties/from their own fund for personal gains. This is weakness that plagued Ethio Army for instance during the 70s/early 80s. What is the use of a PMC in this case? In other words how common is it to find a government whose members are more so than not inclined to "win" against a rebel movement?
Taking Ethio/Eri again as example (by the way what do you think about their armies?) members of the government from highest to lowest position are infiltrated by people with strings...which kinda suggests the mostly militaristic approach of PMCs may not work. You've given me things to think about though, thanks. I'll keep reading since you been there.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

The situation in Africa is far more complex than my simple writings, Matt. But, we (Africa) are much as you describe – a sewage plant of the human race. Of course, one can argue “why?” but we will never truly be able to answer the question until such time as there has been deep introspection.

But, I hope sense will prevail and that as a continent, we will one day (soon) be able to play a more constructive role on the world stage. My belief is that it will start with well-trained, disciplined armies that stay beyond the realm of politics.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Yes, a PMC is profit-orientated, Greenbar, but so is any business – and that is what a PMC is. However, the UN relies on funding – and some of their members make their profits on the side, illegally - the same applies to some governments and multi-nationals. Whereas I am for making a profit, I do however have a problem when the pot calls the kettle black. But, profit is after all what we all aspire to in terms of business. My problem is with the PMCs that are unable, inefficient and incompetent. They need to be exposed and shut-down.

Poor generalship stems from poor training, political favouritism and a lack of pride in the profession of arms. My experience in EO and after led me to believe that those armies I was/am exposed to are keen to stop the rebels/terrorists/insurgents or whatever name we want to give them. Their inability to do so is due to a lack of strategy, poor doctrine and so forth. I am sure that there are others who simply are there to make money regardless of who wins but I have been fortunate that I haven’t yet met them.

As for the armies of Ethiopia and Eritrea – I cannot comment as I have not been exposed to them.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

ER, I think the term “freedom fighter” is often abused to suit the aims of opposing sides. In certain conflicts, terrorists consider themselves to be “freedom fighters”. I know that during South Africa’s wars, the West called anyone intent on overthrowing the SA government was referred to as a “freedom fighter”, regardless of what they did. In Iraq and Afghanistan, some argue that the forces opposing the coalition forces are “freedom fighters”. Are they? So, it is a problematic call to make.

That said, if a legitimate government is under siege and call for help, I see no problem in going to assist them. Additionally, a PMC needs to operate along strict lines as to which clients they will work for and which they won’t work for. In EO we formulated those guidelines for ourselves and operated according to them.

Is armed struggle acceptable? See Robby’s comment on that issue. But the tipping point is a highly debateable issue. Of course, the UN – had they been an effective organisation – may be able to achieve something but that is not the case. Take a close look at the UN’s statements regarding conflicts and you will see that they praise and condemn both sides in a conflict and extend “help” to both sides as well. But, the UN needs the conflicts to continue as that is where they get funding to employ a bloated, inefficient staff.

The adage that war is politics gone wrong remains, in my mind, a valid concept, despite us living in the 21st century. But, wars are also a result of National Strategies, regardless of their validity.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby Noel said...

E Richard said...
Hey Eeben,
Trying to figure out who the real freedom fighters are can be elusive. In what is a true democracy, all are represented, with the majority opinion prevailing, all the while coexisting peacefully until the next election cycle.

E Richard..If one has not been consumed by political correctness it is pretty easy to figure out who the "real freedom fighters are"....you use the term " true democracy"and "with the majority opinion prevailing" this view is held by many however it is the sole cause for much of the worlds misery.

As Thomas Jefferson said

"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine"

The use of the term democracy or true democracy was given value when a misguided U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren (a Republican gave his blessing to the concept of "one man one vote" in the 60's ...easy to do in America when the majority was white yet this U.S. Supreme Court ruling cause untold violence world wide.

The facts are "all men are not created equal" giving someone the right to vote just because they can fog a mirror is the soul cause of all the worlds ills and it's the ones who oppose the concept of "democracy" that are the true freedom fighters

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks, Robby. I am sure ER will respond shortly.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby Noel said...

Crickets!

Kim said...

Eeben,

Well said.
Thanks for writing this. I had no idea EO received such a precious award.

Regards,
Kim

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

We were very proud of that award, Kim. We were also given the Business of the Year (1994) award by Old Mutual. But, we were the only ones who celebrated it as no-one was too keen to know about it.

Having said that, I see the awards every day in my office and always think of the men who actually were responsible for us winning awards. And I am still very proud of what they achieved, because without them, EO would have been a very small player.

Rgds,

Eeben

MET said...

What about combining to of those options--the UN hiring a PMC?

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I suggested this to the UN several years ago, Met, but their Special Envoy rejected it out of hand. However, the UN does not want to be seen to hiring any PMC as it will simply show that they have finally admitted their ineptitude. Additionally, I do foresee problems as the PMC will want to go in, accomplish the task at hand and leave. This is contrary to UN strategy – they want to stay as long as possible. Finally, I am not sure too many PMCs will want to be tainted with the UN Blue Helmet types. Their reputation is in tatters and they are despised by many locals in the areas they “work” in. A professional PMC will want to work with the locals – again, the UN chooses sides and then switches them – something that will cause problems.

Of course, then there will be the inevitable question: How will the C3I be structured…this is where I foresee major disagreements. But all of this is simply my take on the matter…

Rgds,

Eeben

MET said...

I actually am writing a thesis about this subject, and I would be very interested to talk to you about this more. Could we perhaps continue this conversation over email? My address is mtiernan@wellesley.edu.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I believe my thoughts on the UN using PMCs might be too subjective to add value to your thesis, Met.

Some years ago, I was approached by a very senior officer serving with MONUC in the DRC. He asked if I would be prepared to write a new strategy for them. I did so. The plan, according to him, was approved at the highest level within MONUC. It was, however, turned down by the UN headquarters as it:

1. Was too cheap.
2. Made use of too few UN troops – the strategy called for a reduction of then 15 000 men to less than 1500.

With that “approach”, I believe that it is highly unlikely that the UN want to achieve anything apart from prolonging their presence in any country.

Rgds,

Eeben

MET said...

Interesting. I had read in several articles that EO had been approached by people at the UN about Rwanda. Did EO get approached about both operations?

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Yes, the UN did approach us and we produced a complete operational plan, Met. The plan was however turned down as the UN apparently thought we were too expensive.

They also turned down a strategic plan I was asked to write for the DRC a few years ago as it was too cheap – but this was long after EO closed its doors.

Rgds,

Eeben

MET said...

Was there any public acknowledgment of turning down private security in Rwanda (or DRC, for that matter)?

Which firm were they thinking of using for DRC?

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I am unaware of any public acknowledgement, Met. Also, I am not sure who they were planning to use in DRC or if they were simply looking at trying to do it themselves. Obviously, their current behaviour and actions show that they aren’t.

Rgds,

Eeben

MET said...

Where were EO employees living during Sierra Leone and Angola when they were engaged in operations?

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

During operations, they lived either beside their IFVs if they were part of the mechanised forces and if small teams, under the closest bush, Met.

Rgds,

Eeben

piperaragon said...

i was waiting for this type of article both informative and entertaining. keep on blogging. great job!

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