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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.

Monday, April 23, 2012

SORRY...


For numerous reasons, I have been unable to update my blog or even answer the many private messages and comments to postings. My apologies for what may appear to be tardiness on my part but it is sometimes impossible for me to devote time to the blog – especially when I am in an area where I have no access to the internet.
 
Since my last posting, a lot has happened – or not happened:
1.      Mali’s situation worsened
2.      The conflict between North Sudan and South Sudan has intensified
3.      A coup in  Guinea-Bissau
4.      Our President married (again)
5.      President Mugabe was reported to be almost on death’s bed but miraculously recovered
6.      I had another article in Counter Terrorist magazine
7.      Joseph Kony is still at large
8.      Service delivery protests in South Africa have been ongoing
9.      The pirates continue with their actions on the high seas...
 
The list is seemingly endless.
 
I will be working on a new posting relating to the attack and hopefully, will get it done by this coming weekend.

In the meantime, thanks to everyone who continued to visit the blog during my absence as well as comment on it or write to me.
 
Regards to you all.

Eeben

11 comments:

michael b said...

Welcome back. the list of catastrophe`s you list are sad indeed. the worst of the lot has got to be the ongoing circus that is the marital habits of a certain JZ. could you imagine for a second the reaction of any european country whose leader has a dozen or so wives? they would be the laughing stock of the west and shunned,,, wait, then again i think we may already be. it looks like another day another coup and or disgraceful behaviour by african leaders. i would love to see the reaction of the media if the president of the United States rolled up with a second wife in tow while still betrothed to his current one? then again i suppose Africa is a "special place".
Mike.
ps. thanks for the entertaining and informative posts, there is at least one sane african on the continent.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

It does make one worry about what we are coming to, Mike.

I neglected to add that when I returned, my credit card was skimmed and an attempt was made to conduct a rather large financial transaction with it. Then of course, my car was broken into before I left and my laptop as well as my son’s laptop was stolen – whilst the so-called security guards were standing right next to it. Of course, they saw “nothing”. What really makes me mad is that he had saved for more than a year to buy it. Then, to top it all, the security company’s lawyer wrote me a letter threatening legal action if I dared to write about how useless the security company is!! Talk of a lack of professionalism.

Africa is a very special place, but if care is not taken, it will lose all it has going for it.

Rgds,

Eeben

Feral Jundi said...

Eeben,

Welcome back, and I am sorry that those things have happened to you and your family. I don't know what is worse, poor unprofessional security or criminals? Obviously both parties work well for each other, while the rest of us curse their pathetic existence.

I was curious about the article at Counter Terrorist magazine? What was your topic if you don't mind me asking? -matt

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks Matt. I am afraid I am not such a good traveller anymore...

Sadly these things do happen but in SA they seem to happen rather more frequently than elsewhere. Also, I think you are correct in that some security companies work hand-in-glove with some criminals. I feel especially sorry for my son as he has done a lot of research for his university studies and has now lost it all. Then of course, the lawyers...what can I say? It seems that according to them, their “client” is not to blame – but I am. Sick to say the least.

The article in CT magazine was titled “Is the UN above the law?”

Rgds,

Eeben

Alex said...

Hi Eeben

And welcome back! I have been periodically checking to see if there was anything new, so glad to know you have something in the works. I'm currently writing a short piece on Africa as a whole, woefully underinformed though I am, and it looks like you've picked up on all the issues I have as well as several I was unaware of. Once again you're the best intelligence source I can seem to find...

Anyway, all the best and looking forward to your next post.

Regards,

Alex

Luca Zatarra said...

Welcome back Eeben,

I was actually just reading Robert Kaplan's "The Coming Anarchy" when I saw your update. Scary how true some of his predicitions seems to be 18 years on. Must say, I only recently took an interest in Africa although I am a student of Security Policy and your blog has been an interesting read. I have to ask, what is your take on this Kony thing, as some musings have been uttered about US gov involvement. Have heard some talk in certain european military circles that the next place to visit is Africa and that french speakers are in dire need. Do you believe this to be a quick fix to try to break the heavy chinese influence in Africa on the part of those countries who just recently discovered that Africa and not the middle east was the place to be all along?

Regards

Luca

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks Alex. It is always good to be back home again.

Good luck with your writing. I am sure it will be a success.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks Luca. I read Robert Kaplan’s book several years ago and found it very enlightening. He certainly looked into the correct crystal ball.

As regards Kony: I find it strange that when we predicted a rise in the LRA in 1996, we were shunned and ridiculed. Some embassies called our assessment “preposterous” and others that we were out trying to get the Ugandan govt to give us a contract – what they didn’t know is that we were already paid by the Ugandans to do a strategic intelligence assessment on their country. So as far as Kony is concerned, I am not in the least surprised that he made use of the opportunity he was given.

I am aware of the fact that some Western governments gave Kony tacit support. Some years ago, I was told that they (LRA) had an office in London. I never verified that as I was not involved in bringing him to book.

The French are taking a long-term view of all their old colonies and are seemingly working hard to forge better links with them.

I believe that a lot of the scrambling for Africa is as a result of the Chinese influence on the continent. Remember that when the Chinese began their activities in Africa, Africa was off most countries radars. Suddenly those radars have switched on and now everyone wants to be involved.

Rgds,

Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Good to know you too are well, Private. It has been a long time...I trust all well at your end?

I passed on your suggestion to my son. He says thanks he will do that when he gets a new system.

As regards Kony, I think if he were dead, the UPDF/US Special Forces would have made some sort of announcement. But, I hope you are correct.

Rgds,

Eeben

Jeny said...

Very very nice post........empresas de seguridad

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thank you, Jeny.

Rgds,

Eeben