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.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Several “experts” on Executive Outcomes (EO) have again recently surfaced and are working hard at continuing their disinformation campaign against the company – despite the company having closed its doors many years ago.

I am still amazed at how those who call so loudly for peace work so hard at trying to prevent it. But I also know the aim is a feeble attempt to discredit me in the hopes that African governments will cease talking to me. As mentioned before, war is bad for business and the longer the flames can be fuelled in Africa, the more money is to be made by some who claim they want a “peaceful Africa”. Their way of achieving this “peaceful Africa” is by dispensing bad advice, selling obsolete and/or irrelevant equipment and by supporting both sides of a conflict.

When it became known that STTEP had been contracted to train a Special Operations Group (SOG) for the Ugandan armed forces (UPDF), all hell seemed to break loose again. Back were those who felt that I and whatever company I was now part of had to be stopped. To achieve this, the lines had to be blurred between EO and STTEP and create the perception that it is the same company.

Tweets were generated and sent forth, articles appeared condemning both the Texas philanthropist and the UPDF along with the journalist who wrote the story. Shock and horror was expressed that the truth was written and those who wanted to stop the LRA’s slaughter were visited by the FBI. STTEP and myself became the ”bad guys” and again it seemed a repeat of EO days. STTEP must be stopped and it appears the instructions went forth: do not let the truth get in the way of a good lie.

So it was that a blog posting penned by Assistant Professor Chris Blattman appeared condemning efforts to stop the LRA. (See my postings on this matter as well as his posting http://chrisblattman.com/2013/10/30/is-the-newyorker-publishing-puff-profiles-of-mercenaries-executive-outcomes-now-its-joseph-kony-related) I entered into correspondence with Blattman who admitted he did not do any research. We agreed to disagree on stopping conflicts and the senseless slaughter of civilians in African war zones. 

Those we trained in the SOG went on to prove beyond any doubt that they were stopping the LRA. This was, however, to be short-lived as soon after STTEP was forced to leave Uganda, the SOG was sent to Mogadishu. What an absolute waste of money: Men trained in jungle warfare with donor funds were sent to conduct urban operations!

Then, one of the blog readers (Mike Da Silva) pointed me back to Blattman’s blog and in particular to a response on his condemnation of EO/STTEP/the philanthropist and the journalist.

The comment to Blattman’s post by Kambale Mawa reads as follows:

You sir, have no idea what you are talking about.

For goodness sake,  ….. You have as much life experience as a potatoe. You have seen nothing of the world but HBO and MTV, and heard of your cohort’s accolade.

You sir killed my family. You came and cut my father’s hands off, smashed his foot with a truck, and laughed about it. Then while he we were tied to posts my sisters and mother was raped repeated till they bled to death. Then they were burned alive.

You did that sir. I was there and watched you do it. Maybe you had a different face, and skin color – but might as well been you. It was your and your buddies’ words that let the beasts loose. You think you know better.

I will never forget those years I spent in slavery because of you and your ilk. Every day I wake up and do not look into the mirror. I scare little children on the street. You did that to me.

When EO was here, we were safe. They came through; they were real *gentlemen*. You sir, do not have the right to even mention their names without prostrating. Narcissism is an illness. You should have that looked at as it spreads.

I recall many letters written to me/EO in days past by the victims caught in the conflicts thanking us and writing about their plight, the torture they had to endure, the hunger, the constant smell of death and fear, the boiling and eating of new-born babies and the many, many harrowing experiences they had to live through. I shall never forget when I showed this to some local and foreign journalists how they told me that such letters were “not in the public interest”! The truth was of no consequence – their lies, however, were.

Despite Kambale Mawa’s comment being written years after the fact, it is encouraging to know that people we tried to help still remember those few who turned the tide in Angola and Sierra Leone. Many countries I travel to have heard about EO and STTEP. I am warmly welcomed and constantly thanked for the work the men of EO did – and what STTEP is doing - for Africa.

Those who are so keen to condemn EO, STTEP and myself ought to visit the areas we have worked in and discover the truth for themselves – not make it up to suit the agendas of those who pay them.

Maybe then they will tell it like it is. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I was hoping to start 2014 with a posting on conflict and the dangers of a blinkered approach to counter-insurgency. Instead, I have to waste my time and focus on another liar posing as a journalist.

My thanks to Jana for pointing me to this new “exposé” on Executive Outcomes by Pauli Poisuo. See http://iissonline.net/10-frightening-facts-about-private-military-companies/

Whereas I have great respect for David Isenberg, I was rather disappointed that he allowed his blog to be used as a disinformation vehicle by an apparent under-control “free-lance writer” to blatantly lie his way onto his blog. But, it is a truism that the more a lie gets spun, the more believable it becomes.

I cannot comment on what was written about the other PMCs but I believe I am somewhat informed to comment on his piece about EO.

Ironically, ever since myself/STTEP were blacklisted by the US DoS, a flurry of “new” stories on EO have surfaced. These “stories” are all rehashed and regurgitated elements of the disinformation campaign that was run against EO by numerous governments. Some of these articles were written by intellectuals and others by liars who obviously find their pockets swelling with someone else’s money.

Is this mere coincidence – or not? Could it be that some folks are very concerned that there may be a positive intervention in some conflicts and that it will ruin their foreign policies and deny them the resources that do not belong to them? Could it also be coincidence that an African government was “warned” we are planning a coup against them? I suspect not. Possibly the revival of the EO disinformation campaign is to lend credence to STTEP being blacklisted. Who knows?

Whereas I will not take Poisuo’s article to pieces, sentence by sentence, I will (again) state the following:

1    1.  EO had – and still has – more friends in Africa than many foreign governments as Africans governments know we never lied to them and we earned their trust. They also know that we had no hidden agendas. (Of note is that Poisuo contradicts himself by stating that EO “has been sighted in most African war zones, where it is said to hold high influence”). Besides, EO has been closed for almost two decades – a fact that appears to have escaped Poisuo in totality
2   2. EO never invaded an African country and injected itself as part of an occupation force. Instead, it was invited into countries by those governments that found themselves abandoned by their so-called friends and under siege. When the insurgents and rebels were destroyed and defeated, EO left as contractually agreed to prior to it entering the country.
   3. Poisuo uses the disingenuous comment of “shady dealings”. Why not list these “shady dealings” or does he too believe in the power of innuendo?
4   4. Any military strategist with two brain cells knows that to end an insurgency, the insurgents must be denied access to funding – funding that is used to purchase weapons and ammunition. This is part of the concept known as the Trinity of Gravity. To deny insurgents internal funding, they need to be removed from those areas where they get their funding – illegally I may add -  ie diamond fields, drug crops, etc. That is not rocket science but common sense.

Even more disingenuous are Poisuo’s comments: “The company is notorious for targeting the client country’s mineral-rich regions, often regaining and securing control of gold, oil and diamond regions before paying attention to other matters. Some whisper they don’t always get around to returning these possessions to the country”.

It would do him well to do some research on Africa. He may possibly then discover that many African countries have immense mineral resources and that these resources are one of the primary reasons for conflict. It would also do his credibility well to list – and not hint at - where EO holds all these mines he writes about. I for one would be happy to know where they are as I would love to know why I am not receiving any profits. Then of course, he could list examples of when the company failed to pay “attention to other matters”.

Also, why does he not tell everyone who reads his piece on just “who” is whispering that “they don’t always get around to returning these possessions to the country”. Surely, if a private company took possession of a country’s natural resources, the government would not merely whisper about it – instead they would shout it out to the world and do something about it.

The reality of it all is (I have mentioned this ad nauseum)  that EO was the only PMC that ended conflicts, never involved itself in the internal politics of its clients, never involved itself in crime of any nature, never raped and murdered civilians, never committed acts against its clients, never attempted to steal the resources of a client, never betrayed its clients despite massive pressure to do so and never backed both sides of the conflicts. Apparently, ending conflicts in Africa was definitely not a positive move as far as some governments were concerned.

It is also well known that I turned down a US$ 20 million bribe to close EO and leave Angola in 1993 to enable the rebels to win the war. I refused despite being threatened that it would be to my disadvantage to not accept the bribe and that I would live to regret it.

Unfortunately, people such as Poisuo are too lazy to do any research. Instead they feed off the lies of others and then use someone else’s blog to do their dirty work. This is one reason why so many journalists are not trusted. Research integrity is something they know very little about – or have any interest in.  

African governments have come to realise that there is a reason why a defunct company is still being targeted and STTEP blacklisted: Peace in Africa is bad for business and foreign policies…

In short, Pauli Poisuo is nothing but a liar – and a bad one at that.