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.

Monday, November 21, 2016


I have been asked if there are currently any reviews of Composite Warfare available on the web.

The short answer…”Yes”.

I was able to ‘steal’ these reviews off Piet Fourie’s site Bush War Books.  (www.warbooks.co.za). Fortunately, they are all good but I am sure the less good ones will still come…

Incidentally, Piet also sells the book so if there are any of you who are unable to find it in the bookstores—local and abroad—he will be able to assist you as he ships military books all over the world.

Here they are sequenced from the most recent to the first…

A military masterpiece!

Frans van Niekerk on Nov 11, 2016

The book is a military masterpiece and showcases a portion of one of the most reputable strategic military minds. The book was written purely for a soldier, from a General to a Junior leader - to equip them for the battlefield. Eeben used his knowledge and vast experience on the subject matter to create a textbook that is not only an easy read but is composed of factual information and is easily referenced. Given the impressive history of Eeben’s military career and the many successes he has achieved all over Africa, the book is not just an academic book but a testament to tried and trusted methodologies that have yielded success in the field and has simplified many complex military manoeuvres. Perusing this book will empower military leaders to lead their armies to victory and allows for fundamental and complex principles of warfare to be properly addressed. The strategic nature of this book will also enrich corporate leaders. As it explains the importance of strategy and the implementation thereof in an operational environment, as well as the importance of taking a holistic view to addressing a problem. Naturally, because there is no room for error and the stakes are always high in any military strategy, the development of a good corporate strategy can be developed from military principals. The reader can see the importance of all forces at play and develop an understanding of the objectives and the impact it has on winning the fight, and ultimately the war.

An amazing book!

Hansie Prinsloo on Nov 09, 2016

A monumental piece of work delivered by a living legend who is deeply respected by both friend and foe alike. I recently had the privilege of meeting one of Picasso’s last living students. As Picasso’s fingerprints are left in modern art, this book will leave its fingerprints on generations to come in Africa. Knowing the author is a humbling experience. By virtue of knowing him as a person, I surmise that one of his objectives was not only how to handle conflicts in the African context, but for future generations to learn from the lessons of the past in order to manage conflict and prevent war raging in a current and future Africa. Salute!

A must read for any professional soldier hoping to survive Africa

Hein M. on Nov 07, 2016

This is one of the most complete guides for any professional soldier. A very practical look at the Art of War in an African context with practical explanations of the intricacies of war. It creates an almost complete view of anything you might encounter be it as a foot soldier, battle commander or intelligence operative/SOF soldier. I would recommend this book as a must have for all who have chosen the military as a career. Eeben Barlow is one of the best teachers and commanders a soldier can ever hope to serve under and his practical experience and ability to transfer this knowledge will stay with you forever.

Incredibly detailed and thoroughly researched

Hannes Wessels on Nov 05, 2016

Surely the seminal work on the subject. Incredibly detailed and thoroughly researched by a man who has both the empirical and theoretical knowledge to tackle a very complicated subject. Only through the sort of exposure that Eeben has experienced can one write about the unusual nuances pertaining to conflict situations in Africa and that shows. Too many soldiers ignore or are unaware of the political dynamics pertaining in their theater of operations. This can be a costly mistake which the author does not make. Anybody looking to fight a war in Africa need look no further for guidance.

A classic appraisal of modern day warfare

Patrick Ricketts on Nov 05, 2016

The book Composite Warfare is a classic appraisal of modern day warfare internationally and not only in Africa. It should be valued for its understanding and appraisal of modern military conflicts and the valuable development of strategic, operational and tactic perspectives applicable to modern armed conflicts. As the author had risen from the ranks, having gone through a soldier’s harsh realities, he displays an intense understanding of the relationship between the state and its armed formations and the role and responsibilities of armed formations within society and on the battlefield. The author further describes the basic tendencies in the modern art of warfare, the courses and progress of armed conflict and the perfection of operational and tactical skills of officers and men in an armed conflict that results in military victory. Thank you very much for this excellent piece of work, though the content may pose a challenge to certain international power blocks who it may be viewed as a challenge their expansionist policies in their strive for control of material resources


Roy Marais on Nov 01, 2016

This is one of the best, if not the best Warfare Manuals for ANY Person who lives and works in Africa being that Military, Government or any other entity who is involved in Africa, to understand the complexity of Africa. The author has through this developed the way forward for training the new breed of soldiers in Africa. Excellent book and a must for any student of the Art of War. In time to come this book will be rated at the same level as Mobile Warfare of Roland de Vries.
In years to come this book will become as relevant as “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu only that this manual focuses on Africa and how future warfare should be planned and conducted within the African Battle space.

New one for Military scholars

Phillip on Oct 17, 2016

This book is definitely going to be a best seller for the year!! This is a excellent guide for waging a modern military campaign not just in Africa, but around the world. The structure of the information is easy to read and digest, even for non- military men like me. I think there will be a lot of soldiers around the world walking around with this book as a guide. Keeping this one next to Mobile Warfare of Roland de Vries.
Thanks Piet for the signed copy. Was a nice surprise!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


This past weekend witnessed the solemn commemorations of Remembrance Day around the world.
It was indeed a fitting time to remember the numerous sacrifices made by the many allied and enemy soldiers who went before us. In countless ways, it was both a joyous and sad occasion, but sadly the world has not become what so many had hoped—and died for. The ‘war to end all wars’ was only the start of the conflicts and wars that would follow.

It was also the weekend that my book Composite Warfare was launched in Natal.
My sincerest thanks to everyone who braved the rain and traffic to support my recent discussions and book launch in Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Shelly Beach. I had a great time visiting and chatting to everyone. It was also an honour and a privilege to meet old friends and make new ones.
My apologies to those I was unable to remember from my past…I have to blame ‘old age’.
It is always very difficult to single out specific people, as there are many that played a very prominent role the entire time I was in Natal.
However, I would like to thank the following people by name:
1.    Piet Fourie of Bush War Books for arranging the talks, coordinating matters and making sure I never went hungry or thirsty (Piet and Bush War Books are on Facebook for those who wish to join their circle of friends) and for arranging my overnight stay in Durban
2.    Johan Jonker for his support to both Piet and myself – and of course, his very entertaining stories
3.    Simon and Sarah for their immense kindness and hospitality for feeding me and giving me a warm, cozy bed to sleep in. I am, however, disappointed that they were unable to arrange better weather as it was very cold, misty and wet (I know we need the rain!) where they live, despite it being summer
4.    Brett for taking Sarah, Simon and I to supper on Thursday evening
5.    The Old Bill of the Alan Wilson Shellhole in Pietermaritzburg for allowing the MOTH hall to be used as it was raining and very wet outside
6.    The Natal Mounted Rifles (NMR) in Durban for allowing their facilities to be used on Saturday. Again, the rain was rather pesky but the braai Hilton organised made up for that by far.
7.    Mara Potgieter and her two ladies at Bargain Books, Shelly Beach for their efforts to both promote the book as well as sell it.
A very big thank you to everyone who sacrificed their time to listen to me discuss my new book as well as for the many interesting questions everyone asked.
And of course, a really big thank you to everyone who bought my books.
I truly appreciate your support.