About Me

My photo
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.


Unknown said...

Have a groovy xmas with your family. It seems we all "survived" yet another end of the world so New years should be especially rowdy. I think we have had 3 end of the world predictions this year, a record for a calender year and we are all clearly still here on terra firma.

Have a great festive break:
regards, Mike

Herbert said...


Welcome back and the best possible Christmas to you and yours.


Tango said...

Hi Eeben,

Merry Cristmas and a prosperous new Year to you and your family.



Military Christmas Poem
By Rod Powers,

'Twas The Night Before Christmas,
He Lived All Alone,
In A One Bedroom House
Made Of Plaster And Stone.

I Had Come Down The Chimney
With Presents To Give,
And To See Just Who
In This Home Did Live.

I Looked All About,
A Strange Sight I Did See,
No Tinsel, No Presents,
Not Even A Tree.

No Stocking By Mantle,
Just Boots Filled With Sand,
On The Wall Hung Pictures
Of Far Distant Lands.

With Medals And Badges,
Awards Of All Kinds,
A Sober Thought
Came Through My Mind.

For This House Was Different,
It Was Dark And Dreary,
I Found The Home Of A Soldier,
Once I Could See Clearly.

The Soldier Lay Sleeping,
Silent, Alone,
Curled Up On The Floor
In This One Bedroom Home.

The Face Was So Gentle,
The Room In Such Disorder,
Not How I Pictured
A United States Soldier.

Was This The Hero
Of Whom I'd Just Read?
Curled Up On A Poncho,
The Floor For A Bed?

I Realized The Families
That I Saw This Night,
Owed Their Lives To These Soldiers
Who Were Willing To Fight.

Soon Round The World,
The Children Would Play,
And Grownups Would Celebrate
A Bright Christmas Day.

They All Enjoyed Freedom
Each Month Of The Year,
Because Of The Soldiers,
Like The One Lying Here.

I Couldn't Help Wonder
How Many Lay Alone,
On A Cold Christmas Eve
In A Land Far From Home.

The Very Thought
Brought A Tear To My Eye,
I Dropped To My Knees
And Started To Cry.

The Soldier Awakened
And I Heard A Rough Voice,
"Santa Don't Cry,
This Life Is My Choice;

I Fight For Freedom,
I Don't Ask For More,
My Life Is My God,
My Country, My Corps."

The Soldier Rolled Over
And Drifted To Sleep,
I Couldn't Control It,
I Continued To Weep.

I Kept Watch For Hours,
So Silent And Still
And We Both Shivered
From The Cold Night's Chill.

I Didn't Want To Leave
On That Cold, Dark, Night,
This Guardian Of Honor
So Willing To Fight.

Then The Soldier Rolled Over,
With A Voice Soft And Pure,
Whispered, "Carry On Santa,
It's Christmas Day, All Is Secure."

One Look At My Watch,
And I Knew He Was Right.
"Merry Christmas My Friend,
And To All A Good Night."

Written by Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt in 1986. Printed in Leatherneck (The Magazines for the Marines) in December 1991.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks Mike and the same to you.

Yes, I am sure some folks are not too happy that we made it through another year.

As for the end of the world - we may soon be given another date...



Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Many thanks, Herbert. I wish the same to you and yours and hope that the year ahead will be a good one for you.

Pse keep an eye on the mail - it will be arriving soon.



Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Many thanks Tango! I enjoyed the poem too. Thanks for sending it on to us.



Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Many thanks SFMedic.

My condolences to you for your loss. As time marches on, many of us are getting ready to fall by the wayside. Rest in peace, Gerry.