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Thread: South Africa's COIN war in SWA/Namibia/Angola

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Jim Hooper's book on Koevoet is a classic, embedded writer's account of this conflict in SW Africa now Namibia, which was written twenty years ago and is being launched in March 2012, in London. Attached is an image free flier and this a link to the publisher's website:http://30degreessouth.co.uk/
    Today 18h15 UK time at the Imperial War Museum. House full. Good luck with the re-launch!

    Last edited by JMA; 03-29-2012 at 05:26 PM.

  2. #62
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Jim Hooper's book on Koevoet

    I was at the book launch this evening and have my copy to read, so a review will follow soon. The new edition has 30% new material and more names than before.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Further to the Cuito Cuanavale debate here is a view from opposition elements within Namibia - “THE DECISIVE BATTLE OF CUITO CUANAVALE” IS A HOAX

    As they say it all comes out in the wash...
    Mvula is at variance with every other author I have read in portraying Operação Saludando Octubre as a FAPLA/Cuban rather than FAPLA/Soviet undertaking.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  4. #64
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    Default Information Warfare in SWA (Namibia)

    Mark,

    I tracked down the 2005 article by Paul Sturges (then at Loughborough University in the UK), Information in the National Liberation Struggle: modelling the case of Namibia (1966-1990).

    His published model finds its "guiding spirit" in Bernard Fall and others:

    The guiding spirit of the model is the formulation by Bernard Fall of the revolutionary war as:

    RW (revolutionary war) = G (guerrilla warfare) + P (political action).

    In this formula, Fall (1967) points out that ‘The kill aspect, the military aspect, definitely always remained the minor aspect: the political administrative, ideological aspect is the primary aspect.’

    The validity of this is amply evident from a critical reading of the evidence provided in surveys and discussions of the subject from Heilbrunn (1962), Taber (1970), Van der Haydte (1972), through to Joes (1996), Lacquer (1998), Beckett (2001) and others. It is the case, even though recognition of the paramountcy of the non-violent aspects of the struggle may not be explicit in an author’s commentary.

    Schell (2003, p.97) is quite explicit on this, calling it ‘the eclipse of the power that flowed from superior military might by the political power that flowed from the hearts and minds of the people’.

    What applies to those conducting revolutionary struggle applies equally to those countering it on behalf of the established regime.
    Sturges was less wordy (and with a different "saint") in an earlier draft of the paper:

    The guiding spirit of the model is Sir Gerald Templer’s laconic comment on the British campaign against communist insurgency in Malaya that he commanded to such positive effect. ‘The shooting side of the business is only 25% of the trouble and the other 75% lies in getting the people of this country behind us.’ (Beckett, 2001, p.102)

    Beckett, I.F.W. (2001). Modern insurgencies and counter-insurgencies: guerrillas and their opponents since 1750. London: Routledge.
    I'm comfortable with either Fall's qualitative formulation or Templer's "quantitative" formulation; realizing that, if a largely or even wholly military effort can force an acceptable solution, the military could be a larger part than the political effort.

    In any event, here is Sturges' explanation and diagram of his model:

    The distinctive thing about the model is that it gives equal expression to both the liberation movement’s information and communication activities and the equivalent activities of the established power’s counter-insurgence programme. It is genuinely a model of conflict: not just a formal model that merely accommodates interference from political and military conflict. It first divides information and communication elements, on both sides, into three spheres of information activity: the field, the headquarters and the media. It then further divides information activities into three types according to whether they are concerned with information input (acquisition and processing of information); information output (the dissemination of messages); and information suppression. Each of these divisions by aspect is further divided into its overt and covert elements. Thus input includes both the overt, information acquisition and research, and the covert, espionage and surveillance. Output includes both the overt preparation and distribution of formal propaganda and political education messages, and the covert passing on of operational messages. Suppression covers both the overt censorship of documentation and speech, and the covert control of critical and hostile thought through the ‘suppression’ of individuals and their ideas.

    The model enables types of activity to be set in the context of the spheres of activity. This places overt input and output types of activity within the headquarters sphere; covert input and suppression activities in the field sphere; and overt and covert output and suppression activities into the media sphere. The way the model expresses this can be shown in graphic fashion as a circle divided into three with the three divisions further subdivided, thus:
    Sturges InfoWar Model.jpg

    This diagram has, however, to be duplicated to accommodate two different sets of data, one concerning the activities of the liberation movement, and the other concerning those of the established regime. The two circles then contain sets of data about the same types of activity in shared spheres. These two different versions of the model then need to be placed in relation to each other. This can be done in the form of a striking metaphor. The two circular geometrical planes can be seen as resembling the faces of two millstones. If one of the planes is rotated through 180 degrees to face the other, the two can be imagined grinding against each other in an opposition resembling the attritional aspects of warfare. The power imparted through the centre of both stones in a mill from some energy source such as wind or water to create movement, could then be imagined as the purposive use of information by both contestants in what constitutes a very distinctive form of information management. In an unpublished conference presentation of the model in 2001, it was illustrated by a moving image rather than the static diagram that is all that can be offered here.
    This seems a valid enough theoretical model (it's logically coherent internally).

    Sturges then goes on to present and analyze the facts, reaching a number of conclusions. My question to you (giving you the hard part) is how accurate and credible is Sturges in the factual-opinion part ? Are we dealing with "articulate competence" or "articulate incompetence" ?

    Regards

    Mike

  5. #65
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Strategy: lessons to note from South Africa?

    An article on South Africa's 'Total National Strategy' from the UK blog (yes again) Defence in Depth; it starts with:
    Concepts of grand strategy generally stress the requirement of governments to outline clear strategic goals, and to ensure that all elements of national power are co-ordinated by ministers and senior officials (civil service and military) to achieve them. In recent history, one state achieved the apparent success of devising a ‘total’ strategy and of establishing a bureaucratic framework to implement it. That state was South Africa, governed at that time by the apartheid regime of the National Party.
    It ends with:
    Concepts of grand strategy generally stress the requirement of governments to outline clear strategic goals, and to ensure that all elements of national power are co-ordinated by ministers and senior officials (civil service and military) to achieve them. In recent history, one state achieved the apparent success of devising a ‘total’ strategy and of establishing a bureaucratic framework to implement it. That state was South Africa, governed at that time by the apartheid regime of the National Party.
    Link:https://defenceindepth.co/2017/05/08...utionary-tale/

    At one point there were books on this theme, many written by critics of apartheid and one by an American, Robert Jaster, maybe from RAND or IISS.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-12-2017 at 03:28 PM. Reason: 50,551v when reopened and post added
    davidbfpo

  6. #66
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    Browsing YouTube I found a number of old documentaries, mainly from the South African viewpoint and notifications of new South African films, like Recce, alas only a trailer:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpUQn7ZZwrs

    Here is one by Al Venter, a South African writer from 1981-1982:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocTtdMUZiiM
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-04-2018 at 05:05 PM. Reason: 74,060v 24k up since last post a year ago
    davidbfpo

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