Blumenfeld, Callie

executive outcomes

The Angolan Civil War was a large and disastrous civil conflict in the state of Angola in Africa. The conflict began in 1975 immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal. The civil war was essentially a struggle over power between the two primary liberation movements, The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola. There were three periods of major fighting broken up by shorter periods of peace. More than 500,000 people had died by the time of the war’s conclusion, and this civil war was notable for its combination of Angola’s violent internal dynamics and massive foreign intervention. When the war reached an unbearable peak in 1992, the Angolan government called in the private military contractors of Executive Outcomes to train and eventually fight on the behalf of the Angolan government.

Executive Outcomes landed the contract after after they had helped Ranger Oil recover equipment in the town of Soyo. After establishment of their contract, Executive Outcomes began by training the soldiers of the Angolan government. The South African contractors brought with them their ideals and habits of fighting and mannerisms of lifestyle to influence the strategies and goals of the Angolan soldiers. Following bouts of success on the battlefield, the government enlisted the contractors of Executive Outcomes to fight in the civil war on their behalf. This altered the common social conceptions of the state military as foreigners were now involved in a fight that they had absolutely no stake in besides monetary compensation. Executive Outcomes became directly involved militarily in Angola, especially after three of its contractors were killed doing work in the country. The company was notable in in its success in providing all aspects of a highly trained modern army to the sub par professional forces of the country of Angola. The assistance provided by Executive Outcomes to the government of Angola aided the country in ending the civil war finally in 2002. Without the help of these hired mercenaries, it is quite possible that the country would still be rampant with civil war. Executive Outcomes provided the assistance of ending a civil war that was destroying the social development of an already under developed country. They altered the social structure of the Angolan state military with their foreign ideals and tactics, yet their training, while it changed the social makeup of the Angolan military, provided the necessary strategies to help the government eventually end the war.

Image Source: http://www.galago.co.za/CAT1_025_b_hardcover.htm

Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Outcomes

 

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