So happy to finally hear the real story around this ground breaking endeavor. Mr.Barlow gives razor insight into his many trails and tribulations. The one saying he hasn’t wavered from and the cornerstone of his philosophy as I see it. Is only Africans and help Africans. He proves this true time and again.
Eeben Barlow is a singular individual as someone who has waged counter-insurgency warfare but unlike the wonks and staffers in Washington D.C., he was actually successful in his endeavors fighting bad actors from Sierra Leone to Nigeria to their knees. He did it by working by, with, and through host-nation counter parts alongside fellow South African security contractors.
Barlow is a mercenary, infamous amongst many academics, journalists, and security professionals. He knows who he is and makes no apologies for it, a quality which is all too rare in today's world, in particular the “messy bullshit” world he navigates from Libya to Madagascar. In his third book, Barlow offers a behind the curtains view of the reality, and tragedy, of modern warfare in Africa as he experienced it up close and personal.
In “The War for Africa” Barlow describes his life as a private security contractor over the last decade and a half. From fighting Boko Haram to hunting down the Lord's Resistance Army, Barlow discusses the trials and tribulations of modern counter-insurgency operations as well as the maddening attempts to thwart his efforts. From frustrating African bureaucracies, to attempts to stymie his work by the United States government, one has to wonder if the powers that be really want terrorists put out of business or not.
This unique view explodes the true story behind so many false headlines and will be an important reference for both soldiers and scholars as well as those wanting to read of true life adventures of which Barlow has in spades.
I recently completed reading Eeben Barlow’s latest book “The War For Africa: Conflict, Crime, Corruption and Foreign Interests. Eeben’s narrative writing style makes for easy reading drawing the reader into the narrative as a participant. Those who have read his book “Executive Outcomes: Against All Odds”, will find this work to be a continuation of Eeben’s passion to be involved in helping in whatever way he can, to resolve the conflict, crime and corruption so prevalent all over Africa. Again, it is a gripping account that makes for compulsive reading and the reader will find it difficult to put the book down!
What again becomes very clear in this book, if I may quote from the Bible, Matthew 13:57 “A prophet is not without honour except in his own town and in his own home” (NIV) has certainly been Eeben’s case. Given the intelligence that his operatives gathered and his analysis and insightful interpretation of it, Eeben made several predictions of acts of violence and destruction that would take place and issued warnings of these to relevant authorities, which went unheeded as when his predictions came to pass unnecessary lives were lost and property damaged!
What should be of concern to every reader and indeed every South African are his statements regarding the unhindered or unchecked illicit training of terrorists within the borders of South Africa and the movement of Islamic Extremist Terrorists operating within Mozambique that are steadily moving southwards until they reach the border with South Africa. The South African Authorities have given no indication of concern to this situation and perhaps a failure to do so is an implication that they are complicate with what is taking place?
I urge every African who has a love for and concern for this great continent to read this book and allow it to challenge you into thinking what you can do to contribute positively towards improving the situation in Africa!
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 unsurmountable. 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.
Although interesting. I found that Eben Barlow " Doth Protest Too Much" At times it was the same repetitive excuses for non performance. But I suppose that was his reality and experience.