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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, September 27, 2012

BEFORE I GO...


I was pointed to the Wikipedia pages on Executive Outcomes and it seems rather odd that Sterling Corporate Services has now been placed on the EO pages with great fanfare along with the statement that a:

 “UN report from July 2012 criticised the South African security company Sterling Corporate Services for assembling a “private army” in defiance of international agreements and also of Somalian sanctions. The report was conducted by the UN’s Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (SEMG) and revealed strong links to Executive Outcomes”.

Whereas I knew that the UN is dumb, I never realised just how dumb they are. In case they are wondering about my comment, EO closed its doors in 1998. However, as I understand it, Sterling did a good job and would have continued doing a good job had the UN not felt so threatened and taken pity on the pirates. And no, I have nothing to do with Sterling - nor does EO as it closed its doors 14 years ago.

Apart from that, there was a very good article in the recent Foreign Policy on how the UN saved the Somali pirates from extinction (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/20/how_the_un_saved_the_somali_pirates?page=full). But, as EO severely embarrassed the UN in both Angola and Sierra Leone, it is no wonder they are still smarting. Their actions prove that they want conflict to continue – I hope African governments take note of the hidden aims behind the UN’s claims of “peacekeeping”.

Ironically, someone also removed the comment from the EO pages that the media apologised to both EO and myself. The truth must be suppressed at all costs and disinformation and lies must continue, regardless.

However, I never realised that Wikipedia now acts as a mouthpiece for the UN’s disinformation on EO. ...seems rather odd to me, but there you go

BLOG SLOW-DOWN


My apologies to all followers for taking so long to respond to your comments as well as my tardiness in posting something new.

I have been incredibly busy and will be unable to do much until approximately mid-October.

If all goes “according to plan” I will be back and writing again by mid-October. However, as you all know, a plan is a basis for change...and the only thing in life that does not change is change.

My best wishes to you all.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

THE PERCEPTION PILLAR


I believe that the integrity of the state – as well as its legitimacy – rests on 7 pillars. I refer to these pillars as the Pillars of State. By eroding or neutralising two or more of these pillars, the state becomes weak and unstable and its influence is reduced to the point where it faces a serious threat that may lead to collapse.

Perceptions determine the view people have of the world, their region and their surroundings. This view is, by and large, developed and injected into society by and through the media either through objective reporting or through propaganda. As such, the influence of the media on the perceptions of the populace and by implication the perceptions of the populace on the state must not be underestimated.  

In its role as a perception-creator, the media can play either a positive role in supporting the state’s messages and policies or eroding its credibility and thereby negatively influence both foreign policy and investment. The media does, however, need to remain objective, report facts and not abuse its potential power of propaganda.

The mainstream audio, visual and written media can play an enormous role in shaping both national and international public opinion and perceptions and can wittingly or unwittingly erode the Pillars of State.  

Social media platforms such as blogs, instant messaging, social networking services and so forth can be used to rapidly reach millions of followers and incite ethnic, racial or religious tensions as well as instigate actions against a government and its various agencies or departments. Furthermore, these platforms can be used to effectively plan, coordinate and execute actions aimed at eroding the Pillars of State.
 
Failures by the government agencies and services along with government mismanagement and corruption will provide healthy pickings to the media - as will political infighting and bickering. Whereas these failings need to be exposed and brought into the public domain, there will be media-related articles that will subtly encourage the populace to protest and rise up against these factors. However, there will inevitably also be those in both the media and the populace who tacitly approve of - and incite - civil disobedience and whose sympathies will lay with violent protesters and insurgents. Within this climate of rapidly transmitted perceived political and other uncertainties, government messages will become blurred, ignored and even rejected by the populace.

An uncontrolled and hostile media can report on matters that may seriously disadvantage the government and in particular military, law enforcement and intelligence operations. Compromise of planned operations, force levels and deployments, equipment shortages and even planned policy decisions may impact negatively on the government and the country as a whole. Additionally, such reporting can provide hostile intelligence services and insurgent groups with important information as well as battle indications.

Government must however prevent irresponsible and irrational censorship of the media as a free media is considered to be a cornerstone of a modern democratic state. It should however consider methods and techniques of using the media to propagate its messages and policies in clearly understandable language without creating negative perceptions amongst the populace.  

Information that will not disadvantage government or impact on the National and Vital Interests must be shared with the populace on a daily basis in order to strengthen public perceptions on these matters. Press releases, press briefings and other methods of communicating with the populace must be used and exploited. Creating a sense of openness, self-criticism and honesty will foster better public perceptions.

As witnessed during the so-called Arab Spring, the alternative media can play an important role in generating, mobilising and coordinating counter-government actions. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, internet forums and chat rooms as well as personal websites can play a significant part in either shaping public perceptions or attacking government policies and actions. They can, likewise, be used to transmit disinformation aimed at discrediting and gaining international sympathy for a particular cause and be used to mobilise disgruntled people or even criminals.

Appointed and trained government media spokesmen/women must be used to interface with the media and ensure that a good and trusted relationship exists between the media and the government. A trusted relationship with the media will usually lead to self-censorship by editors and publishers alike.

Similarly, the law enforcement and intelligence agencies should monitor and where necessary take action against blatantly subversive, propagandist and tension-inciting mainstream and social media sites.

Whereas governments must be prepared to accept criticism, they do not need to accept blatant hostile propaganda aimed at creating conflict, tension and violence.  This tension-inducing approach by the media must be identified, corrected and managed as rapidly as possible.   

Sunday, September 2, 2012

ANOTHER SPECIAL FORCES/EO WANNABE SHOWS HIMSELF – WITH THE HELP OF A “JOURNALIST”


I have never been able to understand why some people feel the need to claim an association with a company or with people they have never met. I suppose it is either because they have a very low self-esteem or they believe they will never be caught out as no one will ever come to the fore and expose them for what they are – sad, pathetic people. The vast majority of these “self-confessed heroes” would not last a single day with the real men they boast they were part of.

If I were to spend my time exposing all of these conmen and wannabees (it seems there are thousands who claim to have been in EO), I would have to remain glued to my computer – something I have no intention of doing.

However, some of these pathetic wannabees simply need more exposing than others. Equally pathetic are the journalists who lap up the lies these fools tell them and then publish them as “the truth”.  

In this day and age, one would think that someone who has qualified at the London School of Journalism with Distinction in 2001 – who has access to the internet – and is an author, would at least have the drive and integrity to do some fact-checking before publishing an article, not so, Simon Tomlin? It seems to get worse when the said journalist is an ex-army man who suffers from what appears to be a very severe persecution complex.

Tomlin wrote a piece he posted on his News Alliance UK blog (http://newsallianceuk.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/murder-and-mayhem-tolerated-by-the-security-services-to-protect-a-mercenary/) in which he published several blatant lies disguised as “facts”. He did not even bother to check the outrageous and libellous claims he wrote – instead, he blamed it on the piece of garbage he was writing about. In a sense, that is simply proof that Tomlin does not waste time with fact checking. As he boasts of the 4 books he has written, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are likewise books with very little factual foundation.  

Enter Shaun Patrick Breach, a British subject who claims (falsely) that he served in the SA Special Forces (no one I spoke to in Special Forces had ever heard of him) as well as that he served in EO – he does not appear on any EO personnel lists nor is there a book number for anyone by the surname of Breach.

Breach happens to be Tomlin’s “source” – and he and Tomlin had a fall-out about a book Breach wanted Tomlin to write. He also happens to be the source that provided the drivel to Tomlin for his grossly inaccurate comments about EO.  Everything that Breach claimed was immediately assumed by Tomlin to be fact. In a sense, I can therefore say anything about Tomlin that I want to say and use the same lame excuse he has used – “so-and-so told me so”.

Tomlin it seems believes that EO still exists, is cooperating with the British security services and along with Breach are in some way out to “get him”. This fantasy no doubt has its origins with Breach who can at best be termed a piece of dirt. Breach made numerous claims/statements to Tomlin and despite the claims being able to be verified if the journalist really wanted to, they were simply assumed to be absolute fact. This also shows the incredible gullibility of Tomlin who swallowed this drivel hook, line and sinker.

Looking at some of the emails Tomlin sent to a genuine ex-EO man – I really have to shake my head. Poor man! Tomlin certainly doesn’t like anyone questioning him and his emails are indicative of someone with uncontained hysteria.

Breach on the other hand seems to be a real piece of work and most probably a danger to society. His claims that he was involved in murders and acted as some sort of hitman ought to be investigated.  

However, apart from Breach’s lies, I would like Tomlin to immediately provide the ICC with proof of EO’s “war crimes” so that the matter can be swiftly dealt with.

I suspect that both Breach and Tomlin live in a world of fantasy and deserve one another.