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The inside story of South Africa’s worst military scandal since apartheid
‘A powerful cocktail of searing front-line war reportage, investigative journalism, and history… with echoes of Black Hawk Down, of Rorke’s Drift, and of Heart of Darkness’ – Andrew Harding, BBC foreign correspondent and author
In March 2013, South Africa suffered its worst military defeat since the end of apartheid. After a battle that lasted almost two days, 200 crack troops who engaged 7 000 rebels in the Central African Republic were forced to negotiate a ceasefire at their base. Thirteen South African soldiers died in the battle, with two more later succumbing to their wounds.
The mission was shrouded in mystery from the start. The deployment and the diplomatic machinations that led to it were kept secret from the South African public and Parliament. So, too, were an assortment of shadowy commercial interests held by businessmen, some with close ties to the African National Congress. In an investigation spanning more than seven years, the authors gained exclusive access to the soldiers who fought valiantly against overwhelming odds; travelled to Bangui to obtain documentation and meet the rebel leaders who took part in the battle; interviewed a deposed dictator living in exile in Paris; and spoke to the widows of the fallen soldiers. They also met influential fixers and dealmakers, and unearthed secret files containing bribe agreements to unravel an intricate web of corruption and patronage reaching the highest echelons of power in South Africa and the CAR.
After close to a decade of speculation and rumour, The Battle of Bangui lays bare for the first time both the litany of strategic, tactical and logistical blunders that ended in military disaster, and the secret diplomatic and commercial deals that led to South Africa’s worst foreign misadventure of the democratic era. It’s also a cracking war story filled with heroism, camaraderie, terror, pathos and triumph over adversity.
Writing a Wider War presents a dramatically new interpretation of the role of Boer women in the conflict and profoundly changes how we look at the making of Afrikaner nationalism. African experiences of the war are also examined, highlighting racial subjugation in the context of colonial war and black participation, and showcasing important new research by African historians. The collection includes a reassessment of British imperialism and probing essays on J. A. Hobson; the masculinist nature of life on commando among Boer soldiers; Anglo-Jewry; secularism; health and medicine; nursing, women, and disease in the concentration camps; and the rivalry between British politicians and generals. An examination of the importance of the South African War in contemporary British political economy, and the part played by imperial propaganda, rounds off a thoroughly groundbreaking reinterpretation of this formative event in South Africa's history.
Shrouded in secrecy due to the covert nature of their work, the legendary Recces have fascinated South Africans for years. Now one of these elite soldiers has written a tell-all book about the extraordinary missions he embarked on and the nail-biting action he experienced in the Border War.
Shortly after passing the infamously gruelling Special Forces selection course in the early 1980s, Koos Stadler joined the so-called Small Teams group at 5 Reconnaissance Regiment. This subunit was made up of two-man teams and was responsible for numerous secret and highly dangerous missions deep behind enemy lines. With only one team member, Stadler was sent to blow up railway lines and enemy fighter jets in the south of Angola. As he crawled into and out of enemy-infested territory, he stared death in the face many times.
A gripping firsthand account that reveals the near superhuman physical and psychological powers these Special Forces operators have to display.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 2020 'A wake-up call ... These women's stories will make you weep, and then rage at the world's indifference.' Amal Clooney From award-winning war reporter and co-author of I Am Malala, this is the first major account to address the scale of rape and sexual violence in modern conflict. Christina Lamb has worked in war and combat zones for over thirty years. In Our Bodies, Their Battlefield she gives voice to the women of conflicts, exposing how in today's warfare, rape is used by armies, terrorists and militias as a weapon to humiliate, oppress and carry out ethnic cleansing. Speaking to survivors first-hand, Lamb encounters the suffering and bravery of women in war and meets those fighting for justice. From Southeast Asia where 'comfort women' were enslaved by the Japanese during World War Two to the Rwandan genocide, when an estimated quarter of a million women were raped, to the Yazidi women and children of today who witnessed the mass murder of their families before being enslaved by ISIS. Along the way Lamb uncovers incredible stories of heroism and resistance, including the Bosnian women who have hunted down more than a hundred war criminals, the Aleppo beekeeper rescuing Yazidis and the Congolese doctor who has risked his life to treat more rape victims than anyone else on earth. Rape may be as old as war but it is a preventable crime. Bearing witness does not guarantee it won't happen again, but it can take away any excuse that the world simply didn't know.
A book for anyone interested to know more about how the world really works by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow. 'This is one of the most important books of our time.' Walter Isaacson 'A masterpiece' Dan Simpson, Post-Gazette THE NEW YORK TIMES #3 BESTSELLER US foreign policy is undergoing a dire transformation, forever changing America's place in the world. Institutions of diplomacy and development are bleeding out after deep budget cuts; the diplomats who make America's deals and protect democratic interests around the world are walking out in droves. Offices across the State Department sit empty, while abroad the military-industrial complex has assumed the work once undertaken by peacemakers. Increasingly, America is a nation that shoots first and asks questions later. In an astonishing journey from the corridors of power in Washington, DC, to some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth - Afghanistan, Somalia, and North Korea among them acclaimed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history. His first-hand experience as a former State Department official affords a personal look at some of the last standard bearers of traditional statecraft, including Richard Holbrooke, who made peace in Bosnia and died while trying to do so in Afghanistan. Drawing on newly unearthed documents, and richly informed by rare interviews with warlords, whistle-blowers, and policymakers - including every living secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton to Rex Tillerson - War on Peace makes a powerful case for an endangered profession. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, short-sightedness, and outright malice - but it may just offer a way out of a world at war.
Met die uitbreek van die Anglo-Boereoorlog in 1899 vertrek MJ de Jager as luitenant van die Staatsartillerie van die ZAR na die Natalse front. Hy onderskei homself tydens die veldslae by Modderspruit, Colenso, Ladysmith en Platrand. Na die slag van Donkerhoek op 11 Junie 1900 neem hy vir anderhalfjaar deel aan die guerillafase van die Anglo-Boereoorlog. Op 26 Januarie 1902 word hy in die distrik Ermelo gevange geneem en na St. Helena verban. Hy sit sy militêre loopbaan in die Transvaalse Polisie en die Unie-verdedigingsmag voort. Na die Suidwes-veldtog word hy hoof van die Unie-besettingsmag in die destydse Suidwes-Afrika en vestig hom op ’n plaas naby Windhoek. Hy word uiteindelik tot generaal bevorder, maar sy roemryke loopbaan word deur sy skielike dood in 1939 kortgeknip. De Jager se oorspronklike “Gedenkboek” het ook ’n veelbewoë geskiedenis en word nou vir die eerste keer gepubliseer nadat dit naelskraaps aan die aanslae van vuur en rysmiere ontkom het en daarná vir 60 jaar jaloers deur sy familie bewaar is.
Take a journey with Force Recon Marine and Pro MMA Champion Chad Robichaux as he shares glimpses into the life of special operations, professional fighting, and deep insight into this world's spiritual battles. Chad shares successes and failures experienced in Afghanistan, the MMA cage, and his biggest fights: coming home and struggling with PTSD, a near divorce, and almost becoming another veteran suicide statistic. Each chapter shares parallel stories of biblical warriors who faced similar struggles and reveals the unfair advantage that led them to victory in the midst of those battles. Discover that same advantage for the battles you face, and unlock the warrior spirit sewn in your heart by God himself.
The best standalone resource for the Army Combat Fitness Test As the Army prepares to shift to the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) from the Army Physical Fitness Test, hundreds of thousands of new and current servicemembers will have to pass a more rigorous and demanding set of physical events to prove they have what it takes to meet the physical demands of an army job. Utilizing the accessible and simple approach that has made the For Dummies series famous the world over, ACFT For Dummies is packed with everything you need to train for and ultimately crush the ACFT. Topics include: An overview of the test, including how it fits into your army role How the test is administered (location, equipment, etc.) Instructions on how to perform each of the six events How the ACFT is scored Training for the ACFT on your own time The importance of recovery, including essential stretches How to build your own workout routine Videos for each of the six events with tips for how to train for them The ACFT For Dummies prepares readers to tackle the new, tougher Army fitness test with practical examples and concrete strategies that will push each servicemember to new heights.
In August 2012, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was clinging to power in a vicious civil war. Concerned that Assad might resort to chemical weapons, the international community warned that any such use would cross "a red line", warranting a military response. When a year later Assad bombed the Damascus suburb of Ghouta with sarin gas, killing hundreds, global leaders were torn between living up to their word and becoming mired in another unpopular Middle Eastern war. So when Russia offered to store Syria's chemical weapons, the world leaped at the solution. So begins a race to find, remove, and destroy 1,300 tons of chemical weapons in the middle of Syria's civil war. Told in harrowing detail, the initial effort is a tactical triumph for the West, but soon Russia's long game becomes clear: it has UN cover to assist Assad's regime. Meanwhile, the territory gains of ISIS further destabilise the country, and the terrorist organisation seeks to secure Syria's chemical arsenals for itself, with horrifying consequences. Red Line is a classic Joby Warrick true-life thriller: a character-driven narrative with a cast of heroes and villains, including weapons hunters, politicians, commandos, diplomats, and spies. Through original reporting and eyewitness accounts from direct participants, Joby Warrick reveals how a well-intentioned effort to save Syrian lives became swept up in a calamitous chain of events that would spawn a terrorist movement, unleash torrents of refugees, frustrate two U.S. presidents and empower the Western alliance's most dangerous foes.
Future War and the Defence of Europe offers a major new analysis of how peace and security can be maintained in Europe: a continent that has suffered two cataclysmic conflicts since 1914. Taking as its starting point the COVID-19 pandemic and way it will inevitably accelerate some key global dynamics already in play, the book goes on to weave history, strategy, policy, and technology into a compelling analytical narrative. It lays out in forensic detail the scale of the challenge Europeans and their allies face if Europe's peace is to be upheld in a transformative century. The book upends foundational assumptions about how Europe's defence is organised, the role of a fast-changing transatlantic relationship, NATO, the EU, and their constituent nation-states. At the heart of the book is a radical vision of a technology-enabling future European defence, built around a new kind of Atlantic Alliance, an innovative strategic public-private partnership, and the future hyper-electronic European force, E-Force, it must spawn. Europeans should be under no illusion: unless they do far more for their own defence, and very differently, all that they now take for granted could be lost in the maze of hybrid war, cyber war, and hyper war they must face.
From the villainous beast of "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Little Pigs," to the nurturing wolves of Romulus and Remus and Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, the wolf has long been a part of the landscape of children's literature. Meanwhile, since the 1960s and the popularization of scientific research on these animals, children's books have begun to feature more nuanced views. In Picturing the Wolf in Children's Literature, Mitts-Smith analyzes visual images of the wolf in children's books published in Western Europe and North America from 1500 to the present. In particular, she considers how wolves are depicted in and across particular works, the values and attitudes that inform these depictions, and how the concept of the wolf has changed over time. What she discovers is that illustrations and photos in works for children impart social, cultural, and scientific information not only about wolves, but also about humans and human behavior. First encountered in childhood, picture books act as a training ground where the young learn both how to decode the "symbolic" wolf across various contexts and how to make sense of "real" wolves. Mitts-Smith studies sources including myths, legends, fables, folk and fairy tales, fractured tales, fictional stories, and nonfiction, highlighting those instances in which images play a major role, including illustrated anthologies, chapbooks, picture books, and informational books. This book will be of interest to children's literature scholars, as well as those interested in the figure of the wolf and how it has been informed over time.
This book looks at the political reintegration of armed groups after civil wars and the challenges of transforming 'rebel', 'insurgent' or other non-state armed groups into viable political entities. Drawing on eight case studies, the definition of 'armed groups' here ranges from militias, paramilitary forces, police units of various kinds to intelligence outfits. Likewise, the definition of 'political integration' or 're-integration' has not been restricted to the formation of political parties, but is understood broadly as active participation in politics, policy-making or public debate through parties, newspapers, social organisations, think-tanks, NGOs or public service. The book seeks to locate or contextualise individual cases within their distinctive social, cultural and historical settings. As such it differs from much of the donor-driven literature that has tended to abstract the challenge of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) from their political and historical context, focusing instead on technical or bureaucratic issues raised by the DDR process. Among the issues covered by the volume as a whole, three stand out: first, the role of political settlements in creating legitimate opportunities for erstwhile leaders of armed factions; second, the ability of reintegration programmes to create genuine socio-economic opportunities that can absorb former fighters as functional members of their communities; and third, the processes involved in transforming an entire rebel movement into a viable political party, movement or, more generally, allowing it to participate in political life. This book will be of great interest to students of security and development, peace and conflict studies, and IR in general, as well as practitioners and policymakers. Mats Berdal is Professor of Security and Development in the Department of War Studies at King's College London. From 2000 to 2003 he was Director of Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. Mats Berdal is a Visiting Professor at the National Defence and Command College, Oslo. David Ucko is the Programme Coordinator & Research Fellow for the Conflict, Security & Development Research Group, King's College London.
During the Gulf war, news of the conflict was virtually harnessed by the American-led alliance. Yet, when U.S. soldiers moved on Somalia without resistance, their landing was lent a surreal quality by hordes of journalists filming their every maneuver. In this age of instant communication, wars are often defined by their coverage, as with Vietnam; yet the symbiosis between warriors and journalists has a long history.
War and the Media provides a sweeping overview of how the media has covered international conflicts in this century. Devoting each of the book's twelve chapters to a particular conflict, from the world wars to Vietnam, the Falklands, the Gulf War, and the Balkans, Miles Hudson and John Stanier here trace the evolution of the often contentious and always dramatic role of the media in twentieth-century military campaigns.
Landmines, cluster-bombs, chemical pollutants, and other remnants of war continue to cause death to humans and damage to the environment long after the guns have fallen silent. From the jungles of Vietnam to the arctic tundra of Russia, no region has escaped the legacy of warfare.
To understand the legacy of modern militarism, this book presents an overview of post-conflict societies, with an emphasis on the human toll exacted by modern warfare.
This paper explains how Iran developed its nuclear programme to the point where it threatens to achieve a weapons capability within a short time frame, and analyses Western policy responses aimed at forestalling that capability. Key questions are addressed: will the world have to accept an Iranian uranium-enrichment programme, and does having a weapons capability mean having the Bomb? For nearly two decades, Western strategy on the Iran nuclear issue emphasised denial of supply. Since 2002, there has also been a demand-side dimension to the strategy, aimed at changing Iran's cost-benefit calculations through inducements and pressure. But the failure of these policies to prevent Iran from coming close to achieving a nuclear-weapons capability has promoted suggestions for fallback strategies that would grant legitimacy to uranium enrichment in Iran in exchange for intrusive inspections and constraints on the programme. The paper assesses these 'second-best' options in terms of their feasibility and their impact on the proliferation risks of diversion of nuclear material and knowledge, clandestine development and NPT break-out, and the risk of stimulating a proliferation cascade in the Middle East and beyond. It concludes that the risks are still best minimised by reinforcing the binary choice presented to Iran of cooperation or isolation, and strengthening denial of supply.
In contrast to the common perception that the United Nations is, or should become, a system of collective security, this paper advances the proposition that the UN Security Council embodies a necessarily selective approach. Analysis of its record since 1945 suggests that the Council cannot address all security threats effectively. The reasons for this include not only the veto power of the five permanent members, but also the selectivity of all UN member states: their unwillingness to provide forces for peacekeeping or other purposes except on a case-by-case basis, and their reluctance to involve the Council in certain conflicts to which they are parties, or which they perceive as distant, complex and resistant to outside involvement.
The Council's selectivity is generally seen as a problem, even a threat to its legitimacy. Yet selectivity, which is rooted in prudence and in the UN Charter itself, has some virtues. Acknowledging the necessary limitations within which the Security Council operates, this paper evaluates the Council's achievements in tackling the problem of war since 1945. In doing so, it sheds light on the division of labour among the Council, regional security bodies and states, and offers a pioneering contribution to public and governmental understanding of the UN's past, present and future roles.
This is the first academic analysis of the role of embedded media in the 2003 Iraq War, providing a concise history of US military public affairs management since Vietnam. In late summer 2002, the Pentagon considered giving the press an inside view of the upcoming invasion of Iraq. The decision was surprising, and the innovative "embedded media program" itself received intense coverage in the media. Its critics argued that the program was simply a new and sophisticated form of propaganda. Their implicit assumption was that the Pentagon had become better at its news management and had learned to co-opt the media. This new book tests this assumption, introducing a model of organizational learning and redraws the US military's cumbersome learning curve in public affairs from Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, the Balkans to Afghanistan, examining whether past lessons were implemented in Iraq in 2003. Thomas Rid argues that while the US armed forces have improved their press operations, America's military is still one step behind fast-learning and media-savvy global terrorist organizations. War and Media Operations will be of great interest to students of the Iraq War, media and war, propaganda, political communications and military studies in general.
In August 2012, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was clinging to power in a vicious civil war. Concerned that Assad might resort to chemical weapons, the international community warned that any such use would cross "a red line", warranting a military response. When a year later Assad bombed the Damascus suburb of Ghouta with sarin gas, killing hundreds, global leaders were torn between living up to their word and becoming mired in another unpopular Middle Eastern war. So when Russia offered to store Syria's chemical weapons, the world leaped at the solution.
So begins a race to find, remove, and destroy 1,300 tons of chemical weapons in the middle of Syria's civil war. Told in harrowing detail, the initial effort is a tactical triumph for the West, but soon Russia's long game becomes clear: it has UN cover to assist Assad’s regime. Meanwhile, the territory gains of ISIS further destabilise the country, and the terrorist organisation seeks to secure Syria’s chemical arsenals for itself, with horrifying consequences.
Red Line is a classic Joby Warrick true-life thriller: a character-driven narrative with a cast of heroes and villains, including weapons hunters, politicians, commandos, diplomats, and spies. Through original reporting and eyewitness accounts from direct participants, Joby Warrick reveals how a well-intentioned effort to save Syrian lives became swept up in a calamitous chain of events that would spawn a terrorist movement, unleash torrents of refugees, frustrate two U.S. presidents and empower the Western alliance’s most dangerous foes.
This is the first book to analyze how the technology to alter images and rapidly distribute them can be used for propaganda and to support deception operations. In the past, propagandists and those seeking to conduct deception operations used crude methods to alter images of real people, events and objects, which could usually be detected relatively easily. Today, however, computers allow propagandists to create any imaginable image, still or moving, with appropriate accompanying audio. Furthermore, it is becoming extremely difficult to detect that an image has been manipulated, and the Internet, television and global media make it possible to disseminate altered images around the world almost instantaneously. Given that the United States is the sole superpower, few, if any, adversaries will attempt to fight the US military conventionally on the battlefield. Therefore, adversaries will use propaganda and deception, especially altered images, in an attempt to level the battlefield or to win a war against the United States without even having to fight militarily. Propaganda and Information Warfare in the 21st Century will be of great interest to students of information war, propaganda, public diplomacy and security studies in general.
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