Executive Outcomes: Against all Odds, by Eeben Barlow
Lieutenant-General R. 'Witkop' Badenhorst, SSAS, SD, SM, MMM Chief of Staff Intelligence, South African Defence Force form April 1989 to November 1991, has written this foreword to Eeeben Barlow's war memoires, Executive Outcomes: Against all Odds.
I first met Eeben Barlow in 1982. As a young and eager reconnaissance officer with 32-Battalion, he was tasked to conduct an operation in my area of interest, Angola. It therefore came as no great surprise to me to learn that he remained active in the sphere of security and military operations after leaving the SADF. I would only much later discover the extent of his activities. He established Executive Outcomes (EO) in 1989 as a private security-and-advisory company but, through circumstance, changed its direction to become a military advisory company, or, to use the current term, a private military company. Apart from giving specialist covert training to the SADF's Special Forces, Executive Outcomes provided high-level security advice, and training, to numerous foreign governments and large multi-national corporations. In addition, the company provided advice to a few NATO armed forces. It also became involved in fighting crime in South America. After the Cuban withdrawal from Angola, the situation in that country deteriorated to such an extent that UNITA gained almost total control of Angola's oil and diamond fields. This became a crisis for the Angolan government who were dependent on these natural resources. The election results of the 1992 Angolan election were rejected by UNITA, with some apparent encouragement by outside forces, which instead opted for a return to war. By 1993, Executive Outcomes had just completed a high-risk security operation in Angola on behalf of numerous international oil companies. It was at the time that a desperate Angolan government urgently needed help to end a decades-old conflict. The world had already turned its back on Angola. The Angolan government thus contracted EO to reorganise, retrain and provide a strategy for ending the Angolan civil war. This contract called on a private South African company to support a legitimate government to ensure its sovereignty, all by means of a legitimate contract. The contract was, however, in direct opposition to the previous South African government's policy because South Africa had, for years, supported UNITA. Strictly speaking, South Africa could not object to Executive Outcomes's contract with the MPLA, because South Africa no longer had an interest in the battle between FAPLA (and later FAA) and UNITA. The Cubans had long since withdrawn from Angola, and a democratic Namibia had been established. There was thus no longer a SWAPO threat. This was, however, still unacceptable to South Africa, and it had to devise a new method of attack on the company. Initially, oblivious to the concern it was creating, and in order to carry out its contractual obligations, Executive Outcomes recruited a number of men from the SADF's elite units such as the Reconnaissance Regiments, 32-Battalion, the Parachute Battalion as well as men from the South African Air Force. The majority of these men had already been retrenched from the SADF. Retrenched personnel from the police's elite Koevoet counter-insurgency unit were also recruited as well as former members of the ANC's military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe. Executive Outcomes's strong points lay in its strategy development, planning, training and execution of strategy and tactics. The men at EO realised that they could not help to end the war unless the FAA were able to regain control over the country's natural resources and thus deprive UNITA of the revenue it needed to fuel the war. With their training, they re-established the Angolan 16-Brigade. [...]
This is an excerpt from Executive Outcomes: Against all Odds, by Eeben Barlow.
Title: Executive Outcomes
Subtitle: Against all Odds
Author: Eeben Barlow
2nd Edition, Cape Town South Africa 2010
ISBN 9781919854410 / ISBN 978-1-919854-41-0
Softcover, 17 x 24 cm, 552 pages, numerous photos, six maps, English text
Barlow, Eeben im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Executive Outcomes: Against all Odds tells the fascinating story of Eeben Barlow establishing private military forces in Africa.