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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.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON COUNTERING AN INSURGENCY (Part 3)

Developing the strategy to fight an insurgency in a third country should be based primarily on the assessment whether that conflict is in the national interests of the state considering such an action. However, if the State itself is engaged in such a conflict within its borders, it would naturally be in its interests to end the conflict as soon as possible. In both instances, this will require a significant shift in terms of strategy, doctrine and tactics.

Whereas COIN operations can buy time, prevent the whole-sale slaughter of civilians, allow the insurgents to be hunted down and destroyed, success is ultimately dependent on political reform and the establishment of a system of effective service delivery. If the government attempting these reforms is deemed incompetent or corrupt, the locals will be lost to the insurgents.

COIN campaigns tend to be protracted campaigns with the local population as the main target for insurgent propaganda and recruitment. Whereas the COIN forces should focus on clearing, securing, influencing and retaining/holding areas under the influence of the insurgents, the insurgents will attempt to reduce the operational footprint of the security forces whilst creating the perception that they have the larger operational footprint. In turn, the insurgents and their supporters will attempt to use the media to create the perception that the insurgents are “everywhere”. To build on this perceived footprint, insurgents will conduct bold raids/strikes into so-called safe areas such as bases, convoys and so forth.

By creating a safe area in which civil-military actions can successfully take place will provide a firm base for security forces to operate from into the adjacent area. This will, furthermore, allow the security forces to keep “one foot on the ground”, maintain initiative and momentum and not be caught off balance. If the traditional ink-spot strategy is followed, similar actions ought to take place before moving on the next area or “spot”. But, civil-military actions are doomed to failure if the local population does not accept and “buy-in” to the concept. Getting locals to buy-in to any concept is problematic if they are not homogenous in terms of ethnic and racial make-up.

It is vitally important that the local population feel that they are secure, not “the enemy” and not “conquered” by the security forces. This requires that security forces are well-versed in the customs and traditions of the locals in the area they are operating in in order not to offend or alienate the locals. Failure to abide by this very basic requirement will result in resentment from the locals and a desire to see the security forces leave their area. In turn, this may result in the locals siding with the insurgents. The insurgency may then become an insurrection.

Actions against the insurgents must be decisive, swift and ruthless. This requires both good intelligence and the deployment of small reconnaissance teams that are able to locate and call air support or fire force-type units to swiftly engage the insurgents. This will provide the security forces with the basic principles of flexibility, mobility, momentum, initiative and decisive actions. But, force levels need to remain high in secure areas to prevent the insurgents from enlarging their footprint into safe areas. To achieve this, security forces require the correct training, discipline and leadership.

Strategic communication lies at the core of successful command. Commanders ought to recognise the fact that every action, however small, will generate an effect on the operation and this effect will impact on the local population. This effect will alter perceptions and to many locals, perception equals the reality of the world they live in. When the locals realise that there is a desire to improve their lot, they will often start providing the security forces with intelligence on the insurgents. Others, who may have actively supported the insurgents, may also change their perception of the government and the security forces.

Counter insurgency campaigns are primarily foot-soldier campaigns. Whereas vehicles play a major role in the campaign, they should never be used as “mechanised forces” unless absolutely necessary. Vehicles create targets for IEDs and landmines and where possible, trooping and deployments should be achieved by the use of helicopters. The tendency of the modern soldier to want to remain on or close to a vehicle also reduces the footprint of the security forces in terms of area domination and restricts them to certain areas or channels. But there is a danger that this tendency or laziness may permeate through to base protection, guard duties and other essential protection services. In turn, this will embolden the insurgent to conduct strikes at security force bases and outposts.

Night operations are equally important in COIN ops. Again, these operations should not be conducted by vehicle-borne troops as vehicle noise and lights can be seen over great distances and alert the insurgents who can either prepare ambushes, lay IEDs/landmines or simply exfiltrate out of the area. Security forces need to remember that the night is neutral and can be exploited by either party.

The importance of the elders/chieftains who exercise control over the local population should never be negated or ignored. If these traditional leaders are not integrated into the civil-military plans, these programmes will fail and give initiative to the insurgents. When these programmes are underfunded, undermanned, lack control and focus, they are doomed to failure. Penny-pinching does not win a COIN conflict.

Incentive programmes towards the local population such as rewards for actionable intelligence as well as protection and support for insurgents who lay down their arms need to be considered.

Poor strategies, a lack of leadership and focus as well as the incorrect deployment of security forces will fail to isolate the insurgents from the local population. This is due to the fact that insurgents remain unidentifiable until the population turns against them. This is the crux of any successful COIN campaign.

Without a definite national interest, a coherent strategy and poorly led, trained and equipped troops, the COIN conflict will become a graveyard for those engaging in it.

46 comments:

Robby said...

You just outlined why America like many other empires before it will fail in Afghanistan and Iraq....sad!

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

That wasn’t my intention, Robby. As the title of the post is “Random thoughts...” these are simply my ramblings about COIN. I somehow suspect that in a COIN conflict, strategic drift can lead to a lack of clear defined operational goals and that operational tactics become confused with strategy. In turn, the costs of lives becomes heavy.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby said...

Yeah I know just hope someone from West Point reads this today rather than after another black wall memorial is erected in DC

John said...

I know this posting has nothing to do with the war in Afghanistan, but I read an interesting article a few days ago on comparisons between what the US government is currently doing/thinking of doing in Afghanistan and the exit strategy the Russians used when leaving Afghanistan. This included closing of remote bases/outposts, moving into bigger bases and rather focusing on training and supplying equipment.
I agree that you need the support of the population in winning COIN, but look at what just happened with the passed election in Afghanistan. The corruption and fraud that took place.
Its very clear that the bigger part of the afghan population does not support the Karzai government, yet the UN supported election took place and when their top man spoke out against the corruption and fraud that took place, the UN sacked him!!
I wonder now what the Afghan population must be thinking of the UN, and how on earth the US wants to win a war in Afghanistan when the government they put in power there, is nothing more than a bunch of criminals.
I think that a stable and popular government is another key to success, if that isn’t so, I don’t think the war can be won there, and it is a wasted effort, costly in lives and money.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

If the locals don’t buy in to the concept being applied it is doomed to failure, John. As I wrote “If the government attempting these reforms is deemed incompetent or corrupt, the locals will be lost to the insurgents”. It is at times like these that the “insurgency” becomes an “insurrection”. When that happens, the war will be lost.

Whereas training is vitally important, if local forces are not adequately trained and supported by the outside forces, they will not be seen as legitimate by the locals. After all, in COIN ops, the focus is the locals who both sides attempt to win over to their line of thinking and policies. Local forces should be given the opportunity to do their job and should be integrated into the other forces as well.

As for the UN sacking one of their own who voiced criticism – what else can one expect from them? I still find it strange that the UN hasn’t sent in its peacekeepers to restore peace in those conflicts. I wonder why not?

Rgds,

Eeben

UNRR said...

This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 10/11/2009, at The Unreligious Right

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks, UNRR. Quite a blog you have going – very enlightening. I urge all of my friends to visit it.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby said...

Stories like this just make shake my head....grunts in US Military are nothing more than canon fodder

Did Weapons Fail U.S. Troops During Afghanistan Assault?

WASHINGTON — In the chaos of an early morning assault on a remote U.S. outpost in eastern Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Erich Phillips' M4 carbine quit firing as militant forces surrounded the base. The machine gun he grabbed after tossing the rifle aside didn't work either.

When the battle in the small village of Wanat ended, nine U.S. soldiers lay dead and 27 more were wounded. A detailed study of the attack by a military historian found that weapons failed repeatedly at a "critical moment" during the firefight on July 13, 2008, putting the outnumbered American troops at risk of being overrun by nearly 200 insurgents.

Which raises the question: Eight years into the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, do U.S. armed forces have the best guns money can buy?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,563883,00.html

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

If the Fox News report is correct, I confess to being shocked and bitterly disappointed that soldiers are sent to battle with sub-standard equipment, Robby. A soldier is only as good as his commander allows him to be, if he is correctly equipped and trained.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby said...

Should not shock you these are the same folks who thought Humvee's would be a great idea

tyhz1995 said...

The thing that I heard with the m4 is w/the short barrel it needs very fast burning powder to achieve killing velocity with the short barrel.Troops were issued ammunition with an incorrect powder which causes duds and and misfires though in truth I have not fired an M4 in the field.It's inexplicable and inexcusable.The cynic in me wonders why it continues happening.-Tyler

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I remember thinking when I saw Humvee’s being used in Africa prior to Iraq/Afghanistan that someone, somewhere had not done their homework, Robby. Sad that men are committed to battle and then not given the correct equipment. But, it all goes back to those who planned these missions. A lack of knowledge of the terrain, the enemy and his weapons can result in many unwanted casualties.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Following your request, your first comment was deleted, Tyler. But, if and when, I will let you know. By the way, you are not plaguing me.

Barrel length is a critical issue, especially with high velocity ammunition as it ensures the correct energy is built up during its flight to the target. Given that the 5,56mm was designed to be a boat-tailed bullet, tampering with barrel length will decrease its optimum effectiveness.

Whereas the M4 may look sexy, I would opt for an AK-47 any day. But I find it incomprehensible that soldiers are issued with weapons that are not achieving their design parameters.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby said...

Speaking of weapons I wonder why no one in the US military industrial complex has not come up with something of a AR15/AK47 mix the AR has power, long range, and is accurate. However, the AK-47 is much more durable ....which when the chips are down durable beats power range and accuracy

Alex said...

Since we're on the topic of small arms I wonder if I could raise a point I've read elsewhere. Although I have no hands on experience with weapons (especially not military rifles), the issue I'm thinking of is that, weight for weight, (so I've heard) a soldier can carry about twice as much 5.56 ammunition as 7.62. While I'm aware that 7.62 offers certain advantages in terms of penetration, lethality etc., do you Eeben, or anyone else with actual experience of these issues, have feelings regarding this point? Of course the relative effectiveness/reliability of the weapons in question also needs to be taken into account, and the AK-47 has clearly rather come out on top with many people over the years, but I thought I'd throw this point into the mix.

Regards

Alex

matt said...

Eeben,

Excellent stuff. I have a question. What are your thoughts on the Selous Scouts or the RLI and their counter-insurgency methods? Or a better question is what are examples of Countries and armies that you feel got COIN right? Was South Africa better at it in their conflicts, or who?
Another thing that has been nagging me for awhile is what would a COIN-centric PMC look like, and what would be the model for such a thing. I say this, because I am interested in the idea of applying such a thing to Afghanistan. Of course it is just a 'what if' and I doubt anyone would ever contract a company to do that exclusively in Afghanistan, but it is interesting to play with the idea. What do you think would be an effective use of the PMC in the mountains of Afghanistan. Could it be used in the hold operations? Or maybe it could be used as a complete package of clear, hold, and build? How about a PMC scout unit, contracted to hunt the Taliban.
Finally, I was wondering if you knew Ron Reid-Daly and his company (Security Services Transkei Pty Ltd.)? Does he have a blog or hang out anywhere online? I imagine he would already be showing his face online if he did, and I was just curious if you correspond with him? His thoughts on Afghanistan and COIN would be fascinating.
Thanks again for taking the time to write such a well thought out post(s) about COIN. I appreciate the knowledge and wisdom that has been shared here! Cheers. -Matt

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

True, Alex, one can carry more 5,56 ammunition than 7,62 but the weight ratio is certainly not 2:1. The weight issue does not hold water with me.

I am a great believer in having the correct weapon for the mission and whereas I accept the need to standardise ammunition as far as possible (for resup purposes) I also believe that we should be armed with a weapon that, at the very least, matches or exceeds the enemy’s weapons – and that is reliable. There is no sense in having a great weapon that is prone to failure or stoppages.

The environment myself and colleagues operated in during our time in 32Bn was such that we could not rely on regular ammunition resups. The result was that we would forage ammunition off the enemy. That made sense for us to carry AKs. Additionally, the report of the two rifles is very different and a 5,56 being used in enemy territory will betray your position whereas the AKs report will be viewed as “normal”.

Again, insofar as reliability is concerned as well as killing power, the AK gets my vote.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby said...

Matt ,Eeben may disagree with me but I don't think one can use the Rhodesian/South African model to solve the problem in Afghanistan.

We were not the occupiers (Mugabe,Mandela rants aside) both SA and Rhodesian units were very successful we did not lose on the battlefield rather we lost in the boardrooms of politicians who choose political correctness over logic.

The solution to Afghanistan is for US troops to leave unless Americans are prepared to stay there for the next 100 years.

Almost missed in the debate over Afghanistan is the reality of the situation in Northern Ireland that uprising started in 1913 and is far from being resolved 96 years later.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Although I never knew Reid-Daly and never worked with his Selous Scouts, there is no doubt that they did very well, Matt. So too the RLI and the Rhodesian SAS. But I believe one needs to consider that the conflict the Rhodesians fought was vastly different from the one the South Africans fought. Likewise the enemy was different and used different weapons systems. Whereas the Rhodesian campaign was fought – from a military point-of-view - within Rhodesia but with numerous external raids taking place, the mindset that develops when you are fighting within the borders of your own country is different than when fighting beyond it – as the SADF primarily was. The Rhodesian war was very much in the ambit of counter-guerrilla warfare.

In turn, the SADF fought primarily in Angola, although there were numerous covert operations taking place within Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe (after Ian Smith’s government), Zambia, Kenya, England, Portugal, France and so on. These covert ops were obviously much smaller in scope than the war in Angola which was primarily classical COIN ops and at times, semi-conventional and even conventional warfare. In Angola, we fought the Angolan army, and elements from Cuba, Russia and East Germany.

I think a major difference was that the SADF was exposed to many more different types of warfare than the Rhodesians were and therefore I don’t think one can classify one as “better” than the other. Whereas Rhodesia still had a friend in the South (South Africa), politics finally dictated that SA withdraw its support from Rhodesia. South Africa in turn had no friends and had to make its stand on its own.

From an international political point-of-view, both countries were isolated and sanctioned by the West and attacked by the East – a difficult position to be in and one where success against such odds is virtually doomed to fail. On the battlefield, both forces did brilliantly but lost in the political (national and international) arenas.

Whereas I believe that a COIN-centric PMC may be a novel idea, I think one would need to ensure a balance between fighting and hearts-and-minds. Given the numerous tribes and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, each area/region’s team would look differently and with different specialities. I don’t think a “one-size-fits-all”- type of approach will work so your plan, while feasible, will require a lot of study/research. I think your idea of a scout-type unit (we would refer to it as a “reconnaissance unit”) would be a great option to follow. But are you looking at a “bounty hunter” type unit?

I have had a check and it doesn’t seem as if Reid-Daly has a blog or website. If I pick up anything, I shall be sure to let you know.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I agree with you on the question as to who was the best, Robby, as you may have seen in my response to Matt’s question.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Sorry, Matt – I missed your other question. But as to which country’s forces are/were the best in COIN, that is difficult to answer as it borders on the subjective. But, the Brits did very well in Malaya. Being very subjective, EO wasn’t bad either as the company ended two wars (Angola and Sierra Leone) Angola being a combination of COIN/mobile warfare and Sierra Leone being jungle warfare. The hostage-release operation in Irian Jaya by a joint EO Kopassos team wasn’t too bad either.

In the old SADF the belief was that to be a good COIN soldier, one needs to be a good conventional soldier. Initially, I disagreed with that but later came to realise the value of conventional training in terms of discipline and command and control.

Rgds,

Eeben

hardnose said...

Eeben,

Since this is part 3 I’ve obviously missed parts 1 and 2, so forgive me if I’m covering earlier territory. You’re thesis as it's presented here requires a definitive pre-deployment work up on the part of the COIN forces, whether a PMC or sovereign national army. Except for the actions of EO during the nineties and perhaps some humanitarian deployments by various Special Operational Forces (either pre or post COIN), this huge effort is rarely seen.
Hardnose

matt said...

Robby and Eeben,

Thank you for your replies and the answers. I guess my reasoning for studying all of these types of conflicts and asking the experts (you guys), is that no one else is doing it. Which really perplexes me. Any student of warfare should be willing to look at all and any models of warfare, despite where it comes from.
I agree with many of the points of views here about weapons in this conflict. Afghanistan is a war in the mountains and villages, and 7.62 is the caliber we should be using in this conflict. I think if we were to ask most soldiers fighting up there, they would say the same thing. Like Eeben said, you want a weapon system that will 'match or exceed' the weapon system of the enemy. I do not think the 5.56 is the optimum caliber for this kind of war.
Eeben, you brought up EO and it's operation in Sierra Leone and Angola, with Angola being a 'mobile/COIN' war? This is a fascinating viewpoint on what EO did in those wars. And seeing how you already had experience fighting in Angola during your country's war there, it makes sense that you would have the correct strategy in mind on how to conduct your own operations with EO. Why more folks in the military sciences realm are not studying what EO was able to accomplish, I do not know. Private industry could definitely be applied to COIN operations, and EO is proof of that. Thanks again guys.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Good to see you back, Hardnose.

I agree that a lot of pre-deployment work is called for when considering any such involvement. To send men off to war that they are ill-prepared for is not on.

By the way, parts 1 and 2 are down on the blog page.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Studying past conflicts to determine what worked and what didn’t is something all professional soldiers should be doing, Matt.

I am surprised (though not too much I confess) that no one has asked for the 20mm PAW. I think it would be an ideal section/squad weapon in these conflicts. It would bring a LOT of devastating firepower to bear on the front and I believe save many lives – and take many in the process. Not to even speak of its psychological effect on an enemy.

EO’s re-entry back into Angola required a strategic shift in terms of thinking as we had previously fought against the Angolan army and were now there to help them win the war. Due to the contract, we could not allow mission-creep so we had to make sure that what we did, we did as well as possible first time round as there would be no second chance. Sierra Leone was entirely different in terms of enemy, terrain, available equipment and so forth and again, adjustments had to be made on the tactical level as fast as possible in order to ensure minimum casualties on our side.

In terms of overall strategy and tactics, we leant a lot and I believe the commanders we had on the ground displayed enormous flexibility in terms of operations. Also, we had a policy that commanders could think and execute operations without interference but within a defined operational framework. It certainly worked at that time.

Your comment that private industry could definitely be applied to COIN ops is something I agree with entirely. Maybe someone out there will listen and ask you to put something together.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby said...

You will get a kick out of this news report

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_KrEUxHgE8

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Having had a look at that I rest my case re M-16 vs AK, Robby. But to state that a weapon is fired out of the hip on full automatic is somewhat erroneous.

Rgds,

Eeben

Robby said...

I think his point was more to do with all the useless gadgets being 70 plus I give him a pass on that one I may have a bias here but if I had a choice between a M16 and FN I would go for a FN if memory serves had little or no major malfunctions so long as full auto was never used.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

True, Robby. He is a very clever old chap who obviously put a lot of thought into the system. However, he made a statement which I believe to be wrong.

Of course, the old FN (7,62mm SLR) had a massive punch but it too was prone to stoppages. But, I loved the hitting power.
Rgds,

Eeben

Robby said...

Just got a flashback...took me a while to catch onto the rifle gun thing in bootcamp push-ups cured that habit real fast ...toooo funny

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I believe that many found themselves in that same boat, Robby. Took us all a while...

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I deleted your comment, curious, but instead sent you a mail.

Rgds,

Eeben

matt said...

Hey guys, you should check out the latest post over at Small Wars Journal. Awesome interview about the stuff you were talking about Eeben. Who knows, you might even know Peter Godwin? Really interesting COIN stuff to say the least, and it is inspiring some guys out in the field.
----------------


An Interview with Peter Godwin
by John Noonan

Full article: An Interview with Peter Godwin

Sometimes the most effective COIN lessons are found in the strangest of places. Some time ago, while researching Zimbabwe’s staggering collapse under the Robert Mugabe regime, I stumbled upon When a Crocodile Eats the Sun – a deeply moving memoir of Zimbabwe’s corrosive rot, told by native Zimbabwean reporter, Mr. Peter Godwin. Godwin spun his tale with an enviably smooth narration, blending microcosmic personal tragedies with macrocosmic political and economic failures into a sad, powerful account of a functional nation-state’s collapse. When I finished reading, I wanted more. Digging into Godwin’s Amazon.com author history, I came across Mukiwa, the fascinating autobiography of a white boy growing up in colonial Africa (and winner of the Orwell Prize for political writing).

Mukiwa spans multiple governments in a single country, as Godwin’s wonderfully interesting experiences stretch from Rhodesia as a British Crown Colony, to an international pariah, to an undeclared Republic, an unrecognized hybrid state in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, and finally to Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. While Mukiwa isn’t necessarily a war memoir (though Godwin did spend much of his career as a war correspondent), several chapters are dedicated to his time serving with the British South Africa Police during the Rhodesian Bush War. So poignant were the stories from Godwin’s tour, I sent a copy to a close friend serving in Afghanistan. He too was taken with how simply and effectively Godwin laid out basic COIN principles, so much so that he had his NCOs read the chapters that I had bookmarked.

I reached out to Mr. Godwin, now a professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, who generously agreed to sit down for an interview.

Full article: An Interview with Peter Godwin

John Noonan is a national security and defense writer with The Weekly Standard and Military.com. Both Mukiwa and When a Crocodile Eats the Sun are available for purchase at Amazon.com.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2009/10/an-interview-with-peter-godwin/

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for alerting us to that interview, Matt. It is certainly interesting and in line with my thoughts – but Peter Godwin says it much more eloquently than I can or do. And no, I have never met him.

I am working on my final “Random thoughts” and hope to post it before I fly off again for a few days.

Rgds,

Eeben

Tango said...

Hi Eeben ,
A true story of how things were done in Rhodesia in 1968.
On Tuesday 16 July 1968,police received information to the efffect that,on July 13, a group of about thirty terrorists had crossed the Zambezi River into rhodesia.This crossing had occurred in the sector patrolled by No 2 Platoon of B Company of the South African Police.
Capt Henning ,the Platoon Commander,together with Lt Vorster and 30 other police officers proceeded to the reported crossing point and found tracks made up by 30 people.
Early the following morning the platoon,under the command of Capt Henning ,and assisted by two trackers ,began to follow the tracks.By 4 o'clock that afternoon they had covered about 30 miles, but due to heat exhaustion and sore feet ,seven members had to abandon the pursuit.
The next morning ,18 July ,Major M Van Eyk,the Company Commander of B Company ,South African Police,with inspector E Saulof the British South african Police , five additional members of b Company and a Platoon of the Rhodesian African Rifles joined in the operation.
At about noon the same day,they made contact with a patrol of the Rhodesian army which was pinned down by heavy terrorist small arms fire.
..........and the story continues.

The end result:

On 19 July , the Rhodesian Light Infantry carried out a sweep operation of the area,finding ten enemy bodies.
Those terrorists who had survived the attack of the previous day had fled during the night.
It was later established that 28 terrorists had crossed the Zambesi River on 13 July 1968.
In the mopping- up operation carried out by the Rhodesian Light Infantry,they killed another fourteen and took some prisoners.

Source:
An extract out of the book"Gallantry awards of the South African Police 1913-1994 including a complete roll of honour.
I Salute these brave men...of Rhodesia and the South African Police !!
They were great bush Fighters !( Counter Insurgency)with basic resources .

Alan said...

Matt:

Thanks for the reference from SWJ. In light of political developments over the past 9 months in the States, I'm afraid Godwin's writings about Zim find parallels in far more than just COIN.

From my window at the KMC Hotel terminal in Ramstein, I'm watching two MI-17's being loading onto an AN-124. Strange how things have changed.

Cheers, Alan

Robby said...

FYI...Did a show tonite Friday 16th and you were mentioned :-)...gave your blog and book a big plug...if I screwed anything up let me know....one of our bigger stations sits right next to a huge US Army base in Ft Hood Texas the show was dedicated to the grunts there

http://robbynoel.com/

Alan said...

Eeben:

Under what should be entitled "some things never change", the following is submitted regarding UN involvement in the Congo.

Regards, Alan

"Congo ops should continue despite criticism"

The United Nations should continue its support for the Congolese government despite reports of killings and rapes by government troops, UN special envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo says.

Rejecting suggestions that the world body should withdraw its support, Alan Doss told a UN Security Council meeting on Congo on Friday that pressure on FDLR anti-government rebels (Hutu rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) should not stop under any condition as they (rebels) will gain time to "regroup and rearm".

A UN-backed Congolese army operation, launched in January, dubbed Kimia 2 was severely criticized by the UN rapporteur, Philip Alston, who labeled it "catastrophic" in terms of human rights and said that it had been hampered "by a lack of planning, coordination and cooperation".

The disarmament of some 1,000 of an estimated 6,000 rebels in eastern Congo has come at a cost of nearly 900,000 people displaced, 1,000 dead civilians and 7,000 rapes of women and girls, humanitarian and rights groups say.

Government forces are fighting Rwandan Hutu rebels, who are said to be responsible for the last 15 years of violence in Central Africa.

Doss said suspending the ongoing offensive "would be celebrated as a victory by the FDLR" and would undermine the Congolese army and "paradoxically further weaken discipline."

Again, he said, reducing the pressure would also make it more difficult for Kinshasa "to impose state authority and prevent the re-emergence of other armed groups who might well draw the conclusion that attacks against civilians will force the government to give in to their demands".

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=108855&sectionid=351020506

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for that, Tango. Yes, the men did themselves proud – often with little to no equipment, apart from what they improvised and took from the enemy. I too salute them all.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

It has really changed, hasn’t it, Alan? Today, the old Soviet equipment is still sought after, reliable and tough. Of course, there have been problems with their aircraft but those, in the main, have been caused by poor maintenance and bad control.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

A great thanks to you, Robby. It came out very well and one day, when you come back to SA, I shall owe you a BIG cup of coffee and some biltong...I think it came out very well.

Again, my thanks!!

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

And their mess simply continuous, Alan. When will it ever stop?

Rgds.

Eeben

Robby said...

Thanks buddy....so remind me again... when are you coming on the show :-)

Alan said...

Eeben:

Ag! Goldstoned again. Another nat werk candidate trekking about. Thought we had the market cornered in the US on those buggers.

Vr, Alan

In a special session, 25 of the body's members voted in favour of the resolution that chastised Israel for failing to cooperate with the U.N. mission led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone. Another 6 voted it against and 11 abstained.

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/10/16/88217.html

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I am seconds away from departing again, Robby. Maybe we can talk when I am back?

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

It looks like a case of "same old, same old", Alan.

Rgds,

Eeben