About Me

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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.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


I have sadly, over the past few months, been unable to maintain my blog as I would have wanted to. I have also been unable to respond to the numerous comments and mails I have received via the blog. For that I apologise. I will, however, get through all of them in the next couple of days. Those comments that are aimed to finding out if I am still okay, although highly appreciated, will not be posted – not because they hold no value but because they are personal in nature.

I would like to make use of this opportunity to wish each and every visitor to the blog a blessed festive season. To those who celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, I wish you and your families a blessed, happy and joyous festive season.

To my many Muslim friends as well as those friends who do not celebrate Christmas for whatever reason, I wish you a time of peace and joy with your families and friends.

To everyone who is far from home over 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 PMC contractors, keep your heads down, your eyes peeled, your weapons close at hand and be ready to do what needs to be done.

As another hectic year filled with adrenalin rushes, expectations, waiting, laughter, happiness, satisfaction, blood, sweat and tears winds down, let us also remember those who will not be able to be with those they hold dear. They should never be forgotten. Nor should the sacrifices they have made ever be forgotten.

Thank you to everyone who took time to read and contribute to the blog throughout the year. Your comments are always appreciated and highly valued and continue to allow me to broaden my own knowledge.

Finally, I would also like to wish each and every one of you – and your loved ones - a great 2013. May the coming year be filled with good health, happiness and safety.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


The recent passing of Lt Gen R (Witkop) Badenhorst, SSAS, SD, SM, MMM came as a great shock to me.

I served under Gen Badenhorst when he was the sector commander of Sector 10 in then-South West Africa (now Namibia) and frequently reported to him or briefed him on 32 Bn’s reconnaissance operations. Regardless of the rank I held, he simply called me “Sapper”.

Whenever I was told to report to him, I felt both nervous and scared as he was known to be extremely cantankerous. He was a strict disciplinarian, set very high standards and took no nonsense – not even from his seniors in the armed forces or from politicians – especially politicians as he held them in very low regard.

In later years, he became the Chief of Logistics and then the Chief of Military Intelligence. As a member of MI at the time he was the chief, I did everything in my power to avoid him. Mostly, I was successful.

In later life, after he retired, our paths crossed again and we frequently had breakfast together and discussed all things military. Past operations, mistakes made, lessons learnt, political ineptness and the book I was writing about Executive Outcomes became the main topics of discussion. When he offered to write the foreword for my EO book, I was surprised, excited and honoured.  

When I was invited to travel to an African country to discuss doctrine with their armed forces, he offered to “come along” and he was a great source of support and amusement to me and despite his reputation in the military, I discovered that he had never lost his sense of humour. Our African hosts were extremely gracious and kind towards him and many moments of that visit remained with him for a long time after our return.

He had an incredible memory and recounted several stories to my wife that I had semi-forgotten about. Some I cannot recount here but one he particularly enjoyed telling had to do with a briefing a Special Forces officer and I had to give him in his office at Sector 10 headquarters. Maj JW from 5 Reconnaissance Regiment had to give a briefing about his pending operation and I (a captain at that time) a briefing on a pending 32 Reconnaissance Wing operation.

It was very obvious when we arrived at his HQ that Maj JW had ample time to prepare for his briefing as he arrived with flip charts, maps, transparencies and all the paraphernalia associated with given a detailed briefing. I on the other hand did not even have a piece of paper. Maj JW was smart, had shaved and even his boots were gleaming. I on the other hand looked like a scarecrow that had been dragged through a bush.

Glaring at both of us from behind his cigarette smokescreen, he demanded to know who would do the first briefing. I pointed a dirty finger at Maj JW – he in turn glared at me – and then he thankfully started preparing for his briefing. Meanwhile I was getting more and more concerned about my coming briefing, the status of my health after giving my briefing and even contemplated jumping through the window to escape my rapidly approaching fate.

Maj JW’s briefing was a proper Infantry School-style briefing. Brilliantly done and well presented, it showed that a lot of effort had gone into planning his operation. After Maj JW’s almost hour-long briefing, Witkop had no questions, although he gave the major his customary glare – all visible behind his Lexington cigarette smokescreen.

“Sapper, what is your plan?” he growled. Out the corner of my eye I saw Maj JW’s smile as he anticipated the tongue-lashing I was soon to get as he knew I had nothing to present my briefing with.

With trembling legs I walked closer to Witkop’s desk and with a shaky voice I presented my “plan” to him.

 “Sir, I don’t want to waste your time as I know you are very busy. The plan is to infiltrate the area, locate and follow the enemy’s tracks, find them and then kill them”.

I wasn’t sure who was the most surprised at my 15-second briefing – Witkop or Maj JW.

Witkop glared at me for what felt like an hour. Watching him slowly light another Lexington whilst given me the evil eye, I felt like a condemned prisoner marching towards the gallows. Then, he slowly smiled and with eyes twinkling he said “Mooi (Good) Sapper. Major, that is the type of briefing I like!”

Once outside the office, Maj JW cursed both my forefathers and myself and stomped off. I rejoined my team – relieved to have survived and happy with my performance.

Whenever Witkop told that story – which he did several times to my wife – he would always laugh about it. But, that was the type of man he was.

At our last meeting, he gave me valuable feedback on book I am currently writing and told me that he was looking forward to reading the rest of my work.

So, it was with great sadness that I learnt of the sudden passing of my old commander - and in later life my friend - Lt Gen R "Witkop Badenhorst SSAS, SD, SM, MMM.

Lt Gen Badenhorst's wife passed away after a long illness last week and he was admitted to hospital a few days later and whilst there decided to join her, barely a week after she died.

I will always remember him as he was – cantankerous, strict, sharp-minded and humorous. I am just sorry I was never able to bid him farewell. I am however very grateful that I was eventually able to know him as a person and call him my friend.

Goodbye General. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012


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


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


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


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. 

Friday, August 24, 2012


For many years, Executive Outcomes was – and still is - the target of a web of lies, deception and blatant disinformation by those who were deeply concerned that we might prevent countries in Africa from imploding and whose sole interest was the destruction of the continent for economical and other gain.

A quick Google search will reveal just how many lies are out there on the company.  Granted, the media did finally publish an apology for being the mouthpiece of a massive disinformation campaign but it was a little too late as far as I was concerned. Some of these despicable, lying, self-serving members of society who jumped on the bandwagon under the banner of “journalist” had, however, effectively played their role in ensuring the longevity of terrorist groups and insurgents – at the cost of many hundreds of thousands of lives. They also very successfully contributed to the bad name many true journalists have to endure.

When I finally wrote my account of Executive Outcomes (EO), it was primarily to give my version of events – a version which unlike the media’s and the intelligence services’, was based on company documents, interviews as well as video and audio recordings of many of the men who were part of EO or senior government officials who EO had worked for.

After my book was published, I continued to hope and wish that someone who was at the forefront of EO’s operations in the field would follow suit and document their version of events – the good and the bad. After all, as I was trying to run the company whilst fending off the liars, intelligence agents and BS artists who overnight had become “specialists” on EO, I could seldom even visit our AOs, let alone spend much time on the ground.

Rudolph van Heerden, known to many within EO as “Ruff” or “Roelf” finally put pen to paper and along with Andrew Hudson wrote a perspective on EO as seen through the eyes of one of the commanders who was on the ground. I was excited at the news as I believed that it would fill in many of the gaps my book may have left. And I believe the book will do just that.

I was keen to lay my hands on Ruff’s book and when I finally managed to get a copy, - its title is “Four Ball One Tracer” - I was enthralled. Roelf tells the story of EO from the day he signed up to join the company, the nightmare that was Soyo and until the end of the Sierra Leone campaign.

Roelf discusses a lot of things – the training, the tactics, the hardships and the laughs. He tells his story as he lived it – straight and to the point. He also pays tribute to the many good men who served in EO and used their skills and knowledge to bring about positive change in war torn countries.

I do not want to spoil anyone’s anticipation but I would recommend Roelf’s book to anyone who is interested in a lot more detail about EO’s operations.

It is a very good read.

Well done Roelf and thank you again for your service in EO.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Threat prediction is a vital pre-requisite of strategy development. It can, however, be a difficult and problematic task if the intelligence analysts as well as the planners and strategists do not have accurate intelligence at hand, do not understand the historical trends that have manifested over time, and do not understand the political strategies of their own government and those of the target country or target grouping.

If the intelligence services do not utilise all available resources at their disposal, and cultivate new resources where intelligence gaps exist, they will directly contribute to intelligence failures. Intelligence failures can, in turn, lead to misjudging the enemy, doctrinal failures and faulty or disjointed threat predictions and subsequently poor, unrealistic or irrelevant strategies.

The value of threat prediction and its analysis is that it provides benchmarks and indicators that can be used to constantly assess and re-adjust the overall military strategy. The need for flexibility in the developing military strategy is vital in order to prevent a tunnel-vision view of the threats a government may be facing.

The nature of modern warfare and, more broadly, armed conflict has changed dramatically from the classical or historical perspective of war. The days of two opposing armies meeting one another on an open field to engage in a classical conventional battle are, for the time being, long gone.

Although the ever-present threat of a conventional land, sea and air battle will always remain very real, modern war and/or conflict may be characterised by many different concepts such as religious fanaticism, ethnic hatred, radical ideologies, resource grabbing, xenophobia, mass mobilisation of the disadvantaged, a breakdown of law and order, a perceived weakness of the opposition, a growth in power by armed organised crime syndicates and so forth. These factors, more than ever, require detailed investigation – something that can only be achieved by means of a strong, dedicated and aggressive intelligence gathering and analysis capability. 

Whereas modern military technology, if correctly applied, can prove to be a force- multiplier on the battlefield, strategists and planners cannot rely on technology alone, as technology is prone to failure, often at critical times. Over-reliance on technology may, therefore, present several serious disadvantages to the user. Correctly used as a battlefield support system, technology can play a valuable role in locating, confusing and even overcoming the enemy. Technology, however, needs to be balanced against the operating environment, the threat and the ability to maintain and apply the technology correctly. It remains a secondary weapon and not the primary weapon of an armed force.

Intelligence analysts, along with military planners and strategists furthermore need to consider a host of different and varying factors that may lead to political tension and thus negatively influence the security of the state, its citizens and the operating environment.   

Political tension, on the other hand, may be the result of economic tension, natural resource distribution, border disputes, perceived political sabotage, ethnicity, religious differences and so forth.

Therefore, from a strategic planning point-of-view, several factors need to be closely assessed in terms of how they can be used to the advantage of the armed forces and how they can be successfully exploited thus denying the enemy from gaining an advantage.

Additionally, these factors need to be viewed in terms of the disadvantage they may hold for the political- and the military machinery. Of equal importance is the fact that the opposing forces will be assessing the same factors of the state or grouping they view as an aggressor.

The advantage will thus lie with the strategists and planners who are able to accurately predict the threats facing the state and identify the weaknesses and exploitation possibilities in order to develop realistic options that can be implemented.

PS: I have been travelling as well as ill and have therefore been unable to regularly update the blog. My apologies...

Thursday, July 19, 2012


In my previous posting I listed the reasons why I believe governments fail at COIN. Most insurgencies start either as a result of a perceived lack of – or poor - governance or to resist an invader when the government and the armed forces have been overrun.

Governments, despite often being the prime reason why an insurgency starts, are often only too keen to make the armed forces responsible for establishing workable governance in areas that have become positively disposed towards the insurgency.

As it is an internal problem, countering the insurgency is essentially a law enforcement responsibility. The problem is that often the law enforcement agencies do not realise that an insurgency is developing and through ignorance and denial, mislead government – and the nation - on the seriousness of the situation. This provides the insurgents with numerous advantages, most crucial being time to organise, train and escalate the insurgency.

The end goal of the insurgency is political in nature and therefore, the main effort aimed at countering it ought to be political and not militarily. This “passing the buck” approach places the armed forces in a position they can seldom if ever win as the military’s role is not to govern but to ensure an environment in which governance can take place.  

An insurgency is neither a strategy nor a war. It is a condition based on the perception(s) of a part of the populace that poor governance exists, that government only governs for its own benefit and that they – the populace - are being marginalised or politically suppressed. In reality, an insurgency is an internal emergency that, left unchecked, can develop into a civil war. The insurgency itself is a means to an end and it is an approach aimed at either weakening or collapsing a government’s control and forcing a negotiation in the favour of the insurgents.   

The role of the armed forces, once it has been mandated by government to take control when the law enforcement agencies are unable to contain the insurgency, is to create an environment that will allow government to negotiate from a position of strength – and govern. To achieve this, the armed forces must destroy the armed elements of the insurgency and “out-guerrilla the guerrillas”.

The armed forces can, despite their relative strengths in terms of manpower, firepower and other resources, fail at effectively neutralising and destroying an insurgency. There are many reasons for this failure but not all of the reasons can be laid before the door of the armed forces.

Intelligence failures, poor strategies and a lack of training, equipment and preparation as well as a lack of understanding of the Operating Environment (OE) are major contributing factors. So too are attempts at utilising conventional TTPs to fight an unconventional enemy. Being unable to apply relentless pursuit and locate and destroy the insurgents with ruthless aggression add to the reasons for failure.

However, all the firepower in the world will not end or contain the insurgency if government fails at its responsibilities. The armed forces cannot build national cohesion nor can they be expected to govern in the absence of government.

I suspect that what I was taught many years ago still holds true; countering an insurgency requires an 80% effort by government and a 20% effort by the armed forces. However, in executing their 20% responsibility, the armed forces must give 100% of their effort to succeed in creating the climate government requires to fulfil its duties. This climate is characterised by safety and security.

In the execution of their mission, the armed forces must continuously guard against:

1.    Unnecessary collateral damage – this will alienate the populace towards them
2.    Disrespect and maltreatment of the populace
3.    A lack of operational flexibility
4.    Imposing unnecessary restraints on the troops
5.    Believing the enemy to be inferior
Inability to adapt
6.    Poor discipline
7.    Routine
Foreign interference 
8.    Neglecting the principles of COIN.

Misleading, emotional mainstream and social media in favour of the insurgency can weaken the national resolve and demotivate the armed forces.  Furthermore, this type of reporting will give credibility to the insurgents and add impetus to the insurgency.

It is furthermore crucial that the armed forces know when to stop and when government must take over and govern and the law enforcement agencies enforce the law.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I was recently asked my thoughts on why I think governments fail at countering insurgencies.

As I had recently completed that chapter of my book, I could list several reasons why I believe that governments fail in countering an insurgency. (It must, however, be borne in mind that these reasons are different from those of why a law enforcement agency or the armed forces fail at COIN).  

There is no single reason why governments fail in countering an insurgency; rather it is a colliding of a host of different factors and reasons that culminate at the right time to give impetus to an insurgency.

I believe that many governments fail to recognise that an insurgency is not “war” but rather a means to an end.

The following are inter alia some of the more common reasons (I have only briefly listed the points) why governments fail when having to counter an insurgency:

1.      Poor intelligence
2.      The lack of a realistic containment strategy and weak policies
3.      Denial or out of touch with the situation
4.      Lack of unity between government agencies and departments
5.      Ineffective policing approaches and techniques
6.      Incompetence and inefficiency within government agencies and departments
7.      Unacceptable high levels of corruption and crime
8.      Failure to understand the importance of perception of the nation
9.      Failure to understand the insurgent’s strategy
10.   Failure to isolate insurgents
11.   Believing that relative strengths decide the victor
12.   Failure to prepare
13.   Lack of credibility
14.   Lack of legitimacy
15.   Lack of information to the nation
16.   Lack of national and international support
17.   Poor governance and service delivery
18.   Divine right (A misguided belief that when having assumed power the government has a divine right to govern and to promulgate self-serving agendas)
19.   Abuse of power
20.   Failure to listen to the nation
21.   Losing the moral high ground
22.   Over-reliance on foreign aid and assistance

Governments that govern at the expense of the nation as opposed to governing for the nation place themselves in a position that will be rapidly exploited by aggrieved people and may ultimately result in a national uprising, a challenge to their authority or even into an insurgency.  

Governments will inadvertently provide the insurgents with numerous advantages if they fail to take note of the above factors. These factors provide the insurgents with a fertile breeding ground for discontent and recruitment. With national and international media coverage and support, the insurgency will intensify and government reaction may result in both heavy-handed action and over-reaction.

Unlike a conventional war, a COIN conflict’s main effort is aimed at restoring faith in the government and redressing real or perceived wrongs against the populace who are partaking or supporting the insurgency. Failure to do so will simply fuel the insurgency.

When government’s failure is handed-down to the armed forces to “rectify”, the armed forces become the target of government pressure to resolve the situation as fast as possible as well as actions and propaganda by the insurgents who, by their very actions, get free publicity in the media for their cause. 

Monday, June 11, 2012


Thanks to Jason for alerting me to this bunch of clowns.

To quote Mark Twain, “The rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated”.

I may have been unable to respond to comments or even to update my blog, but that is due to work-related activities and has nothing to do with my early demise.

However, not so according to Florida-based US company Executive Outcomes Protection Services (EOPS) who, with a few strokes across the keyboard, have killed me.

On their website (www.eopssecurity.com) under company history, EOPS states (unedited) the following:

Our Inspirational founder, the late Colonel Eeben Barlow founded executive outcomes in 1989. A private military contractor (PMC) company. The company acquires notoriety by its professionalism and dedication and by the year 1994/1995 rescuing and returning the constitutional power to the government of Sierra Leone and Angola.

Whereas there are many who would no doubt rejoice at my early demise, I think there are equally some governments that may be concerned as I still need to assist them with some matters. After all, who would want to use a dead guy to provide advice? Besides, I could have killed myself by laughing so much that I fell off my chair and broke my neck laughing.

Sadly EOPS did not do any homework before they decided to pose as a reborn EO. Not only did they get their dates wrong, they also posted photos of obviously well-fed guards. I don’t recall any EO men looking that well fed!

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but EOPS are elevating it to a new level.

I wonder if these scoundrels are going to submit my posthumous profits to my family?

Regardless, I am so tired of conmen and posers trying to claim their role in the actions of good men. I can only hope that their clients realise that EOPS are being totally untruthful in their claims.

However, it would be nice if mdominguez@eopssecurity.com would contact me and explain my death to me.