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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.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

CHARLES TAYLOR FINALLY FOUND GUILTY...


One has to applaud those who were responsible for finally bringing ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor to justice as well as what must be considered a landmark verdict.
 
Having at long last been found guilty of his war crimes, which were numerous and horrific – it is just a pity it took so long to bring him before the courts. I can only hope he won’t be given upmarket living quarters with all the luxuries he needs to satisfy his human rights.

What also concerns me somewhat is that I suspect that this is merely lip service being paid to the ex-dictator. I sincerely hope I am wrong. Time will tell how the punishment will be applied. I just hope it will be as harsh as it can possibly be.
 
It is a sad fact that this person was welcomed into South Africa as a hero of sorts and regarded as a great friend despite him being unable to quench his blood-lust and desire to terrorise, destabilise and steal the resources of another country. Hopefully, the large diamond he presented with such modest fanfare to Naomi Campbell will find its way back to those who it rightfully belongs to.
 
Whereas I applaud the verdict, what about the victims he and his thugs created? The suffering and misery these poor souls have had to endure defies belief. For them, his verdict may bring some satisfaction but it will never turn back the clock and give them back their lives.
 
What about the people who trained his so-called Presidential Guard, knowing full well that their students of mayhem were to be deployed in Sierra Leone to support the RUF and conduct atrocities against the innocent and the helpless?? Let us also not forget that this “Presidential Guard” was used to “pacify” and punish thousands of people in Liberia as well.
 
Apparently, the man who secured the contract to train Taylor’s Presidential Guard was the same man who for years, despite international embargos, supplied UNITA (who by the way did a lot of murdering as well) with a surface-to-air missile to shoot down an EO aircraft which resulted in two good men being killed.
 
I can only hope that more of Taylor’s associates and “business partners” will be brought to book.
 
Perhaps the guilty verdict will finally send a clear warning to those in power who believe they are immune to any laws and can therefore rape, murder and plunder as they see fit.
 
As always, only time will tell how serious we are about bringing these murderers and dictators to justice – or not.

PRINCIPLES OF THE CONVENTIONAL ATTACK


The aim of the attack is to disrupt, disorganise and destroy the enemy.

The principles of the attack are as follows:

1.      The CoG must be targeted
2.      Fire-and-manoeuvre must be exploited
3.      The attack must be organised in depth
4.      The attack must be launched from a firm base
5.      The start of the attack must be secured
6.      The tempo and momentum of the attack must be maintained
7.      The attack must be supported by maximum firepower
8.      Assault forces must move close to supporting fire
9.      Support weapons must be brought forward as soon as possible
10.   Relentless execution.

The CoG must be targeted: The enemy’s Centre of Gravity and those strong points that protect it must be located and targeted. Their destruction will bring about a weakening or a collapse in the enemy’s defences. The destruction of the CoG is a key to victory. (The COG must not be confused with the Trinity of Gravity in unconventional warfare)

Fire-and-manoeuvre: The ability to manoeuvre and utilise direct and indirect firepower to achieve advantageous positions in relation to the enemy must be exploited at all times. All engagements are reliant on fire-and-manoeuvre. Fire without manoeuvre and manoeuvre without fire is of no value. Fire-and-manoeuvre adds to momentum.

Depth: Depth in the attacking forces ensures momentum, provides flexibility, space and options for manoeuvre and additionally reduces casualties amongst the attacking forces.

Firm bases: The attack must begin from a firm base and as the attack develops, commanders must continue establishing firm bases (overwatch positions). This allows the attacking forces to maintain “one foot on the ground” and thus retain balance during the attack. Firm bases make it difficult for the enemy to launch successful counter attacks. Firm bases are established on terrain that provides the attacking forces an advantage in terms of fire and observation.

Secured start: The attack must be launched from a secure position to prevent assault forces from making immediate contact with the enemy as this will make deployment difficult and derail fire plans, especially indirect fire plans. Starting an attack from an unsecured position will give the enemy the initiative, adversely affect own forces morale, create casualties and confusion within the attacking force and disrupt the attack plan.

Tempo and momentum: Maintaining the tempo and momentum of the attack will ensure sustained pressure on the enemy. Sustained pressure will prevent the enemy from being able to reorganise and counter the attack, bring his reserves forward or prepare new positions. Aggressive execution will result in a rapid, relentless attack

Maximum firepower: Effective, sustained direct and indirect fire will inflict casualties and reduce enemy resistance. Fire support is vitally important where exposed assault forces move across open terrain or breach obstacles without adequate cover.

Moving close to supporting fire: The assault forces must move as close as possible to the supporting direct and indirect fire. This will prevent the enemy from reorganising or reacting once the supporting fire is lifted.

Support weapons rapidly to front: The aim of the attack is to destroy the enemy, capture and occupy the objective and defend it. It must be expected that the enemy will try to launch a counter attack as soon as possible to recapture terrain it has lost. Support weapons should rapidly be brought forward to strengthen positions that have been captured from the enemy.

Relentless execution: Once the attack begins ie the attacking forces cross the start line, the execution must be relentless. Relentless execution will enhance momentum, weaken enemy resolve, add speed and tempo to the attack as well as unbalance the enemy.

The above principles are relevant to all types of conventional infantry attacks, regardless of whether they are launched in the day or at night, mounted or dismounted.

The commander who applies the principles of the attack will create the necessary space in which to manoeuvre his forces, exploit his firepower, grasp the initiative from the enemy and develop advantages as they occur.

Note: This posting has been taken from the book I am currently writing and is an extract from Chapter 15: The Attack

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