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.

Friday, January 13, 2012


As I will not be home when the Chinese New Year of 2012 begins, I would like to wish all of my Chinese friends a very Happy Year of the Dragon – even though my wishes are about a week too soon.

The Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year) takes place in the early months of our calendar year, typically in January or February. In 2012, the Lunar New Year begins on 23rd January and its beginning marks 15 days of celebration and the start of the Year of the Dragon.

In Chinese tradition, each year is dedicated to a specific animal, these being the following 12 animals:  Boar, Dragon, Dog, Horse, Monkey, Ox, Rat, Rabbit, Ram, Rooster, Snake and Tiger. It is believed that each of these animals bestow their characteristics to the people born in their year.

The Year of the Dragon (2012) heralds the end of the Year of the Rabbit (2011).

May you all have a very happy, healthy and prosperous Lunar New Year.


Alex said...

Thanks Eeben, all the best for the coming year to you too. I may not be Chinese but I don't see that matters too much!

Stay safe,


Herbert said...

Mr Barlow,

And a very Happy New Year to you and yours.

With Best Regards,

Unknown said...

Happy trails Eeben. May they be profitable. I was born in the year of the rooster and possibly why my life has been such a "cock up". I had written a piece on my blog which i titled enter the dragon, telling the events leading up "lemony snickets" in my life. A series of unfortunate events. I was not aware of the year of the dragon when i wrote it. I tell a miserable person that they may just be entering the dragon alone. I used the dragon as a metaphor of sorts. Quite fitting in retrospect. Many thanks and go well. Mike.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Hi Alex,

Many thanks and the same to you too. I agree with you - we do not need to be Chinese to enjoy a new beginning.



Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Hi Herbert,

Many thanks and the same to you and yours.



PS: Please drop the “Mister” – it’s way too formal for me.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Hi Mike,

I am sorry to hear that your year didn’t start off as planned. I am sure it will improve all the time – I hope so!