Prev: RE: INSS MacArthur? Re: [OT] Alderson Drive Next: Re: Duffer's Drift

Re: [OT] [gzg hist] UN Covert Ops

From: adrian.johnson@s...
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 23:44:21 -0400
Subject: Re: [OT] [gzg hist] UN Covert Ops

>The reason the mercenaries worked in Sierra Leone was that they were
guarding a small defensible area, namely the diamond mines. They weren't
trying to put down the entire insurrection, just keep it away from the
local area. I also suspect there was a fair bit of bribery going on,
>The mercenaries were ruthless and could shoot first. They had good
firepower. And they were willing to pass on some money to the "enemy" to
stay away. "Here, take this, keep away. If I see you around here, I'll
shoot your head off." It was easy to "keep the peace" in the local
The difference is analogous to that of hiring a bodyguard or relying on

To add to this - they were willing to take casualties, and they were

A couple of years back, I attended a dinner-presentation at the Royal
Canadian Military Institute in Toronto (the after-dinner presentation
by a former SAS member who was discussing in some detail SAS ops in the
Falklands - very interesting stuff - and as an aside, it was a wonderful
example of the way the world is changing to see as one of the main
at the head table sitting next to the SAS guy, a Ukranian Colonel -
member of Soviet Spetznaz who fought in Afghanistan - who was here in
Toronto attending a NATO staff course!).

Two of the guests were the South African military Atache to Canada and
son, who was another S.African officer (attending McGill - doing a
Masters').  I had a long chat with the son, who was a paratroop Captain.
Very interesting guy, lots to say about how the S.African military
against the Cubans in Angola.  Anyway, he was saying that a bunch of his
buddies joined Executive Outcomes when they mustered out of the military
after their national service.  They were all ex-paras so had lots of
experience, and EO was paying well.  Out of the four or five who joined
together, all but one were killed on contract.

Very dangerous, because EO isn't afraid of using force...  They hire
the best of the S.African army - lots of para vets and guys from the
Angolan conflict, and they also hired a whole bunch of black S.Africans
fighters from the ex-rebels/now-government ANC and etc.  So when they
to Sierra Lione, it was with a bunch of very well trained, veteran
who were well financed and well equipped.

The troubling thing about using mercenaries on this kind of operation is
their motivation, I think.  EO was seriously motivated, because they
negotiated for control of diamond mines as their payment...

I saw an Executive Outcomes promotional video - it was funny, in a sick
kind of way.  Tried to be very slick, with heroic sounding songs and
footage of EO soldiers doing good deeds.  Creepy.

Anyway - good food for SG scenarios...

Adrian Johnson

Prev: RE: INSS MacArthur? Re: [OT] Alderson Drive Next: Re: Duffer's Drift