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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. Until recently, I was a contributing editor 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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

THE DANGERS OF IGNORING STRATEGIC INTELLIGENCE


As Africa drags itself ever closer to the abyss, one would think that governments would be paying a lot more attention to strategic intelligence, and the current and developing strategic threats, along with strategic forecasting. This sadly appears not to be the case as it is evident that erroneous intelligence impacts greatly on current thinking and strategies—especially when the initiative has been lost and the tipping point is approaching.

If governments continue to base their strategic predications on thumb-sucking, misinformed media articles and ‘opinion pieces’, ill-informed advisors, and incorrect narrative-driven assumptions, instead of verified and credible strategic intelligence, tragedy awaits them as they place their national and vital interests at risk. The richer they are in resources, the greater the risk and the subsequent looming tragedy.

The rise of armed anti-government forces, radical religious terror groups, proxy forces, domestic and transnational organised crime, planned regime-change actions, mass perception shaping programmes via the mainstream media and so forth, is evident that intelligence failures at the strategic level are increasing. The continued lack of intelligence is costing—and will still cost—African governments dearly in the future as they will be unable to prepare and posture themselves correctly to meet the threats. Nor will they be able to develop a coherent strategic intent as the threat and its intentions will be unknown…let alone safeguard their interests.

The integrity and survival of the state along with the longevity of government requires a reliable, robust, and continuous strategic intelligence input. This is essential to enable the development and adjustment of the National Strategy. The National Strategy, in turn, must give the government direction and guidance on how it intends to position itself on the national, regional, continental, and international stages. It is also essential to give forewarning of real, potential and predicted violent and non-violent threats against the state—and the obstacles it will face along the way in countering the threats.

The National Security Strategy is similarly guided by strategic intelligence and strategic forecasting and/or predictions, and its impact is felt across all pillars of the state. However, threats against the state are not only of a military or armed nature. They include planned non-violent attacks such as economic sabotage, political blackmail, coercive diplomacy, perception manipulation, international criminal court threats, trade embargos, resource and state capture, and so forth. These threats are diverse, multi-dimensional and very seldom, if ever, appear as a singular threat. They develop over time and are never spontaneous.

Without strategic intelligence, the state will have no pre-warning of the approaching threats—or their intentions—that will attack it on numerous fronts. Nor will it understand—or be likely to withstand—foreign-backed and sponsored regime change actions through violent and non-violent means. These attacks all have only one aim: the installation, by any and all means possible, of a government that will be sympathetic to the regime change sponsors and that will surrender its resources as a token of thanks.

Countries such as Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Nigeria, Central African Republic, S Sudan, DRC, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Mali to name a few have all found themselves under sustained attack without having had any home-grown intelligence pre-warning. Despite several of the aforementioned countries being cautioned prior to the attacks, they chose instead to be blind and discard the dangers in the misguided belief that they may not be targeted or that the intelligence was wrong. In some instances, they were advised by ‘allies’ that the intelligence was false. Several other countries are also on the target list but are not currently viewed as priorities—yet. However, in every case, the developing intentions were and are—if anyone was or is willing to look—as clear as daylight, yet they were and are seemingly unable to connect the dots.

Reliance on the media, ill-intentioned ‘allies’, misinformed advisors, and public perceptions does not constitute intelligence at any dimension or level. The misguided belief that these sources will provide accurate and objective intelligence is a myth governments should dispel with absolute haste as these sources are usually coloured with disinformation. Instead, they must develop their own sources of intelligence and take responsibility for their own intelligence collection efforts and their intelligence failures.

Just because the intelligence does not match their ethnic, financial, racial, religious, or xenophobic narrative, it does not mean that it is wrong or false or even non-existent. 

Unless African governments realise the true value of strategic intelligence and critical role it plays in guiding and shaping their national and security strategies and defending their national and vital interests, they will continue to lead themselves—and their people—down the path of self-destruction.  

15 comments:

Danie Crowther said...

The lack of acknowledging Strategic Intelligence for tactical political expediency, has become almost entrenched in many governments over the world. The reaction of the USA and its allies after 9/11 in Iraq and the repetition of the same mistakes in Libya, Afghanistan, Syria and others bear testimony to this. It seems that power projection is aimed at mustering local support is more important to leaders than pro-active action that will make a difference. The big question why does this happen. Maybe the intelligence agencies' reliance on technical intelligence gathering has eroded the ability to thoroughly in identify en interpret strategic trends.

Suarez International South Africa said...

I have always seen intelligence gathering like a puzzle, you need to combine the pieces to form an accurate picture. This can be achieved through a few pieces (short operational time frame) or through many pieces needed to form an accurate picture, (long term operation).

Andrea Muhrrteyn said...

Edit/Correction: Forgot to include EoP v WiP Negotiations Comment Correspondence notice.

Eben:

I imagine you are referring to Masonic War is Peace 'strategic intelligence' and 'national security'. If Masonic War is Peace states don't decide to implement an Ecology of Peace international law social contract; they shall all ultimately collapse prior to or with the world economy resource collision Human (Predator) and Nature (Prey) Dynamics (HANDY) studies: Ecological Strain and Economic Strati fication and/or 'species extinction' collapse.

Clearest non-racial, non-religious, non-ideological definition of Strategic Intelligence, that is based upon ecological reality; not egoI come across is available at EoP MILED Clerk Notice:

'Ecology of Peace factual reality: 1. Earth is not flat; 2. Resources are finite; 3. When humans breed or consume above ecological carrying capacity limits, it results in resource conflict; 4. If individuals, families, tribes, races, religions, and/or nations want to reduce class, racial and/or religious local, national and international resource war conflict; they should cooperate to implement an Ecology of Peace international law social contract that restricts all the worlds citizens to breed and consume below ecological carrying capacity limits; to sustainably protect and conserve natural resources.'

Ecology of Peace culture definition of 'National Security' is detailed at Ecology of Peace Supporters:

Prior to Ecology of Peace international law social contract: The Ecology of Peace culture's definition of National Security is ‘the necessity of individuals (A) concerned about (i) protecting and conserving natural resources return to sustainable local and national carrying capacity limits; and (ii) honourable resolution of national and international overpopulation/consumption inter-cultural resource war conflict; to unconditionally or conditionally cooperate to (B) implement an Ecology of Peace international law social contract that requires all the worlds citizens to breed and consume below ecological carrying capacity limits; and eliminate cheaters from the planetary genepool.

Subsequent to the implementation of an Ecology of Peace international law social contract: EoP Intnl Law National Security Definition Draft: Planetary security and hence National security is defined as ‘the necessity of individuals, families and nation states to unconditionally co-operate to (A) protect the Ecology of Peace social contract so as to (i) sustainably protect and conserve natural resources in accordance to local and national carrying capacity limits and (ii) restrict national and international inter-cultural resource war conflict; by (B) requiring their citizens to (a) monitor other individuals, tribes, or nation’s procreation and consumption behaviours to verify they are breeding and/or consuming below ecological carrying capacity limits; (b) report breeding and/or consumption cheater individual, family or national scarcity combatant violators to appropriate local or international authorities; and (c) eliminate convicted breeding and/or consumption scarcity combatant cheaters from the planetary genepool.’

A copy of this correspondence shall be documented in: EoP v WiP NWO Negotiations: Comments Correspondence [PDF]: Eben Barlow Military & Security blog.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

A good comment Danie, thank you.
I also believe the over-reliance on technical intelligence has eroded the importance of human intelligence and if TechInt does not detect something, then it apparently does not exist. It is this narrow view relating to intelligence that has resulted in so many failures as you mention. An inability to predict what will/can/possibly happen bears testimony to this.
Rgds,
Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for your input Andrea but I was actually referring to Africa in general and not specifically at anything else.
As it stands, Africa is frequently misadvised by foreign ‘partners’ – whether intentionally or on purpose only those giving the advice can tell – and this creates a huge ripple-effect across the continent. This ripple-effect or collapsing of dominoes has massive implications for not only governments but for the people they are governing.
Having had the opportunity to travel and work in many places in Africa, I can testify to this.
Rgds,
Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

The more pieces of the puzzle, the more coherent the picture Suarez ISA. But it is a puzzle that has no end. Just because something was valid a few months ago does not mean it is still valid as alliances change and foreign policies adapt.
Rgds,
Eeben

Andrea Muhrrteyn said...

[1/2]

Eben:

"You can't defeat an enemy You don't admit exists" - Lt Gen Michael Flynn. "If ISIS [Al Qaeda, blah blah blah] goes away, something else will take its place; we need a long range strategy addressing root causes' - General Richard Myers. "The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem, it will avail us little to solve all others." - US President Teddy Roosevelt; Michael Flynn: Defining the Enemy; Richard Myers: War Economy Recipe Book.

My interpretation of your 'Dangers of Ignoring Strategic Intelligence .... Just because the intelligence does not match their ethnic, financial, racial, religious, or xenophobic narrative, it does not mean that it is wrong or false or even non-existent' post was that maybe you may be interested in Ecology of Peace culture perspective on 'strategic intelligence'. It was not clear whether you were aware of the fundamental difference's between Ecology of Peace or Masonic War is Peace culture, including strategic intelligence.

Strategic intelligence (STRATINT) pertains both to the collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence that is required for forming policy and military plans at the national and international level.

According to Michael Macoby STRATINT includes the following abilities: (i) foresight: understand trends that present threats or opportunities; (ii) visioning: to conceptualize an ideal future state and create a process to engage others to implement it; (iii) system thinking: perceive, synthesize, and integrate elements that function as a whole to achieve a common purpose; (iv) motivating: motivate different people to work together to implement a vision; (v) partnering: develop strategic alliances.

Andrea Muhrrteyn said...

[2/2]

Re: Difference between EoP and WiP Effective Strategists & Policy Formulators:

EcologY of Peace identifies the root cause of any problem and applies STRATINT skills to eliminate the root cause of the problem. EoP Applicants [PDF] identified 'the right to breed and consume with total disregard for ecological carrying capacity limits clauses' - aka policy -- of the Masonic War is Peace international law social contract; as the root cause of the majority of socio-economic and political problems resulting from resource depletion and resource wars: including among others: climate change, food shortages, food inflation, cost of living increases, urban sprawl, traffic jams, toxic waste, pollution, peak oil, peak water, peak food, peak population, species extinction, loss of biodiversity, peak resources, climate change, terrorism, feminism, nazism, Islamism, capitalism, communism, militarization of police, etc.

Masonic War is Peace is about consciously or unconsciously identifying the root cause of the problem, and applying STRATINT to deliberately perpetuate the problem indefinitely so as to socio-politically and financially parastically profit of the misery resulting from the problem. The tap has been left on, the bath is overflowing. Masonic War is Peace profiteers argue about what colour mops to use; who is mopping; who is hiring chinks or japs or coolies to do the mopping, blah blah. Ecology of Peace STRATINT advisors simply point out the tap is causing the bath to overflow; and find out who is willing to cooperate to turn off the tap.

Needless to say Masonic War is Peace STRATINT isn't very intelligent when their parasitic profiteering STRATINT policies are driving the entire planet like lemmings off the ecological tipping point cliff; unless suicide is their ultimate covert objective! If so: why not simply inform us clearly in simple english we can understand, what kind of suicide they prefer and we can arrange it; and they can happily depart. The rest of us who care about responsible freedom non-parasitic cooperative co-existence can apply our STRATINT skills and implement an Ecology of Peace international law social contract enabling responsible freedom of for all.

Mark Craig said...

Thanks Eeben. Very well written, timeous and thought provoking.

Deon Barnard said...

Deon Barnard. This fits in perfectly with so many African States seeking Israeli Intelligence and other programs developed by that country. It is not only non Muslim states but also Muslim countries. South africa is in particular high risk because of its resources, its diversity of ethnic groups and its vital strategic location in the Southern most tip of africa. Should our intelligence services, military and government, not take serious note of the world scenario at present, they are heading open eyed into catastrophe.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for your input Andrea.
Rgds,
Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks Mark!
Rgds,
Eeben

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

South Africa is currently an incredibly high risk Deon but it seems no one cares or even wants to consider it. It is almost as though a belief exists that 'the world loves us and will never harm us'. This alone is cause for extreme concern.
Rgds,
Eeben

Raymond Svensson said...

It would appear that the current leadership in South Africa are so bent on enriching themselves, that they are oblivious to any threats whatsoever. As long as there is personal gain involved, the consequences are ignored. The castle is already crumbling but the scramble continues, and the system is rotten all the way down. The question is - is there hope to repair/fix it....

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

This is a world-wide approach by politicians Raymond.
If we cast our eyes beyond Africa and we look at what some ex-PMs and Presidents have amassed over their relatively short periods as heads of state - and we convert currencies to a common currency ie US Dollar or Pound Sterling, then it appears some African politicians are still in the learning stages!
The problem in Africa is that countries have surrendered their strategic resources in favour of 'protection'. But, as they never realized the agendas at play, they wrote the script for their own downfall.
Rgds,
Eeben