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, December 22, 2015


2015 is now approaching its end.

As was to be expected, Africa remained a target of destabelisation hidden under the auspices of ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’, and ‘human rights’. Armed conflicts have remained on-going along with foreign covert and overt attempts to ensure they remain on-going.

It was a year in which the blood of innocents was again spilled by Daesh and its many affiliates and supporters. It was also a year in which we had to witness more lies and deception by foreign powers targeting African governments with the ever-present threat of regime change if they do not do as told. Deception, lies and political correctness are providing the threat networks with massive advantages in their quest to spread terror and chaos.  

It was, however, also a year filled with good memories and bad: STTEP’s men made a very positive difference in Nigeria until we were forced to leave but we also lost 3 of our men in Nigeria; we had adrenalin rushes, expectations, waiting, laughter, highs and lows, cheap airlines, rundown airports, meetings, proposals, headshaking, briefings, presentations, bad food, terrible water, long hours, little sleep and some blood, sweat and tears.

On a personal level, I was again privileged to be invited to lecture at the SA Military Academy as well as some other African defence institutions and colleges. I was likewise honoured to have been invited to lecture beyond our shores as well as partake in the workshop on the African Stand-By Force in Stellenbosch.

As for my book: I have become incredibly frustrated by the publishers and the amount of toing-and-froing that has taken place. Contracts have been changed and disputed, publishing dates moved, disagreements and/or threats between different publishers have taken place and so forth. To say I am sick of the lack of professionalism I have had to deal with would be an understatement.  IF this book will ever see the light of day early next year remains to be seen. All I can do is apologise to those who placed orders and who have yet to be advised what the status of publishing is—but I too am equally in the dark.

The last months of this year also saw me being rather ill and it has taken me some time to recover. Making it all the worse, I gave up smoking in late-November 2015 so I am still battling the nicotine withdrawal as well.

My thanks to everyone who read and contributed to the blog throughout the year. I appreciate your comments and views on matters related to security and defence in Africa even if we do not always agree. Your thoughts give me a new perspective, and allow me to broaden my own knowledge base.

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

Let us also remember those who will not be able to be share this time with those they hold dear as well as those who have lost friends and loved ones. They should never be forgotten. Nor should the sacrifices they have made ever be forgotten.

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

To those who do not celebrate Christmas for whatever reason, I wish you all a time of happiness and peace with your families and friends.

I would also like to wish each and every one of you—and your loved ones—a great 2016. May the coming year be filled with good health, happiness and safety.

I look forward to sharing more thoughts with you all next year.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Having sat through numerous debates and discussions on ‘peacekeeping’, I have always been surprised and disappointed that this costly and failed approach to security and stability is, for some very (not so) strange reason, still being advocated and encouraged. 

The truth is that without sustainable peace, Africa will never see real development and prosperity. Economic development and stability is ensured by good governance, law and order, and the application of sound policies. But if the policies and approaches are wrong, no amount of strategy and tactics can provide peace and stability.

Ending a conflict or war can only be assured when the state has the political will and the military might—and will—to engage the enemy. This must result in the enemy or threat being decisively beaten, and begging and pleading for mercy to save it from complete annihilation. This requires a strong and capable deterrent force with strong military policies in place.

If a government cannot negotiate from a position of total strength, it is merely giving the adversary time to rebuild and rearm its forces and continue the conflict.  Besides, the terms of negotiation must be dictated by the government and not by the enemy or threat. Indeed, it must be an unconditional surrender or nothing at all. During negotiations, the enemy or threat must be subjected to intense intelligence scrutiny to ensure that the call to negotiate was not a deception measure aimed at reducing pressure on the crumbling threat forces.

A well-trained, well-equipped, well-led and disciplined armed force, correctly postured and able to rapidly project decisive force, is a significant deterrent to an armed adversary. So why have some African governments decided to demilitarise their armed forces and instead turn them into ‘peacekeepers’?

The mere thought of ‘peacekeeping’ when and where a conflict or war is raging is nothing short of idiotic and suicidal. But in order to remain politically correct, and in the good books of the UN and those governments driving the (failed) peacekeeping approach, this new form of ‘un-warfare’ has taken hold in some African governments whilst emasculating their armed forces.

Simultaneously, it has expanded the current and future market for ‘peacekeepers’ and other ‘partnership forces’ to enter fragile and troubled countries—the results of which, to date, have been catastrophic, disgraceful, and disastrous to say the least. The numerous scandals created by these forces have simply added to the already tarnished image of the ‘peacekeeping’ and ‘partnership’ approaches.

Besides, if peacekeeping was such a valuable tool in the arsenal for halting the spread of conflict and war, why aren’t these forces standing between the warring parties in Nigeria, Libya, Cameroon, Niger, Burundi, and so forth? And if they are there, such as in Mali, South Sudan, Somalia—why aren’t they keeping the peace?

Sadly, many African governments have allowed themselves to be cajoled and hoodwinked into training their armed forces for peacekeeping missions—a euphemism for demilitarising and emasculating the armed forces. Soldiers have now become ‘peacekeepers’ and ‘nation builders’ and time and money is spent on irrelevant ‘free’ training programmes supposedly aimed at keeping the peace and building nations—especially where there is no peace and governments have become fragile or failed. Soldiers have become quasi-policemen as opposed to fighting men who can and will fight to annihilate armed opposition or enemy forces.

The demilitarising of African armed forces has had serious knock-on effects such as a lack of intelligence gathering capacity—especially HUMINT, an inability to fight to decisively end conflicts and wars, a neglect of doctrine development and training, the neglect of essential combat equipment along with the procurement of unsuitable equipment, a watering-down of essential combat skills, the acceptance of bad advice, and so forth.

This, however, suits those powers who have encouraged a mission diversion to ‘peacekeeping’ as they are guaranteed that African governments and their armies will be required to call for foreign help when the wheels fall off. And fall off they will—and are.

Anyone who dares criticise the farce of ‘peacekeeping’ is shouted down and viewed as a warmonger. It is, after all, not politically correct to criticise a failed approach that gives violent and murderous threat forces—viewed by many in the West as ‘moderate terrorists’, ‘pro-democracy fighters’ and ‘freedom fighters’—the advantage. Also, ‘human rights’ have overridden common sense as national armies are expected to show tolerance and understanding to the very people trying to kill them, murder and terrorise the populace, destroy infrastructure, and collapse the government.

The ‘peacekeeping’ mantra has become a dangerous cancer that is eating away at the combat effectiveness of African armies—and it is subsequently endangering the populace, destroying societies, and eroding the stability of states.

For Africa to survive in an ever-increasing turbulent environment, be independent, and ensure the safety and security for its people, the concept of ‘peacekeeping’ needs to be given a very serious rethink. 

Perhaps the time has come for African governments to stop demilitarizing their armed forces and instead redefine their missions—away from peacekeeping and towards enemy and threat identification, deterrence, targeting, and annihilation.

After all, that is what the armed forces are supposed to do—isn’t it?