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.

Friday, January 19, 2018


My sincere thanks to everyone for the interest shown in the Executive Outcomes reprint as well as the encouragement I got to complete it, and despite numerous set-backs, it was finally done.
I recently signed off on the preliminary cover for the EO book which was done by Anthony Cuerden of Flying Ant Designs (www.flyingant.co.za). Although there are one or two smallish changes that need to be made, the cover will pretty much look as shown hereunder. I think Anthony did an excellent job.
The reprint is very different from the first publication by Galago as a lot more information—such as recently surfaced MI and DFA lies and deception, the duplicity of the South African government at that time and its desire to support a Maoist organisation at the cost of young South African lives, the use of state funds for private gain, and more—has been added.
The book was also extensively reedited by Marisa Robson (https://www.facebook.com/marisa.cronje), who did an excellent job fixing, questioning, reading and rereading the draft, and making sure things read right.
If all goes well, the book should be available in bookstores around the end of February, early March 2018.

I am told that there has been great interest in the hardcover books (100 with a commemorative EO coin and 100 without the commemorative coin). Obviously, the hardcover books, all numbered and signed, will be more costly that the soft cover books. The hardcover books will only be available through Piet Fourie’s Bush War Books site (www.warbooks.co.za). 


Darren said...

Hi Eeben I am an avid reader of your blog and have written a post about numeracy in insurgency. It would mean a lot if you read this post and gave some feed back ;D

machinephilosophy said...

Thanks again for everything you do.

I tried the warbooks website, so I could link to where people could purchase the book, but it says unavailable. Just thought you'd like to know.


Colin Freeman said...

Dear Eben
It's Colin Freeman from the Daily Telegraph in London here. I am out in northern Nigeria doing a piece about the extent of the government's progress in the fight against Boko Haram. There is a sense that it seems to have stalled a bit. I reported three years ago on your own successes here (see link below), and would be interested to get your views on the current situation, if you were willing to spare me some time on the phone. I know you don't normally speak to journalists but I thought there was no harm in asking. I can be reached at colinfreeman99@gmail.com


very best
Colin Freeman

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

Thanks Frank. I note that Bush War Books have it on their site but it is merely there to create awareness of the pending book. Publication will be around end of April and you wilthen be able to order from them.
Thanks for your interest.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

It has certainly stalled Colin and we are not at all surprised. As the government was forced to terminate our contract, we are not surprised to see what is going on now.
But, as you know, I no longer give interviews as I am no longer willing to fight a deceptive media narrative.
Good luck.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I will do so and revert, Darren.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I think it is a good piece Darren.
Any comment I give is purely my own opinion—and my opinion is only shaped by conflicts and wars in Africa, and not elsewhere. We also shy away from trying to use mathematical and scientific models to give some credence to—or understanding—of the ‘bad guys.
So, in brief, here goes:
1. We do not consider conflicts as ‘asymmetrical’ or indeed even as ‘conventional’ or ‘unconventional’ as both the latter type contain elements of the other. Besides, when we label a war or a conflict, people tend to view it with a blinkered approach. We view the conflicts in Africa as ‘armed anti-government uprisings’ and their causes are numerous. See my book ‘Composite Warfare’ P 23 – 36
2. Within South Africa, it is the ‘African National Congress’ (ANC) and not the ‘African National Council’. The ANC enjoyed support from both the East and the West
3. The infrastructure in Africa is lagging behind the rest of the world. The armed anti-government forces (AGFs) that utilise mobility are therefore mainly restricted to the existing infrastructure or very close to it. Very few AGFs actually have a good cross-country capability. Any force with a decent ISR capability will quickly identify AGF movements and mobility
4. All AGFs rely on the media (mainstream and social) to propagate their cause(s). Intelligence in all its guises allows identification of their supporters. But, allowing it to happen, allows them to gain the initiative in the informational environment and influence potential followers.
5. Countering any AGF strategy (terrorism, etc are merely tactics) requires timely, verifiable and accurate intelligence as intelligence drives both strategy and operational design. Without intelligence, we are blind to the enemy and his intentions
6. In your para beginning “Whatever the name of this functional tool for intelligence…”, you are referring to Essential Elements of Information (EEIs).EEI’s originate with the commanders, planners and strategists as ‘intelligence questions’ and are developed into EEIs by the intelligence analysts and passed to the various agents, assets, sources and resources for answering.
7. Although I cannot comment on your view re ISIL and Mosul et al as we have never worked there and must thus base my comments on what I have read and heard. I assume there were many factors at play: Lack of political and military will, a lack of or poor C4I, substandard training, incorrectly structured forces, incorrect doctrine, inability to coordinate fire support, inadequate equipment, etc. This all boils down to poor force preparation and overestimating the abilities of own forces.

Anonymous said...

The original softcover edition is listing for sale on amazon in the US for thousands of dollars per copy!! Perhaps the new revised issue is generating some collector interest. Regardless, it will be wonderful indeed to read the latest edition!! Very much looking forward to purchasing! Best regards to all.

Eeben Barlow's Milsec Blog said...

I have seen the exorbitant costs of the EO book on Amazon John, and it is indeed shocking. The book is available in some bookstores in South Africa but not in international bookstores. It can be ordered through www.warbooks.co.za who do bulk shipping from here.