2015 is now approaching its end.
As was to be expected, Africa remained a target of destabelisation hidden under the auspices of ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’, and ‘human rights’. Armed conflicts have remained on-going along with foreign covert and overt attempts to ensure they remain on-going.
It was a year in which the blood of innocents was again spilled by Daesh and its many affiliates and supporters. It was also a year in which we had to witness more lies and deception by foreign powers targeting African governments with the ever-present threat of regime change if they do not do as told. Deception, lies and political correctness are providing the threat networks with massive advantages in their quest to spread terror and chaos.
It was, however, also a year filled with good memories and bad: STTEP’s men made a very positive difference in Nigeria until we were forced to leave but we also lost 3 of our men in Nigeria; we had adrenalin rushes, expectations, waiting, laughter, highs and lows, cheap airlines, rundown airports, meetings, proposals, headshaking, briefings, presentations, bad food, terrible water, long hours, little sleep and some blood, sweat and tears.
On a personal level, I was again privileged to be invited to lecture at the SA Military Academy as well as some other African defence institutions and colleges. I was likewise honoured to have been invited to lecture beyond our shores as well as partake in the workshop on the African Stand-By Force in Stellenbosch.
As for my book: I have become incredibly frustrated by the publishers and the amount of toing-and-froing that has taken place. Contracts have been changed and disputed, publishing dates moved, disagreements and/or threats between different publishers have taken place and so forth. To say I am sick of the lack of professionalism I have had to deal with would be an understatement. IF this book will ever see the light of day early next year remains to be seen. All I can do is apologise to those who placed orders and who have yet to be advised what the status of publishing is—but I too am equally in the dark.
The last months of this year also saw me being rather ill and it has taken me some time to recover. Making it all the worse, I gave up smoking in late-November 2015 so I am still battling the nicotine withdrawal as well.
My thanks to everyone who read and contributed to the blog throughout the year. I appreciate your comments and views on matters related to security and defence in Africa even if we do not always agree. Your thoughts give me a new perspective, and allow me to broaden my own knowledge base.
To everyone who is far from home at this time, and to those who are deployed in the conflict zones around the world, beit as soldiers, sailors, airmen, law enforcement officers, spooks or private military and security contractors, keep your heads down, your eyes peeled, your weapons close at hand, stay safe and be ready to do what needs to be done.
Let us also remember those who will not be able to be share this time with those they hold dear as well as those who have lost friends and loved ones. They should never be forgotten. Nor should the sacrifices they have made ever be forgotten.
I would also like to wish each and every visitor to the blog a blessed festive season. To those who celebrate the meaning of Christmas, I wish you and your families a blessed, happy and joyous festive season.
To those who do not celebrate Christmas for whatever reason, I wish you all a time of happiness and peace with your families and friends.
I would also like to wish each and every one of you—and your loved ones—a great 2016. May the coming year be filled with good health, happiness and safety.
I look forward to sharing more thoughts with you all next year.