I saw active service in conventional, clandestine and covert units of the South African Defence Force. I was the founder of the Private Military Company (PMC) Executive Outcomes in 1989 and its chairman until I left in 1997. Until its closure in 1998, EO operated primarily in Africa helping African governments that had been abandoned by the West and were facing threats from insurgencies, terrorism and organised crime. EO also operated in South America and the Far East. I believe that only Africans (Black and White) can truly solve Africa’s problems. I was appointed Chairman of STTEP International in 2009 and also lecture at military colleges and universities in Africa on defence, intelligence and security issues. Prior to the STTEP International appointment, I served as an independent politico-military advisor to African governments. I am a contributor to The Counter Terrorist magazine. All comments in line with the topics on this blog are welcome. As I consider this to be a serious look at military and security matters, foul language and political or religious debates will not be entertained on this blog.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I was hoping to start 2014 with a posting on conflict and the dangers of a blinkered approach to counter-insurgency. Instead, I have to waste my time and focus on another liar posing as a journalist.

My thanks to Jana for pointing me to this new “exposé” on Executive Outcomes by Pauli Poisuo. See

Whereas I have great respect for David Isenberg, I was rather disappointed that he allowed his blog to be used as a disinformation vehicle by an apparent under-control “free-lance writer” to blatantly lie his way onto his blog. But, it is a truism that the more a lie gets spun, the more believable it becomes.

I cannot comment on what was written about the other PMCs but I believe I am somewhat informed to comment on his piece about EO.

Ironically, ever since myself/STTEP were blacklisted by the US DoS, a flurry of “new” stories on EO have surfaced. These “stories” are all rehashed and regurgitated elements of the disinformation campaign that was run against EO by numerous governments. Some of these articles were written by intellectuals and others by liars who obviously find their pockets swelling with someone else’s money.

Is this mere coincidence – or not? Could it be that some folks are very concerned that there may be a positive intervention in some conflicts and that it will ruin their foreign policies and deny them the resources that do not belong to them? Could it also be coincidence that an African government was “warned” we are planning a coup against them? I suspect not. Possibly the revival of the EO disinformation campaign is to lend credence to STTEP being blacklisted. Who knows?

Whereas I will not take Poisuo’s article to pieces, sentence by sentence, I will (again) state the following:

1    1.  EO had – and still has – more friends in Africa than many foreign governments as Africans governments know we never lied to them and we earned their trust. They also know that we had no hidden agendas. (Of note is that Poisuo contradicts himself by stating that EO “has been sighted in most African war zones, where it is said to hold high influence”). Besides, EO has been closed for almost two decades – a fact that appears to have escaped Poisuo in totality

2   2. EO never invaded an African country and injected itself as part of an occupation force. Instead, it was invited into countries by those governments that found themselves abandoned by their so-called friends and under siege. When the insurgents and rebels were destroyed and defeated, EO left as contractually agreed to prior to it entering the country.

3. Poisuo uses the disingenuous comment of “shady dealings”. Why not list these “shady dealings” or does he too believe in the power of innuendo?

4   4. Any military strategist with two brain cells knows that to end an insurgency, the insurgents must be denied access to funding – funding that is used to purchase weapons and ammunition. This is part of the concept known as the Trinity of Gravity. To deny insurgents internal funding, they need to be removed from those areas where they get their funding – illegally I may add –  ie diamond fields, drug crops, etc. That is not rocket science but common sense.


Even more disingenuous are Poisuo’s comments: “The company is notorious for targeting the client country’s mineral-rich regions, often regaining and securing control of gold, oil and diamond regions before paying attention to other matters. Some whisper they don’t always get around to returning these possessions to the country”.

It would do him well to do some research on Africa. He may possibly then discover that many African countries have immense mineral resources and that these resources are one of the primary reasons for conflict. It would also do his credibility well to list – and not hint at – where EO holds all these mines he writes about. I for one would be happy to know where they are as I would love to know why I am not receiving any profits. Then of course, he could list examples of when the company failed to pay “attention to other matters”.

Also, why does he not tell everyone who reads his piece on just “who” is whispering that “they don’t always get around to returning these possessions to the country”. Surely, if a private company took possession of a country’s natural resources, the government would not merely whisper about it – instead they would shout it out to the world and do something about it.

The reality of it all is (I have mentioned this ad nauseum)  that EO was the only PMC that ended conflicts, never involved itself in the internal politics of its clients, never involved itself in crime of any nature, never raped and murdered civilians, never committed acts against its clients, never attempted to steal the resources of a client, never betrayed its clients despite massive pressure to do so and never backed both sides of the conflicts. Apparently, ending conflicts in Africa was definitely not a positive move as far as some governments were concerned.

It is also well known that I turned down a US$ 20 million bribe to close EO and leave Angola in 1993 to enable the rebels to win the war. I refused despite being threatened that it would be to my disadvantage to not accept the bribe and that I would live to regret it.


Unfortunately, people such as Poisuo are too lazy to do any research. Instead they feed off the lies of others and then use someone else’s blog to do their dirty work. This is one reason why so many journalists are not trusted. Research integrity is something they know very little about – or have any interest in.

African governments have come to realise that there is a reason why a defunct company is still being targeted and STTEP blacklisted: Peace in Africa is bad for business and foreign policies…

In short, Pauli Poisuo is nothing but a liar – and a bad one at that.


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  1. Eeben says:

    Thank you for posting the above, David.

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