Eeben Barlow’s book “The war for Africa” is a very insightful book. Not only does it lift the veil of the so called “mercenaries” active in Africa, but it discusses what is really happening. It lays bare the truth of operations and involvement of these men in their campaigns to stop evil. One cannot other than respect these people and their brave actions.
I admired their adaptability to function everywhere, from the jungles in Uganda, the bush of Garamba National park, the desert edges in South Sudan and Nigeria, and the urban environments of Madagascar.
It is not a book about how great Eeben Barlow and fellow comrades were (although they were), but rather the struggle by Africans, in Africa for Africa to change the outcomes of the conflicts on the continent. It provides a good understanding to the mountains of problems experienced by them before the operations, and then the sudden attack from the external forces and the media once there is success.
The book is an easy read, yet there is insight into strategies used, methodology developed, and the different leadership roles individuals played. It is in my opinion about real men taking up the challenges— that others failed dismally in addressing—and under extreme pressure led their people to victory. The question posed is: “Is this not what all good human beings should aspire to?” and the answer is a definitive yes.
I could feel the desperation and helplessness experienced by Eeben and his team, especially during the Chibok girls’ chapter where it took so long to get the opportunity to solve the problem. But alas, despite the short time to make an impact, the success was short lived…
The book indicates how friendships and comradery existed between the men of STTEP and their clients. Again, the undertones of people with veiled motives are constant and that is indeed incredibly sad.
I would recommend that young people read this book to understand leadership, the role of strategic thinking and how to solve problems that look and seem to be insurmountable. For the older generation, you get to enjoy reflections of your own history and an insight into the truth that is so very scarce nowadays. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and once I started reading, it was difficult to put it down.