24 January 2015

How to fight the Crime Insurgency in South Africa - Part Three - Adopt what is useful; Discard what does not work

By Mike Smith

23rd of January 2015

The futility of WHAM in COIN – Helping those who help your enemies

During the South African Border War (1966-1989) South Africa officially adopted a policy of WHAM (Winning Hearts And Minds). The South African military drew on the work of Lieutenant-General Charles Alan 'Pop' Fraser and US Colonel John McCuen

McCuen served in staff and command positions in the United States Army in Vietnam, Thailand, Germany and Indonesia. While serving on the US Army General Staff in 1966 his book, The Art of Counter-Revolutionary War – The Strategy of Counter-Insurgency, was published and it forms the basis of the US Army Field Manual FM 3-24.

Fraser, who died in 1994, had an impressive CV. He studied at the South African Military College, the Middle East Staff College in Haifa (Northern Israel) and the Joint Services Staff College in Latimer House, England. He was a WWII veteran and fought in Italy in 1943. After the war he fought in the Malaysian Emergency one of the few really successful Counter Insurgency wars against Communists in modern history.

During the Algerian War 1954-1962 he was military attaché in Paris and spent time in Algeria where he became an expert in Asymmetrical Warfare.

He became Chief of Joint Operations of the South African Defence Force in 1966. As “General Officer Commanding Joint Combat Forces (G.O.C.J.C.F.)” he had the third highest rank in the South African Defence Force. The rank later fell away.

In this position he befriended Swiss military officers such as General Paul Gygli and Colonel Helmut von Frisching who invited him and a military delegation to Switzerland to study the Swiss army’s recruitment and training system, elements of which he introduced to South Africa. South Africa’s Military Intelligence adopted many of the Swiss methods of “Psychological Warfare” and how to fight subversion.

In an unpublished study entitled “Lessons learnt from past revolutionary wars”, released in the early sixties, Fraser distilled the basic principles of counterinsurgency warfare from the work of French authors such as General Andre Beaufre, Lt. Col. David Galula and Col. Roger Trinquier.

This is important, because all these so-called French “experts” on Counter Insurgency LOST their wars!

It was their losing ideas on WHAM and COIN that influenced Fraser and McCuen and found its way into the SADF.

The idea is that when you are nice to the PB’s (Plaaslike Bevolking; Local Population) they will give you information about the enemy insurgents and stop housing, feeding and supporting them. By building schools and hospitals for them, giving them medical services and even curing their animals and livestock from diseases, you will somehow win them over. The idea is generally to convince the PB’s that the government’s cause is better or more righteous than that of the insurgents.

According to an SADF publication, in the Namibian operational area the number of schools increased from 212 in 1962 to 757 in 1982, while the number of pupils increased from 32 000 to 172 000. National servicemen were deployed in the education, health, agriculture, forestry and nature preservation fields. In addition to medical services, all dentists, veterinarians and psychologists in the operational area were linked to the SADF civic action. Source: Winning Hearts and Minds in the Namibian Border War

How successful was WHAM in Namibia?

It was a total failure. After the SADF withdrew from Namibia and the Namibians had their elections in November 1989, SWAPO won the election with 57% of the vote. In the province of Ovamboland, 92% of the people voted for SWAPO.

Out the porthole goes David Galula’s theory that “Most of the population will be neutral in the conflict...”

It’s utter rubbish.

What did all that WHAM help? Why did it not work in Vietnam with the French and Americans? Why did it not work for the Russians in Afghanistan and why is it not working today for the US and its allies in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Well what do you think would have happened if the Russians (or Americans) ever invaded South Africa…? Do you think they would have been able to win OUR hearts and minds? Definitely not mine. I would have seen them as intruders in my home and wanted them out as soon as possible.

The study above by Eloff de Visser blames a lack of unity between the SADF and the Police COIN unit, “Koevoet” for it. She says on the one side the SADF was practicing WHAM on the other hand Koevoet would wreck Kraals and strap killed insurgents to the bumpers of their Casspirs.

Instead of blaming the policy of WHAM, (because it was formulated from experts and therefore must be true) she blamed Koevoet.

General Geldenhuys also mentions in “At the Front” that the local population was largely illiterate (despite the schools the SADF ran) and therefore the propaganda pamphlets were useless.

One can today almost laugh at the amateurish nature of some of our SADF techniques.

Personal experience proved that the intelligence received from the PB’s were for the most part unreliable and useless anyway. They were a bunch of liars. They were not co-operating with the SADF and in fact feeding them false information for the most part. Some experts say that PLAN, SWAPO’s armed wing, coerced and intimidated the locals and that was the reason.

Well if it worked for them, then why didn’t WE do it?

Be it as it may, it is clear from the election results that the locals in Namibia simply did not want us there. They hated our guts and saw us as the intruders. WHAM failed dismally in Namibia just as it failed everywhere else in the world. It is a policy that doesn’t work and therefore should be abandoned not stubbornly reintroduced. All those efforts were futile. So why did we spend all that time and money trying to win their hearts and minds?

If only we concentrated those resources in actually destroying the insurgents, the outcome would have been a lot different.


  1. Anonymous3:18 am

    Agree. Our Calvinist approach our Achilles heel...

  2. Anonymous4:06 am

    I doubt we can ever fight an insurgency
    The ANC have created the EFF
    Those voters who couldnt/didnt vote for the ANC are now in the EFFs bed.
    So now you have 2 lots of people who want to kill you and get rid of you
    2 lots of insurgents with the same agenda

    And whites?

    Their only interest at this point is Rugby. I doubt (i know) there is nothing we can do, all is lost, these are the final moments of our history in this country. We should enjoy these last moments and savour them

    With no electricity, no water, no police - you know the end results already

    Sorry guys but we have as much future here as the rhodesians do in Zimbabwe. Thinking otherwise is just living in denial and pure optimism

    1. Anonymous8:12 am

      Can we help you pack for perth?

    2. Anonymous10:40 am

      That would be great if you don't mind, wouldn't turn the offer down. However, it's not Perth that we're going to, it's Adelaide.

      Wish you and yours all the best in SA

    3. Anonymous12:17 am

      Don't let the door hit your ass on your way out. Goodbye...

    4. Anonymous3:33 am

      @Anon 4:06 So tell me son, how was this helpful eh? You running away and leaving the rest of us that cannot leave to rot, and then have the audacity to judge us because we want and have no choice but to fight for whats ours? Just because the commies broke you does not mean they will break all of us, some of us will not allow that. Rather don't post this shit in future, it is de-motivating to those that have no choice but to fight.

  3. Brilliant !

    I’m taking the small trouble to put this series of articles on my Kindle, for future study.

    I agree with your conclusion. But most people won’t agree or understand why you say what you do because their worldview is so fundamentally different than yours. Correcting their world view, their Weltanschauung, is the next step in solving the problem. And that won’t be easy.

    The philosophy, the religion, the morality, the very human nature of the whites of Southern Africa are in some ways confused and self-contradictory, and our enemies exploit these weaknesses to destroy us. One small example: in Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" (which, by the way, he dedicated to Satan) his fourth rule is this:
    “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
    You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

  4. I shared these articles with a friend on Facebook (Callie Mocke, retired SAP/SADF? not sure...). He made some telling comments - I'll quote him below this. He might not be correct in saying that you're uninformed about the political betrayal of FW and the other "negotiators" but perhaps you'll agree that even though we WON the military conflict, we LOST the political battle (through betrayal).

    Callie: "...die skrywe het meriete en van die goed is seker waar ,maar en dis die groot maar ..ONS ARROGANTE POLITIEKE LEIERS HET OPGEFOK..en dis die lang en die kort van dit ..en mike dra net kennis van die 20 % milliterre konflik..hy het beperkte kennis van die 80 % politieke konflik en wat dit nog moeiliker maak is die geredigeerde weergawe wat in die pers uitgedra word en die selektiewe omgaan met gedeeltes van die waarheid .Enige iemand wat enige iets van kommunisme weet sal presies se waar het die ''struggle ''sy inslag gekry .soos sy vriend terreg vra rondom die berlyn muur en die koue oorlog .Waar die moer kom kommunisme in suider afrika dan vandaan ,ons HET die oorlog gewen ..En dis waar ons nou is ,presies by dieselfde kruispad as deestyds ,met die verskil is ,ONS IS UITGELEWER ..ONS IS DEEL VAN NIKS EN ONS HET SE IN NIKS ..niks het rerig verander behalwe die en die velkleur van die ou in regering wat lieg nie .ONGEAG al die ou dowe blinde rumatiek grensvegters wat duisende russe eiehandig nek omgedraai het se oorlogs praaitjies en al die emosievolle aanhitsings tot n slagveld wat ons nog nie eers begin verken of voorberei het nie is ons nou aangewese op vreemde inligtingstrukture ,nie die kak in die koerant nie .dis sensasie ,geloofwaardige inligting waarvolgens jy n strategie kan uitwerk .Dis nou die tyd om van ons gatte af te klink en binne ons gemeenskappe te gaan verkenning doen .beskerming te doen en ondersteuning te gee .CRIME INSURGENCY le daar reg by die siel van ons volk en ons nasie .. Raak betrokke by die ''wettigge ''strukture soos die polisie gpfs ..ja dis n shlep en moer frustrerend maar dis n begin punt ..ontwikkel n eie vroee waarskuwings stelsel in jou omgewing ..Op facebook steek ons net mekaar se gemoedere op en ons jaag emosies op hol..Net vandag sien ek n plasing deur n mooi blanke vrou wat haar kommer uitspreek oor plaasmoord ..en saam met die emosievolle pleidooi is n foto van n voorval in mexico of chili vier jaar gelede ..ek bedoel komaan..afriforum, jy self in australie en jan se mense in amerika en ook ander wereldweid dryf ons saak voor n internasionale gehoor en die eerste ding wat hy doen is om inligting te toets vir geloofwaardigheid ,en almal sit met n rooigesig en arme sunette moet bondstaan oor haatspraak en watookal .omdat sy n weerligafleier is van n baie siek, lui, slapgat volkie ..waninformasie is op die oomblik ons grootste vyand en haatspraak pluk die morele mat onder ons voete uit .Natuurlik is daar rede tot kommer ,die hordes ANC en nkosi wat ek daagliks meer gesels deel ons kommer..maar erens moet ons begin om te hou by die reels .gaan ons die skip omkeer van die rotse af,fuck knows .is daar n manier om hierdie drukkoker wat opblaas se druk te verlig ,ons gaan nie weet voor ons nie probeer nie .maar my ou ouman .dis nodig om oor die goed te praat en as ons klaar gepraat het praat ons weer met almal wat wil hoor en nie wil hoor nie ..en ons tref voorsorg en ons praat weer en voor ons op die lorry klim vir oorlog praat ons weer en oppad na die afstap lyn stop ons en praat weer ,want as die verligting in die lug is en die mortars is in die pype is daar nie omdraai nie ..en ek weet nie of ons rerig besef wat dit beteken nie''tenacuter''ons mag nie ophou probeer nie ."

    1. Net 'n paar punte uit sy skrywe:

      1) Dis duidelik dat jou vriend Callie nog nie my pandora reeks gelees het nie. Laat hy gerus vanaf deel 27 tot 34 lees dan sal hy sien ek dra redelik baie kennis van die Politieke Verraad.
      2) Ek stem nie met hom saam dat mens by die "wettige" gemeenskaps polisie forums betrokke moet raak nie. Dit is soos om by die insurgente aan te sluit om die insurgente te beveg. Die polisie is die kriminele.
      3)Hy sê ons moet hou by die reëls. Watse reëls? Hoe kan jy hou by die reëls as jou vyand alle reëls breek? Is moord en marteling van bejaardes en kinders hou by die reëls?

  5. Moenie té sleg voel nie. Die hele Weste en wat voorheen as die Christendom bekend gestaan het, gaan sy gat sien omdat daar niemand is wat bereid is om hierdie eenvoudige opdrag te gee nie: Skiet die bliksems, tref hulle met die banvloek...

  6. The betrayal of white south africa by this countries leaders and army is a fact, undisputable, and all of us that lived through it must like I was have been stunned by the enthusiasm showed by the white population in handing over the country, they must have known the outcome would be horrific, BUT LOOK, those people in the west our detractors are now doing the indenticle, well almost thing, France, England, America, Canada and sorry Australia too are in deep shit, they have no military leaders that believe country first, and their political leadership is the worst in living memory, they can through numbers do something NOW, but it does not look like they will, there is another very powerful hand at play here, US HERE? we need divine intervention as received at blood river.