Browsing by Author "Esterhuyse, Abel"
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- ItemBattle on the Lomba, 1987 the day a South African armoured battalion shattred Angola’s last mechanised offensive : a crew commander’s account(Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Military Science (Military Academy), 2015) Esterhuyse, AbelWriting about the Namibian Border War and South African involvement in the Angolan Civil War is difficult. Many South Africans have been conscripted or willingly served in the military at the time and find it difficult to distance themselves from their own experiences and their personal involvement in many of the operations that were conducted by the South African military. The issue is also clouded by the current South African government’s association with what happened on the other side of the hill[i]and, more specifically, their support for the winning narrative of the Cuban–Angolan forces. Many previous South African Defence Force (SADF) soldiers are also facing the wounds of post-traumatic stress because of their exposure to the battlefield experiences of the war. It is very often difficult to navigate between perceptions and reality and to find the truth in the debate about who won the so-called Battle for Cuito Cuanavale.
- ItemFrom the editors(Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Military Science (Military Academy), 2011) Esterhuyse, Abel; Liebenberg, IanThis edition of Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, brings three very particular themes together: history, contemporary military operations, and military technology. From a historical perspective, the focus is on the Anglo-Boer War. The two articles on the contemporary use of force places the emphasis on Iraq and Somalia. The 2003 Iraqi War is used as a case study in the analysis of ‘civil war’ as a concept. The article on Somalia addresses the need for military intervention. The underlying argument is that military intervention can be successful in bringing about the change that is required in that war-torn region of the world. The technology related articles highlight the role of information warfare and weapons assignment in air defence.
- ItemFrom the editors(Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Military Science (Military Academy), 2015) Esterhuyse, Abel; Liebenberg, IanThe role of the military in the making of South Africa has always been a contentious issue and has recently again been highlighted when the military was deployed in certain South African neighbourhoods in support of the police to deal with the recent bout of xenophobic violence. During the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the military was deployed to help with border protection and has since been a permanent feature on South Africa’s borders. More recently, the military has also been utilised in counter-poaching operations and the fight against crime inside the country. During the farm labour unrest in the Western Cape in 2012, the provincial government under the national opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, also called on the national government to deploy the military in support of the police in that province. In the more recent past, the Western Cape provincial government also requested military support to deal with gangsterism in certain neighbourhoods of the Western Cape. There seems to be an increasing demand for and an increased deployment of the military in the domestic security realm in South Africa. Domestic military deployments in Africa have always been at the heart of debates about military professionalism and the effect such deployments have on the important relationship between a society and its military. The study of the intimate link between the military and the South African society is the focus of the first article by Lindy Heinecken.
- ItemThe need for progress in an era of transformation : South African professional military education and military effectiveness(Centre for Security Governance, 2018-04-20) Esterhuyse, Abel; Mokoena, BenjaminThe article explores the link between defence sector reform, military effectiveness, and education. During the post-1994 transition, defence sector reform in South Africa primarily involved the ‘transformation’ of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). The transformation of the military, though, was predominantly driven by the notion of racial representation with little emphasis on embedding military effectiveness as a central element of the transformation effort. While, education was recognised as a key element in the transformation of the military, the emphasis was on the programmes of the National War and Defence Colleges in Pretoria, targeting senior military officers. However, the accreditation of these institutional programmes through alignment with civilian universities was problematic and has forced the military to critically evaluate the pathway for the development of its officer corps. The evolving approach of the SANDF towards military education provides a useful case study to highlight the importance of a long-term view of military effectiveness, underpinned by a committed and educated officer corps, as a central component of defence reform initiatives.
- ItemSouth Africa and the search for strategic effect in the Central African Republic(Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Science (Military Academy), 2016) Vrey, Francois; Esterhuyse, AbelThis article provides a critical assessment from a strategic perspective of the South African military involvement in the Central African Republic that culminated in the Battle of Bangui. The strategic assessment was aimed at an understanding of the South African armed forces and their government’s strategic approach and logic (i.e. strategic ways) through a consideration of, firstly, their strategic objectives and end states and, secondly, a critical reflection on the military means that were available and employed in the Central African Republic. The authors question the logic of South African political and military objectives through an emphasis on the absence of South African interests in the Central African Republic, the failure of the executive to inform parliament, the dubious and blurred intentions of the African National Congress government and the absence of a clear political–military nexus for the operation. The lack of sufficient military capabilities for the deployment was assessed through a consideration of overstretch, obsolescence, neglect and mismanagement of military resources. The article concludes that not only did the government set the military up for failure; it also succeeded in creating the perfect conditions for a strategic fiasco.
- ItemThinking militaries or military thinking : the need for education in armed forces(SUN MeDIA Bloemfontein, 2007) Esterhuyse, AbelThe recently tabled parliamentary report on the South African Military Academy did not pose the most fundamental question concerning the existence of the Military Academy: why is it important that soldiers should become academically educated? Does sound military training not offer sufficient professional preparation for soldiers? This article attempts to explain why soldiers need to be academically educated, while considering the influence of the “military mind” on the education of armed forces. The underlying argument is that soldiers need to be empowered by acquiring a thorough academic understanding of three particular environments: the higher order politicosecurity environment, the defence environment, and the military environment.