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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.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A BLESSED AND SAFE FESTIVE SEASON TO ALL

Another year is winding down and for many, this has been a hectic year filled with adrenalin rushes, waiting, laughter, happiness, satisfaction, blood, sweat and tears. Whereas we can celebrate an end to the year with those we hold dear, there are many who will not or cannot – and they should never be forgotten. Nor should the sacrifices they have made ever be forgotten.

I would like to wish all followers and visitors to my blog a very blessed Christmas season. To those who do not celebrate Christmas for whatever reason, I wish you a peaceful festive period. To those who are trapped in the numerous conflicts around the world, I hope that you will know some peace during these times and be kept safe.

Again I wish to thank everyone who took time to read and contribute to this blog throughout the year. Your comments continue to be appreciated and highly valued and continue to allow me to broaden my own knowledge base. I am also grateful that, through the blog, I have been able to get to know some really good people.

Due to numerous factors, I have not been able to stand on my soapbox as much as I would have wanted to. Although I am fortunate in that I have been able have able to be otherwise engaged, I apologise for what may appear to some as a lack of response to the comments sent to me.

To everyone who wrote letters of encouragement re this blog – my thanks to you. To those who continue write “private” mails to me, I hope that you will be able to get rid of the ghosts that haunt your lives. To the many students, I hope that the blog has been able to give you some positive input re your studies.

To all who are deployed in the conflict zones around the world, beit as soldiers, sailors, airmen, law enforcement officers, spooks or PMC contractors, keep your heads down, your eyes peeled and be ready at all times to do what needs to be done.

Finally, I would also like to wish each and every one of you – and your loved ones - a great 2011. May the coming year be filled with good health, happiness and safety.

12 comments:

matt said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well Eeben. It has been a very interesting year, and I am sure next year will hold much of the same.

Burro said...

All the best, this Christmas and the Year to come, for Eeben and the whole blog pack, "regulars" and "irregulars"

Choco

John said...

Good Morning Eeben,

Thank you for such a broad soapbox to work on. It is always very enlightening.

Best wishes to you and your family for a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

And for all those out there who have haunted souls we who have not experienced it can not fathom what you and others go through. All we can be is forever grateful and pray for all those souls to find peace as a small repayment of our infinite debt and the gift of freedom from evil.

Regards,
John

ken borr said...

Eeben,

I wish all the same to you and may 2011 be a better year for all of us.

regards,
ken

graycladunits said...

God bless you, hero of mine. Merry Christmas and get yourself that brandy and coke now.

GCU

Dan Kelly said...

Dear Eeben

I meant to write to you a while ago but I've been busy preparing for Christmas and trying to find a job. I just wanted to take the time to thank you for your help with my thesis, you'll be glad to know I got just short of full marks for it and my head of department was enthralled by it. I wish you all the best for Christmas and the New Year and would like to extend my eternal gratitude for your help.

Kindest regards,
Daniel Kelly

Tango said...

A Soldier Is A Gift


As we celebrate Christmas, and we open our gifts,
we realize what priceless gifts a soldier gives to our country—
the gifts of patriotism, service, and deep dedication to our nation.


As we feast on a variety of fine Christmas delicacies,
we acknowledge that a soldier personifies a variety of fine qualities:
courage, good character, honor, fortitude amidst hardship,
persistence in subduing evil, and bravery in the face of danger.


A soldier is a cut above the rest of us,
doing jobs we could not or would not do.
While we are surrounded by Christmas comforts,
we remember soldiers in places we would not want to be,
bringing the gift of adaptability to any situation,
no matter how harsh or difficult.


As we "ooh" and "aah" over the Christmas lights and shiny ornaments
we recognize that a soldier gives us the most cherished gift of all,
the shining light of freedom.


At Christmas, let us wrap our hearts and minds
around our treasured soldiers.
May they understand how very much their service means to us.
Let us send the Christmas gifts of love, respect and admiration
to our steadfast, loyal, magnificent warriors
and their essential civilian support staff.


They themselves are the most precious Christmas gift of all,
our protectors—our soldiers.


By Joanna Fuchs

Tango said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Regards
Tango

Sonny Cox said...

Eeben Take Five - Prosperous 2011 to you to Sir.... Salute!

MichaelCarl said...

Eeben,
What is your take on the situation in Cote D'Voire? How should African neighbours proceed in getting Gbagbo out of office since he lost the election?

Michael Carl

reflexivefire said...

Mr. Barlow,

I finally got around to writing up some comments about you book, which I found enlightening to say the least! I know you have a busy schedule, but if you are interested in reading my thoughts it can be found here: http://reflexivefire.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/executive-outcomes/

Thank you so much for sharing your own account of events, otherwise I would still believe much of the media hype that had been written about EO over the years.

-Jack

Aethyr said...

I hope you had a pleasant holiday and a good start into the year 2010!

I'm looking forward to your postings in 2011!

Regards,
David