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Thread: Eeben Barlow on why governments & armed forces fail at COIN

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Eeben Barlow on why governments & armed forces fail at COIN

    Eben Barlow (occasional SWC poster) has a blogsite and has added two posts 'Why governments fail', with forty comments:http://eebenbarlowsmilitaryandsecuri...s-fail_26.html

    There is no single reason why governments fail in countering an insurgency; rather it is a colliding of a host of different factors and reasons that culminate at the right time to give impetus to an insurgency......a COIN conflict’s main effort is aimed at restoring faith in the government and redressing real or perceived wrongs against the populace who are partaking or supporting the insurgency. Failure to do so will simply fuel the insurgency.
    In the Comments he adds:
    To me, “hearts and minds” means where possible, reduce collateral damage, treat the locals and their property respectfully when encountered and if the situation and time permits, we can provide some medical care. Our mission is to kill the enemy – government’s mission is to do its job and govern – and that implies providing the services and support to the populace that they ought to. Hearts and minds has sidetracked us to the point where we seem to think it is our primary mission and the hunting and killing the insurgent secondary.
    In mid-July Eben added 'Why Armed Forces fail at Coin', with four comments:http://eebenbarlowsmilitaryandsecuri...t-coin_19.html

    As it is an internal problem, countering the insurgency is essentially a law enforcement responsibility. The problem is that often the law enforcement agencies do not realise that an insurgency is developing and through ignorance and denial, mislead government – and the nation - on the seriousness of the situation. This provides the insurgents with numerous advantages, most crucial being time to organise, train and escalate the insurgency.

    The role of the armed forces, once it has been mandated by government to take control when the law enforcement agencies are unable to contain the insurgency, is to create an environment that will allow government to negotiate from a position of strength – and govern. To achieve this, the armed forces must destroy the armed elements of the insurgency and “out-guerrilla the guerrillas”.

    (He ends with) It is furthermore crucial that the armed forces know when to stop and when government must take over and govern and the law enforcement agencies enforce the law.
    There is plenty to mull over here, even if there is a mixture of Wilf and Bob Jones in his points.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Worth a return visit

    A reminder to check Eeben's website, even if not regularly updated there is a book in prospect and a number of items since the first post:http://eebenbarlowsmilitaryandsecuri...logspot.co.uk/

    This item fits this thread's theme, with 85 comments:http://eebenbarlowsmilitaryandsecuri...nsurgency.html
    davidbfpo

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    Mr Barlow hasn't updated the blog for some time. It is a worthwhile read, though.

    I wouldn't expect any updates for some time, as I understand he is quite busy with STTEP in Nigeria at the moment. Hopefully he finds some time to post about his recent experiences either on the blog or in the Nigeria thread here.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Eeben's approach: relentless pursuit

    Nearly missed this, note a secondary report:
    ...last week, Col Barlow discussed his company's role in a seminar at the Royal Danish Defence College, and in a separate interview with a Sofrep.com, a special forces website, he described in detail the "aggressive" strike force that was created to push Boko Haram onto the back foot. “The campaign gathered good momentum and wrested much of the initiative from the enemy...It was not uncommon for the strike force to be met by thousands of cheering locals once the enemy had been driven from an area. Yes, many of us are no longer 20-year-olds. But with our age has come a knowledge of conflicts and wars in Africa that our younger generation employees have yet to learn, and a steady hand when things get rough.”
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...oko-Haram.html
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-13-2015 at 04:23 PM. Reason: Copied here with three others from the Nigeria thread
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    Amazed at how a journo can lift an article off one website, credit someone a co-founder of EO (who wasn't), add in his own imagination and interpretation of the situation, credit us (STTEP) with so much, add several years to my age - and get paid for it.
    Poor research and an apparent lack of professional integrity ought to have no place in the media.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-13-2015 at 04:23 PM. Reason: Copied here with three others from the Nigeria thread

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echo Bravo View Post
    Amazed at how a journo can lift an article off one website, credit someone a co-founder of EO (who wasn't), add in his own imagination and interpretation of the situation, credit us (STTEP) with so much, add several years to my age - and get paid for it.
    Poor research and an apparent lack of professional integrity ought to have no place in the media.
    Thank you Echo Bravo for that pithy assessment.

    SOFREP have a five-part series on Eeben Barlow's work in Nigeria. Part 1:http://sofrep.com/40608/eeben-barlow...oko-haram-pt1/
    Part 2:http://sofrep.com/40623/eeben-barlow...-strike-force/
    Part 3:http://sofrep.com/40633/eeben-barlow...#ixzz3a1yhh2z8

    He describes 'relentless pursuit' as:
    Barlow’s key points to utilizing relentless pursuit include:
    • Troops eating while on the move
    • Combat tracking the enemy at a high rate of speed
    • Having the ability to leap-frog ahead of the enemy via helicopter
    • Utilizing communications
    • Emphasizing aggression
    • Maintaining proficiency in night operations
    • Outgunning the enemy
    Part 4:http://sofrep.com/40675/eeben-barlow...ial-narrative/
    Part 5:http://sofrep.com/40700/eeben-barlow...-nigerias-war/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-13-2015 at 04:23 PM. Reason: Copied here with three others from the Nigeria thread
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    Ironically the journo mentions us ageing white mercenaries despite the "palefaces" being heavily outnumbered by our black colleagues. And then he wrote his piece as if he had actually had an interview with me - which he hadn't.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-13-2015 at 04:24 PM. Reason: Copied here with three others from the Nigeria thread

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    Glad to see you have returned and that the blog has been updated with new articles.

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    Default Eeben has a book

    Eeben Barlow published a book in South Africa a few months ago and it is available from the publishers. It is not available via Amazon UK, despite two entries.

    Amazon USA state it will be available after Xmas for US$35:https://www.amazon.com/Composite-War...s=eeben+barlow
    The book is 'Composite Warfare: The Conduct of Successful Ground Force Operations in Africa' and the site states:
    This book is intended as a guide and textbook for African soldiers and scholars who wish to understand the development of hostilities, strategy, operational design, doctrine and tactics. It also illustrates the importance of non-partisanship and the mission and role of the armed forces. It covers the role of government along with operations related to war, operations other than war and intelligence operations and how these operations, operating in a coordinated and unified manner, can secure and strengthen a government.

    Link:http://www.30degreessouth.co.za/composite_warfare.htm

    Not cheap from the publishers, with P&P UK 44 or US$54.

    Finally there are updates on his blog:http://eebenbarlowsmilitaryandsecuri...logspot.co.uk/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-12-2016 at 12:04 PM. Reason: 10,035v
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    Default Executive Outcomes: new edition of Eeben Barlow's book

    Spotted today an update on his blog that a new edition is out soon.

    Added here although I recall there was a thread on this PMC, alas the search function is not currently working, so placed here.

    A "taster" passage:
    The book (770 pages) contains a lot of new information and photographs. It not only covers the contracts EO engaged in, but also a lot of new information on the devious role played by elements of Military Intelligence, and their lackeys—including some very unethical journalists who used their poison-pens to further their own personal agendas. The double-dealing of our politicians of that time, and their efforts to deceive the South African public, is also discussed.
    More details and the South African publisher too:https://eebenbarlowsmilitaryandsecurityblog.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/executive-outcomes-against-all-odds.html


    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-21-2018 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Moved to this better thread
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