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.

Monday, July 4, 2016


The numerous terror attacks, violent (and non-violent) protests and riots, along with armed uprisings Africa has— and is witnessing—are an indication that its security services—in particular the intelligence services—are failing their governments, the continent, and their people. Of course, these violent and non-violent actions are moreover an indication of much deeper issues that governments need to give attention to. 

But, it is also an indication that intelligence gained from open sources and allied intelligence liaison holds little to no value for African governments as it is neither actionable nor pre-emptive. In many instances this ‘allied intelligence’ is deceptive, misleading, false and purely historical in nature despite being piously referred to as ‘intelligence sharing’ aimed at ending conflicts and wars.

Instead, ‘intelligence’ is frequently used as a channel through which to disseminate fabricated information to create a false sense of security—or exaggerate a threat—with the hopes of eliciting and/or fermenting chaos or a heavy-handed government response. (It is also used to discredit business threats or cast a doubt over people and companies). In addition, the training given to African intelligence services by their so-called allied partners is shockingly sub-standard and in many instances, irrelevant and aimed at rendering them unable to fulfil even basic intelligence collection operations, thus purposely setting them up for failure.

The dangers and risks increase when false information is accepted as ‘intelligence’.

Even with the very best security measures and procedures in place, a government that lacks intelligence will be vulnerable to armed uprisings and/or terror threats.

In late-November 2015 sources reported to us that ‘a large terrorist action’ was going to happen ‘soon’ against a Western target/people somewhere in West Africa. We were, however, unaware of where and what the target was as we had long since left West Africa. But, if we were aware of a pending (terror) attack somewhere in West Africa, what were the intelligence services in West Africa and in particular the Burkina Faso intelligence service and its ‘partnership allies’ doing?

Such attacks are not spontaneous acts of violence carried out by a group of disaffected people who suddenly decide to commit an act of terror. These acts are planned over a period of time and in the process, these groups use a host of different agents, support agents, sympathisers, and radicals who are prepared—and sometimes willing to die—to carry their message(s) across.

Social media is frequently used to distribute instructions, issue warnings, pass on intelligence, and messages and to mobilise their assets and supporters. Sympathetic NGOs, so-called ‘humanitarian organisations’, and other ‘peace loving’ and ‘democratic and freedom seeking’ charities are occasionally used to move their weapons and equipment and assist with distributing the armed protesters and/or terror groups’ propaganda.

But these groups haemorrhage or leak information if only we are willing to make an effort to capture it. Oftentimes, this leakage is very obvious and serves as a perfect early warning of a pending attack.

This begs the question when considering, for example, the attack in Burkina Faso: Where was the intelligence that was supposed to identify that planned action or—at the very least—warn of the potential danger or predict it? Where were the agents and other sources that were supposed to identify such groups and their plans? Or is this another case where the intelligence services were taught how to tie their shoelaces instead of how to do their jobs?

The developing conflict in Burundi is another case in point. Armed violence, criminality and terrorist actions are planned in advance…and are NEVER spontaneous. Seldom are they launched without large-scale foreign backing and support—as Cote d’Ivore demonstrated.

The lack of actionable and predicted intelligence—or the inability and/or unwillingness of the intelligence services to collect it—places the government at a severe disadvantage and provides the enemy or threat with a multitude of advantages and options. At times, actionable intelligence is discarded when it does not match the perceived reality of the government or the recipient—or, as has happened in the past, the intelligence is rejected by a so-called Western ally as ‘nonsense’ and ‘rubbish’ only for it to come back and bite everyone. Blind acceptance of misconceived allied assessments is a grave folly. (Sadly for Africa, some of its so-called allies are silently working at destabelising governments whilst trying to act the ‘good guys’).

Neglecting the intelligence required to ensure the security of the nation and the longevity and stability of a government and the state is both irresponsible and costing Africa dearly. Instead, governments are increasingly faced with domestic and foreign-funded anti-government forces (AGFs) and proxy forces intent on sowing terror and creating chaos with the aim of destabelising entire countries and toppling governments to ensure foreign control over their interests.

But conflicts and wars in Africa are never ending—and indeed, will escalate over the coming years. As long as intelligence is neglected and/or ignored—these actions will continue to take governments by surprise. The collateral damage and humanitarian fallout from these conflicts and wars is incalculable.   

In early 2016, the United Nations (UN) called for an estimated US$ 40bn annually to assist and support the growing number of people requiring humanitarian aid. US Dollars Forty Billion. And apparently this is not enough….as there is a US$ 15bn funding gap. Indeed, with that amount of money annually and continually given over a 5-year period, most African conflicts and wars could be over and the national armies, law enforcement agencies, and intelligence services retrained and reequipped to be very effective security forces. It is, after all, the many conflicts and wars that have resulted in so many people requiring humanitarian aid. 

But, as many in Africa—especially those in the DRC, CAR,  Cote d’Ivore, Darfur, Burundi, South Sudan, and others—can testify, the UN is not exactly objective, trusted or able to live up to its promises to protect the innocent and keep the peace. The little trust there was in the UN is rapidly disappearing down a very deep hole. The perception that the UN peacekeepers are nothing other than ‘tourists in helicopters’ that commit crimes against the very people they need to protect will intensify over time.

But, as long as African governments continue to neglect their security structures and fail to collect and act on intelligence, they will fail the continent and these funds will go to organisations that exploit these tragedies to make money.

Ironically, these same organisations condemn those who actually do something to end conflicts and wars—probably because ending conflicts and wars is very bad for their business and their control over African governments.


Herbert said...

I was pleasantly surprised to check your blog this morning and find you were back on the net. What's it been, six months or so? Trust you have been well.
While I can't comment knowledgeably on the specific intelligence failures you cite in Africa, I can make a more general comment which applies. After a career in intelligence I learned that Western intelligence in places like Africa, Southeast Asia, and even the Middle East is very poor. And in places like North Korea and even in large part China, often it is next to nonexistent. OK, at least the US can get overhead imagery, comm intercepts, and the like in most places--that is important. But the hard core Humint that spells out plans and intent--usually missing. So, Western governments sally forth with some photography packaged with stacks of mostly open source historical tripe of the type you mention and try to impress the developing country. Sweetened with money (aid package, military training, etc), it works.
No need to tell you this. You see it all the time. Mix in the fact that some countries may see it to their benefit to have instability in some developing countries. Mix in a UN with a primary mission of maintaining the colossal lumbering drunk named UN. Mix in the army of NGOs, always thirstily looking for their next gig, who have captured the confidence of the appropriate Western government organizations.
Realizing I have added no intelligent comment to the problem you've defined, I suppose I have only confirmed my progressing cynicism as I age. I see no end to this in my lifetime.

Don't stay gone so long if you can help it, and

Best Regards,

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for your comment Herbert. Yes, it has been a while and I shall try to be here more frequently this year, even though half of it has passed.
Your comment confirms what we have believed for a long time: HUMINT is (almost) dead and buried. The result of discarding HUMINT has resulted in massive intelligence failures, very costly unintended consequences, failed policies, ‘spontaneous armed uprisings’, unnecessary casualties on the battlefield and an unstoppable flood of migrants and refugees.
Over time, I have witnessed the financial sweetener you mention offered to African governments. It is also strengthened with diplomatic and economic blackmail and a sometimes not-so-subtle hint at regime change. Sadly though, much of the training offered is below sub-standard.
All of this impacts hugely on the development of all government strategies, resulting in mass instability. Some African governments are becoming wise to what is happening but some are deep into the trap that they cannot make too many adjustments for fear of being ousted.
The UN’s failures dressed up as successes are legion.
As for ‘progressing cynicism’, I too am becoming a member of that club!

Unknown said...


I'm glad you're back. Here is a stupid question, but kindly humor me:

If you look at videos of mass demonstrations in South Africa, you invariably see the demonstrators wielding 'traditional' weapons like assegais, knobkieries, pangas, and old broom handles.

It's almost as if they prefer these weapons to fire-arms. Just look at how farmers are murdered - nary a gunshot wound to be found on the police reports.

Why does this government, and other governments for that matter, not train up a legion to a similar standard as that of ancient Rome, then enact legislation that gives local authorities the authority to declare some form of martial law, and then deploy such a legion loose on these demonstrators ?

Kind regards.


Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for your comment RD.
I am as concerned as the next person when I witness intelligence and law enforcement failings, regardless of where they occur, so I do not regard your question as ‘stupid’ at all.
I believe that so-called ‘traditional weapons’ have always played a large role in a crowd’s show of force and increases their intimidation factor. Even when we see ‘peaceful protests’ these items are present. They are cheap and easy to come by and are used to taunt the police to respond with a heavy hand. This allows them to exploit the media coverage that follows heavy-handed police actions. And of course, broomsticks and the like cannot be banned.
Insofar as farm murders are concerned, I have heard that there is a lot of criticism about the police reports in terms of accuracy and the unfolding of events. If this is true or not, I do not know. What I do know, is that many of these murders are also not ‘spontaneous’ and indeed they are planned over a period of days if not weeks. These murders also occur, in my opinion, when the homestead security is lax or non-existent or inadequate. And many of them are committed by disgruntled farm workers or by uncontrolled migrants who can flee across porous national borders of the country. Complacency holds many dangers.
Given the many protests that occur in SA, I don’t think the police have the manpower and resources to act to quell these actions. Calling in the armed forces to take control or to support policing operations is also an indication of law enforcement failures.
Stopping these actions requires a lot of political will but it also requires a deeper understanding of why these actions take place along with good intelligence coverage. After all, these actions (riots and protests) are planned by agent provocateurs who assume leadership roles in the actions. Ultimately, the riots and protests we witness in many places in Africa—and not just in SA—are the result of a lack of good governance and a sense of marginalisation, along with historic ethnic antagonisms, factionalism, and frustration, coupled to divisive and militant politics and so forth.
Training a legion as you suggest may produce a short-term dividend but the questions arise: Who will train, manage, deploy and oversee these legions? I believe governments should go back to proactive policing and not reactive policing. But again, to be proactive, good current and predictive intelligence is required.
Violent and non-violent crowd control/protests and riots is a very specialist field of action. Very few if any African law enforcement agencies are equipped to deal with this.
Does that make sense?

Die Stoor said...


Great to read another informative and educational post on your blog. I hope that time allows you to be more active as they really do provide insight as opposed to the nonsense that is generally dished out by the MSM and the "experts".

To touch on your comment regarding farm murders. Genocide watch's Dr Gregory Stanton has been warning for some years that white South Africans could be on the verge of a government-linked extermination campaign. To be a white farmer in South Africa means you are twice as likely to be murdered as a police official which is rather astounding considering the environment the police find themselves in. Farmers in SA are at risk of murder at something like 99 per 100 000 which places them in one of the very top "at risk" groups on earth and about three times higher than the national average which is already one of the highest per capita in the world.

My points are related to the fact that farm attacks are undoubtedly part of a larger strategy and at the very least motivated by the continuous tirade of justification spewed forth by politicians aided and abetted by deathly silence from the media and willful ignorance from the public. At worst they are part of a planned low level insurgency or most likely a combination of the two.
I could not agree more that the success of these attacks is attributable to inadequate lax or non-existent homestead security. Thus how does a community protect themselves from such attacks with relatively limited resources and mostly without the benefit of State support and protection through manpower and equipment? The ingenuity often shown by these "insurgents" in breaching passive security measures is remarkable. How would such communities be able to add a first layer to their defenses by cultivating human based intelligence in the area and is this even a possibility considering the divisive political climate? Are run of the mill security add-ons an effective way to counter these attacks? The alternative would be literally to have armed patrols 24 hours a day which is not really viable on a large scale and even if it was viable to implement this in itself would need to be a commercially viable initiative and then would be reliant on the reliability and sustainability of an external service provider with many potential shortfalls and gaps.

Apologies for the long winded post leading up to the question, but this is something I have been contemplating for a while now.

Die Stoor

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks for your comment Stoor.
I will try to keep my response as brief as possible but that will be difficult as this may turn out to be a large soapbox!
First off, I believe one should view the main stream media as organisations that attempt to shape and manipulate the perceptions of people and therefore seldom or no longer to report facts. Instead, use is made of black and grey propaganda to achieve the aims of those who own them. These aims are intended to make people believe that we need to accept a ‘different style of government’ and then we will all be living in paradise.
‘Democracy’ has become a buzzword for anarchy and chaos.
A further aim is to encourage and promote confrontational, divisive and militant politics and boost ‘freedom’ without considering that freedom has certain boundaries. Inflammatory remarks, overt xenophobia, raising of ethnic and racial tensions, and uncontrolled protests and riots are encouraged and on the rise. Then of course, there are some in the media who see it as their duty to attack all and anyone who tries to prevent the spread of chaos. One only needs to read a newspaper article, see who the ‘author’ was and what they wrote about, then you know whose agenda they are being paid to punt and which side of the fence they stand on.
However, freedom is neither free nor does it imply that we can do as we please with no accountability. Likewise responsible journalism carries with it accountability and ‘freedom of speech’ needs to be handled responsibly. But this purported freedom and rising militancy has brought with it a certain sense of privilege to those who expect much in return for little. This does not only apply to SA but to elsewhere in the world.
I do not view myself as a conspiracy theorist and try to base my views on facts and intelligence. Sometimes, this causes me to shake my head because our African governments are being intentionally misled—without realising where the pending disaster is leading them to and how it will impact on the lives of all of those they are elected to govern. And huge sums of money are paid to receive this so-called advice, much of it intended to set us (Africa) up for failure. But as Mark Twain (I think) once said: ‘It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled’.
In 2011/2012 I was told by a foreign diplomat that SA was too big for one government. When I challenged him on this, and suggested that he was implying mass destabelisation of SA in order to Balkanise SA, his comment was a ‘nudge-nudge, wink-wink’ response and that he thought I had misunderstood him. I never forgot that comment and indeed, it is at the forefront of my mind when I witness what is unfolding across Africa. Added to this is the rise of foreign-funded armed anti-government forces, and proxy forces. ‘Exporting peace’, ‘regime change’ and bringing about ‘stability’, and ‘democracy and freedom’ have become excuses to take up arms, destabelise and destroy. Examples of this nefarious approach litter the Middle East and Africa.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...


Is what we witness unfolding part of a larger strategy? I believe undoubtedly that it is. But sadly, many of our citizens remain ignorant regarding the multiple attacks on SA and the larger geo-political interests we pose a potential threat to. Ultimately, ignorance becomes bliss. This has nothing to do with the past but everything to do with the future. However, to avoid the future the past needs to be rehashed.
Bear with me: One of the areas of attack against any government is the erosion and ultimate collapse of its economy. Agriculture plays a massive role in infusing the economy and feeding people in Africa. Without agriculture, countries need to import food—often food of sub-standard quality—and have to pay a premium for it. Some folks cannot afford this food and subsequently starve. Many of these impoverished and starving people see themselves forced into a life of crime—also fuelled by divisive and militant politics and the concept of ‘freedom’. But many of them are either forced to relocate. Some of them occupy positions in government departments and sectors of the economy, the results of which are felt across the entire state. Due to inadequate oversight, we see results such as the misuse of funds, syphoning off funds from government accounts for personal use, awarding of illegal contracts, and increased corruption and so forth.
When SA achieved its status of democracy and equality in 1994, a deluge of foreign advisors flooded the country to peddle ‘advice’ on how to govern. Some of this advice was good and some of it was purposely intended to erode the planned government strategy and future policies. The three areas that suffered the worst advice were: Intelligence, Law Enforcement and the Armed Forces. These three areas are critical in maintaining and sustaining the integrity of the state and protecting the people and the country. Without a strong, robust and sustainable national security strategy, everything government does becomes a risk.
Another snippet of ‘good advice’ was relaxing border controls, thus opening the floodgates to transnational crime—usually well-armed and ruthless, plus refugees, uncontrolled migration, and cheap labour. (Look at what is happening in Europe where this model was recently implemented).
Back to farm murders in SA: As a result of ‘good advice’, we have no early warning (on advice the Commando system was abolished as it was claimed it posed a ‘potential threat to government’), we have limited intelligence (thus no ground coverage giving us early warning), our borders are largely uncontrolled (free movement of armed, dangerous and ill-intentioned people and migrants with criminal intent) and our law enforcement agencies are unable to react and respond adequately. But, these very important state organs are staffed by people who are subjected to a daily barrage of confrontational, divisive and militant political rhetoric. Yet, on ‘advice’, these organs were eroded, denuded and set up to fail. And so, in my opinion, the cycle repeats itself.
Our strict gun-control protocols have also resulted in many law abiding citizens being unable to defend themselves adequately whilst the criminals have no such restrictions.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...


A sense of fear of being attacked and murdered has driven many farmers, their families, and their workers, to seek safety in the larger cities, some abandoning their farms and some, at best, and becoming part-time farmers. The effects of this are reduced agricultural income, retrenching of workers, increased food importation, rising food costs, an increase in poverty, and an overall decline in our food production. But there are also farmers who mistreat their workers, some through entrenched beliefs and others through sheer frustration.
Now (finally) to your question: Are farm murders per se part of the larger strategy? I don’t think so. However, the increase in farm murders are symptomatic of failure and inadvertently strengthen the strategy to destabelise SA. Increasing the size of the law enforcement agencies does not automatically imply an increase in ability, competence and/or professionalism. This merely results in enforcement becoming unenforceable.
With our high murder rate and rising tensions, we are viewed by many outside of SA as a fragile state, and thus potential investors are hesitant to invest for fear of losing their investments.
Blaming the past for the present situation is no solution. Ultimately, our motto of ‘Unity is strength’ is gradually being replaced with ‘Weakness through disunity’.
So, in my opinion, what we are witnessing is primarily a failure of intelligence and a failure in pro-active law enforcement. This opens the doors to many other potential failures.
Farmers in particular remain extremely vulnerable. The add-ons of security companies is a Band-Aid on a sucking chest wound. But, it is neither affordable nor sustainable. Plus many of these companies are totally inept and unprofessional and some are part of the problem and not part of the solution.
The solution to all of this? I am not sure as we have not assessed the situation in depth as we are—and as you may know—not viewed in a positive light in SA despite our standing elsewhere in Africa. What I do know is that we cannot fix this situation with candle burning and hashtags.
Can this be rectified? I believe so but it requires strong political will, an admission of faults, and the immediate, decisive rectification thereof.
Despite the above, I remain ever-positive and hopeful.
I hope this makes sense?

Die Stoor said...

Hi Eeben,

Thank you very much for the time taken to write such a concise reply. The preamble far from being a large soapbox was actually very educational and happens to coincide with my thinking on the subject.
I also agree with the sentiment of not viewing myself as a conspiracy theorist and basing my viewpoint on facts but I must admit that sometimes things seem so absurd that I feel like one, and I have to question my own eyesight. In fact I think that the role of media as an instrument is largely to peddle fiction dogmatically to the effect of persuading people that what they see happening is not real and reality is limited to what they write. (So I suppose merely repeating what you already said) Whats more is that the majority actually seem to fall for it. I hope that makes sense not the most articulate way of expressing it I'm afraid.

It is a pity that this country does not view STTEP in a favourable light considering that it would benefit greatly as other countries have. It is almost incomprehensible that the people in power would be so ignorant as to have these self destructive opinions and that the public in general would have their heads buried so deeply in the sand as to not want to see the problems that are arising. For us that live here it should be a huge concern considering we are facing Failed State status shortly and there is nowhere left to go.

I also hope that we can find the strong political will and decisively rectify the faults but I worry that a brief investigation of similar occurances throughout history will show that this is more unlikely with the current crop of "leaders" than finding a real live Unicorn on the front lawn on Christmas morning.

OMNI said...

Mr Barlow,

In your rant, if it may be described as such, you said some interesting things :

"I was told by a foreign diplomat that SA was too big for one government. When I challenged him on this, and suggested that he was implying mass destabelisation of SA in order to Balkanise SA, his comment was a ‘nudge-nudge, wink-wink’ response and that he thought I had misunderstood him."

Who would benefit in a balkanized SA ?

"But sadly, many of our citizens remain ignorant regarding the multiple attacks on SA and the larger geo-political interests we pose a potential threat to.",

Can you elaborate on this. For whom is SA a threat ?

As for myself, I'm reminded of how SA couldn't roll over its foreign debt in the mid 80's due to the shenanigans of Chase Manhattan Bank. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if the then government had put up Simon's Town for auction on a 99 year lease on the same terms as that of Hong Kong.

Methinks a lot of powerful governments would have worked furiously behind the scenes while SA would have laughed all the way to the bank.

As things stand now, one need only watch two markets to gauge SA's fate - oil and gold. Oil because it is the biggest market, and gold because it is the most powerful. As the saying goes amongst bodybuilders - "... the man with the biggest muscles ain't necessarily the strongest."

Currently the oil market and the gold market are separated by another market - the US Dollar. To get into either one, one must go through the US Dollar as an intermediary.

But if oil is ever priced in gold, then the gold price will rise to levels that will make great indebted countries mourn for all the gold they had sold off. Why ? The producers of oil will offer a discount on gold payments.

And those great indebted countries will cast an avaricious eye upon SA, like the British Empire once did when gold was discovered in the old Boer Republics, and the result was the Second Anglo Boer War.

This time it won't be just one foreign invader on our shores, it will be many.

In the town of Barberton lives a seer who predicts that Armageddon will take place in South Africa.

It's eerie that the Vale of Desolation is, in fact, near the town of Graaff-Reinet in the heart of the arid Karoo.

She's right methinks, because though history doesn't always repeat, it sure as hell rhymes.

Kind regards.


Alan said...

Eeben: Excellent piece and write-ins. Great to see you back at the computer.
Best to you and yours, Alan

Unknown said...

Commonly thought of as a bastion of peace and stability in the continent ever since the turn of the century, the southern part of Africa is once more returning to the spotlight of global attention.

Zimbabwean officials have alleged that the American and French embassies are behind the latest Color Revolution commotion in the country, stating that their ambassadors even met with the movement’s newest leader, Pastor Evan Mawarire, before he began his campaign.

This accusation is echoed by regional leader South Africa, which described the latest tumult as “sponsored elements seeking regime change”.

If the US succeeds in its latest Color Revolution plot, then the collapse of Resistant & Defiant Zimbabwe could be the tripwire for automatically setting into motion a preplanned sequence of other destabilizations that might rapidly spread throughout the neighboring countries, thereby returning Southern Africa back to its Cold War-era of conflict and unexpectedly turning it into the New Cold War’s latest battleground.


Without the shared enemy of apartheid to unite the country’s disparate range of ethnic-tribal identities, it regretfully looks like some of these groups are at a serious risk of “self-segregating” and dividing the country along their identity lines.

Tribalism has always been a civilizational vulnerability for the sub-Saharan African peoples just as sectarianism has been for the Muslim ones, and the rich spectrum of South Africa’s countless diverse identities could be violently divided against one another by external manipulation even easier than the binary Sunni-Shia split was savagely masterminded over recent years.

All that it might take to produce this American-anticipated reaction is the large-scale introduction of Weapons of Mass Migration to set off an uncontrollable spate of deadly xenophobic purges that quickly spiral to the point of all-out civil war between the native ethnicities, eventually resulting in the de-facto re-institutionalization of “Bantustans” via the ‘politically correct’ and ‘domestically asked-for’ ‘black-led’ ‘solution’ of Identity Federalism.



Mr Barlow, do you concur with this author's thesis ?

Kind regards.


Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Sadly people no longer question what is happening Stoor, and therefore are unable to connect the dots.
STTEP is a thorn in the side of governments that do not wish for an end to the chaos or that have found themselves an unwitting proxy to larger foreign powers. We watch when we enter an African country to see who starts the hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth…and then we know who is behind and supporting the problems. And we have been quiet observers of this duplicity for some time now.
Unfortunately, our government relies on lot for its intelligence feed from the media and foreign intelligence liaison. Given the media’s subjective stance on matters, and its inability to observe and report objectively, it is no small wonder that the mainstream media is entering its death throes.
I believe we are already in—or close to entering—fragile state status. This does not spell doom and gloom as the situation can still be turned around. But, it is a concern if we do not start to act decisively and with a sense of urgency. As long as we ignore the many lessons of history and develop firm political and security will, we will find ourselves on the downhill.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

An interesting comment OMNI. Thanks for your input into a delicate matter re oil vs gold vs US Dollar. Gadaffi didn’t consider this, did he?
There is no short answer to your questions but I will try to give a very short answer…
A balkanised SA would benefit many. Currently, we are part of BRICS—a political decision that was taken at the highest level. Balkanising SA would require that participation to be readjusted. Also, we know that at least one political party in SA is receiving a lot of (covert) foreign funding—and I am sure it did not come without strings…military bases, shipping lanes, harbours, gold, ‘we will call the tune and you will dance to the music…’, etc. It would also substantially weaken a united SA—something we can witness on a daily basis. As the saying goes: Divide and Conquer…That is why we are also witnessing such an increase in militant and divisive politics.
SA does not pose a substantial military threat to most Africa countries. However, our current inability to project significant hard force is well known. But, as above, we are part of BRICS and every BRICS country has now come under a sustained attack on many different fronts—in an effort to weaken or disintegrate the alliance. A strong BRICS alliance will provide each member state with numerous advantages but a weak or broken alliance will open the doors to others who wish to seize influence and resources. In addition, we have a mainstream media that is intent on reporting subjectively on matters, and instead of giving people information on which to base decisions, they choose to view themselves as ‘perception creators’. By creating perceptions—often false ones—they are aiding and abetting those who wish to weaken SA. So, a weakened SA will not be taken seriously throughout Africa (as is currently a growing trend insofar at least military and intelligence matters are concerned) and will therefore find its advice rejected in favour of free bad advice. But, as I believe, many of our citizens are ignorant and have a firm believe that if the wheels fall off the car, the UN will come to rescue us. It is time people stopped imagining an objective UN working for good.
Ah yes, Chase Manhattan Bank…we were very close to going down the tubes with what happened there.
If we put Simons Town up for lease, I can imagine some foreign powers would have openly attacked us with force. Not because of Simons Town but it would have been the perfect excuse to seize our resources. But until that happened, we would have been able to sort out the loans the country had and conduct business as usual. But a strong SA was not wanted by the international community—and still isn’t, regardless of the rhetoric we are subjected to.
The Vale of Desolation is indeed hauntingly beautiful but does itself awaken visions of major destruction. If I recall correctly, Siener v Rensburg also mentioned the Valley of Desolation?

BTW: Enjoyed your website very much.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Many thanks Alan!
Take care and bestest as always.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

There are parts of it I absolutely concur with RD.
Plans to engineer a regime change in Zimbabwe are not new and these have been simmering for some time now. My concern is that given the previous regime changes we have witnessed, it will result in regional spill-over and seriously disrupt or damage neighbouring countries. Plus, a relatively stable southern Africa does pose numerous headaches to some. Not only will it be able to be the master of its own destiny, it will be able to feed and take care of itself—and therefore not be reliant of foreign aid that comes with a host of strings attached.
Africa is already the ‘latest battleground’ as the US Dept of Defence has quite recently stated. In fact, where we have been working for governments, AFRICOM have entered and openly threatened those governments to get rid of us. Of course, we leave quietly but watch in amazement at how they them proceed to destroy whatever they can. I have often said that if the people of America realised what their government’s foreign policy was indeed ‘achieving’ there would be a major commotion.
Before I am now accused of being anti-US, I am not. I observe, listen, actually see and watch what is happening and not much of it is any good.
As Paul Moorcraft recently wrote “Currently, there are more uncontrolled western-based non-governmental organisations (NGO) personnel running around Africa than there were imperial civil servants at the height of the great European empires”. Most people know that NGOs provide organisational cover to intelligence officers and their agents. Many people also realise that without conflict and internal tensions, NGOs would be non-existent…
Then of course, there is the current propagation (covert and overt) of divisive and militant politics, all aimed at fuelling simmering tensions to ensure conflict. When that conflict finally fully erupts, it will trigger off a scale of mass migration that will be incredible and that will result in even more tension and conflict. Call it xenophobia or cultural differences, it will be of an epic scale.
So what I see and what the authors’ wrote in the extracts you sent me, do not surprise me at all and as mentioned, I concur with much of what is written therein.