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.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


It was a great honour and privilege to have been invited to Copenhagen, Denmark, to address interested parties and Masters-level students at the Royal Danish Defence College (RDDC) on “New Wars”.

Whereas my contribution to the seminar and the subsequent debate as well as the lectures on New Wars was miniscule at best, it was heartening to see the interest shown by those I engaged with regarding the many conflicts we experience – and will continue to experience – in Africa.

The visit to the RDDC also allowed us to discuss numerous issues such as politics in Africa, the development of conflict and war, why governments fail, the scourge of poaching and where they think Africa is possibly going wrong.

We also discussed issues such as the threats facing Africa, the role of foreign powers, the UN and PMCs and why many if not most of these interventions fail or deliver very little results – in many instances only escalating the already-existing tensions and conflicts. 

These discussions made me realize that the intent of those I spoke with at the RDDC have a genuine desire to see an improvement in Africa’s lot. To Africa, that can only be good.

My sincerest thanks to the Royal Danish Defence College as well as everyone who partook in our discussions and in particular to Professors Thomas Mandrup and Stig Jenson for the friendship and the opportunity given to me.


Jake said...

You traveled to Scandinavia and didn't call me? Shame on you!

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

HaHa Jake! I knew you were very busy and my schedule was a bit busy as well. I plan to travel north sometime in the near future and will check your availability.
It was never intended to be seen as ignoring you...

zsdgtwegsdvb said...

Hello, Eeben! Big fan of your blog here. I'm also the Editor of a Nigerian newspaper and I'd love to interview you if you're OK with that. You can e-mail me at: abdulkareem@dailytrust.com

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Many thanks Abdul.
I recently read the article (http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/weekly/index.php/top-stories/20508-how-south-africans-trained-nigerian-military-to-fight-boko-haram) on your website and must compliment you on the objectivity of it. It is the most objective piece I have read in the mainstream media and thankfully, it was not aimed at trying to belittle the Nigerian Army who have taken the casualties and despite many challenges, have continued with their missions.
I am currently preparing to leave the country for a few days so will not be able to take questions from you at this stage. However, would not our colleagues in the Nigerian Army be better suited to answer any questions you may have?
Regardless, please contact me again in 2 weeks’ time and I will respond to you via email.