‘The War for Africa: Conflict, Crime, Corruption and Foreign Interests’ is a hard-hitting account of the undeclared and invisible conflicts and wars that go almost unnoticed in the daily mainstream media. The impact of these economic, military, and political conflicts on the continent and its people is devastating.
This book offers a personal, yet disturbing and behind-the-scenes glimpse of much of what has gone wrong, and of what is happening across the continent. It covers the personal experiences of the author over two decades, firstly as an individual, and later as the chairman of STTEP International Ltd.
The author gives his personal views on the impact of fragile politics and policies, conflict, criminality, deceit, and lies that have, and still are, contributing to the on-going conflicts and wars the continent is waging against itself. Invariably, these problems are incentivised and motivated by nefarious foreign interests―especially in resource-rich countries.
Having proven that Africans of all colours and creeds can indeed solve Africa’s problems, his concern that it has become another soundbyte in political double-speak is apparent. His fears at the direction the continent has taken are evident in this book, as well as in his other published books and academic papers.
The background to the political and military conflicts the author was engaged in are discussed, and how poor and misleading advice often triumphs over verified intelligence. It is a story of deception and frustration, ignored advice, faulty projections, false accusations, fake news, and the erosion of a continent.
This is the story of a continent at war with itself.
“This is a must-read book especially for those in positions of power within government.” Dr Eddie Mienie
“This book ought to be read by any seeking to truly understand Africa in the 21st century.” Dr Hussein Solomon
“Eeben Barlow’s book reads like a travelogue of his lived experience through the fault lines of many of Africa’s conflict zones.” Moe Shaik
“A detailed and stimulating account penned by a gentleman.” Chris Hoare
“This isn’t a popular message for some vested interests, but it deserves our attention.” Piers Pigou
“This is an African telling an African story, as only an African can―it is a story the world should listen to.” Brendan Seery
Eeben Barlow served as a commandant (lieutenant colonel) and later temporary colonel in several conventional, unconventional and covert South African Defence Force (SADF) units. Commissioned in the SADF’s Corps of Engineers, he served as the sapper commander with 101 Task Force as well as for the 53rd and 54th Infantry Battalions. He went on to become the second-in-command of 32 Battalion’s Reconnaissance Wing. He was the first commander of P Troop, 44 Parachute Brigade while attached to 2 Field Regiment and later to the SA Army Headquarters (Directorate Engineers). During this period, he was also an active member of the SADF’s EOD/IED (bomb disposal) teams.
He subsequently served as an agent handler for South Africa’s Military Intelligence Division (MID), and thereafter, as a covert operative and commander of the SA Special Forces’ covert Civil Cooperation Bureau’s (CCB’s) Region 5 (Europe & Middle East) until he was unceremoniously fired from the CCB, resultant from the political changes in South Africa.
He developed the SADF Special Forces training programmes in agent handling and covert operations and trained and mentored these members. He was the founder and chairman of Executive Outcomes, arguably the most successful yet maligned Private Military Company in modern times. Upon leaving Executive Outcomes in late 1996, he served as a political and defence/security advisor to numerous African governments.
He chaired STTEP International Ltd from 2009 to mid-2020.
Barlow has partaken in numerous conflicts and wars across the continent where he has been described by many as one of Africa’s true warrior-sons: a soldier, a scholar and a diplomat, yet unafraid to speak truth to power.
He has served as a major general in several African armed forces and as a political and military advisor, military campaign strategist, and commander of several newly created, highly successful combat units. He has also overseen the training of specialist combat forces and accompanied them in battle.
Additionally, he has assisted several under-siege African governments with the development and implementation of sustainable military and intelligence strategies, and doctrines and policies to assist, guide and reduce uncertainties while gaining national and military advantages. Admired and respected by numerous African governments, he has also gained a grudging admiration and respect by the adversaries of those governments.
He served as the Honorary Consul of São Tomé and Príncipe to South Africa from 2019 to 2022.
He has contributed to numerous academic papers and book chapters and is a regular speaker at foreign conferences and seminars. Additionally, he frequently lectures at military colleges and universities across Africa and abroad and remains a trusted advisor to several African governments and military and political leaders.
He is the author of four highly acclaimed books: Executive Outcomes: Against All Odds; Composite Warfare: The Conduct of Successful Ground Force Operations in Africa; The War for Africa: Conflict, Crime, Corruption and Foreign Interests and Human Intelligence: Supporting Composite Warfare Operations in Africa.
He is a Research Fellow with the Faculty of Military Science of Stellenbosch University and works with the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa (SIGLA) of Stellenbosch University on landward security governance.
Barlow is currently the chairman and CEO of the rebirthed Executive Outcomes. The company was reactivated in 2020 on request of several African governments.