Archive: Arms acquisition: A paper


Arms acquisition is, was and will always be unpopular with the public.

Telling want from need
in the quest for
 responsible armaments acquisition[1]
by Leon Engelbrecht
July 29, 2002
Arms acquisition is, was and will always be unpopular with the public. Unless a country is at war, no-one can see any need for spending tax money on buying new arms and everyone can list any number of more pressing concerns that require funding from the common weal. Defence acquisitions are therefore an egg dance between want and need, or more proasically put, between finding the money or accepting risk.
Why does arms acquisition always cause a stir?
Defence is not like any other industry. Its output—the ability to deliver death and destruction, albeit mostly in the name of deterrence, peace and security—makes it unloved outside the communities where it provides jobs. With essentially one tax-funded customer per country—the government—that hardly matters. But the September 11th terrorist attacks on America may have fundamentally changed people’s perceptions of the industry.
Byron Callan, a defence-industry analyst at Merrill Lynch, an investment bank, has an office next to what used to be the World Trade Centre in New York. “When the second plane hit, we all started to leave our building,” he recalls. “By the time the second tower fell, we looked up to see an F-15 fighter circling overhead. Everybody cheered and clapped. That’s the difference: people are more defence-minded, and it’s carte blanche for the defence budget.”[2]
Buying arms is always a controversial matter, not only because some view the arms trade as inherently corrupt or would rather see the resources spent elsewhere – the wretched “guns and/or butter/bread” debate — but because the military is itself usually not of one mind as to what is really needed. Services and branches compete against each other for resources and it is not uncommon for protagonists to discredit each other and/or rival projects in the media or the political arena. Service chiefs and their senior subordinates also often champion what they know best, their own and related branches. In the case of the SA Army, there was a time that the artillery dominated the top spots, leading to a focus on heavy mechanised forces. Now paratroopers are in charge and “light” is seen as right. This trend is not exclusively South African and indicates that the military mind is susceptible to the dictates of fashion or necessity. The current gallop to lighten the forces is based partly on the fashionable belief that intensive conventional warfare of the Gulf War-type is a thing of the past in most part of the world (barring the Middle East), partly on cost considerations (light forces are cheaper than heavy, mechanised outfits) and partly on the supposed lessons learnt from recent conflicts such as the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and the war against Serbia in Kosovo. The latter would include the ability to deploy light mechanised forces in addition to Special Forces over strategic distances. The US, who as usual these days is setting the trend, is currently in the process of establishing a number of light brigades equipped with MOWAG LAV-III`s to provide that ability. Since launching the programme the US Army has refashioned its entire acquisition programme to support the concept. The first high-profile victim was the Crusader SP howitzer project, judged as “too heavy” despite its other impressive statistics. That the decision was not well received by United Defence, the prime contractor or by Congressmen representing districts home to United Defence and its suppliers, is an understatement.[3]                       
For these reasons future African acquisitions, deservedly or not, will also kick up some of the controversy that has swirled around South Africa`s US4,39-billion[4] (R30-billion in 1999, R57-billion in 2002) Strategic Defence Package (SDP).
What oil for these stormy waters?
It is time to make better use of what we have to hand. In one sense this refers to our defence-related industry – here at home and northwards. In another, and for now, more important, this refers to a new order of things on this continent of ours: the African Union, its socio-economic agenda – the New Partnership for Africa`s Development (NEPAD) – and the role the military, and of course, the defence-related industry will play in this.
The African Armed Forces Journal, as most of you are aware, has carried a series of articles exploring this in greater detail.[5] The most recent was an article in its June edition entitled “Towards an Indigenous Military Peace-building Initiative: A proposal.”[6] The initiative, IMPI for short, is intended to support the work of the African Union by helping to create the conditions necessary for peace, security and socio-economic development. In doing so it also creates a proper rationale for armaments acquisition over the coming decades.
A programme for Africa
Peace is cheaper than war. But often not by much. People don`t complain as much about the cost of war while the shooting is going on. When things settle down, taxpayers become more boisterous. As well they should. Peace is a more common condition than war. The cost of maintaining armed forces for the next war is often more expensive than the war itself. Yet as much as people complain about the expense, victory almost always goes to the bigger battalions. These battalions are built in peacetime.[7]
Until recently the prognosis for Africa was dire. But the launch of the African Union (AU), with NEPAD as its business plan and AAFJ`s proposed Indigenous Military Peace-building Initiative (IMPI) provides a way to a better future.[8]
The African Union and its Peace and Security Council
Peace is more than the absence of war and security requires more than socio-economic aid and development. If the AU and NEPAD are to be viable, let alone sustainable, the role of African militaries in allowing this will have to be acknowledged and defined.
The Constitutive Act of the AU is now the supreme law of Africa, Sourh African President Thabo Mbeki told the inaugural summit of AU leaders in Durban earlier this month. The act, which was signed by most OAU member states in 1999, commits African nations to democracy and good governance.
It is widely acknowledged that Africa will only prosper if she is at peace and if her people are secure. It is for this reason the AU has established a Peace and Security Council to act as a peer review- and conflict resolution mechanism. The council will be mandated with ensuring security on the continent and is expected to have the power to intervene, or recommend intervention to the Heads of State Assembly to ensure AU principles and those of NEPAD are met.
The council will comprise 15 members elected for a limited period. Ten members will be elected to sit on the council for two years and five members for a period of three years. Those countries elected onto the council can be re-elected, thus allowing for continuity. All member-states would be eligible, provided they were committed to AU principles and prepared to contribute to peace and security on the continent.
The SADC draft Mutual Defence Pact
The AU and NEPAD are, of course, continental projects. But the role of regional organisations such as as SADC and ECOWAS must not be overlooked. In the SADC region, the Interstate Defence and Security Committee is working towards a regional mutual defence pact. Still in draft form, it too reflects a collective approach to defence and will seek to prevent conflict. Key provisions in this pact, which is not that well known in the public domain, are military preparedness, a commitment to collective defence, defence co-operation between SADC member states and compatibility of equipment and systems, in particular communications.   
NEPAD is arguably the most important socio-economic plan ever to emerge from Africa. The programme, which links aid to good governance, has been widely hailed. NEPAD itself makes it clear that major preconditions for its success include peace and security on this troubled continent. Because NEPAD is primarily an socio-economic development programme defence issues play a negligible role in it as it stands. The primary link between NEPAD and any IMPI lies in paragraphs 54.1 and 73 of the NEPAD document. Paragraph 54.1 puts forth a “peace and security initiative” – peace and security being one of the preconditions for development. Most of the initiative consists of “soft” security endeavors. The military only seems to come in as lead agency under the single line reading “Peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace enforcement. Elsewhere it is clearly intended to play a secondary role, generally to the foreign affairs establishment. Paragraph 73, the document’s conclusion, calls inter alia for the “commissioning of a committee of foreign ministers” within a specified period “to review capacity building needed for peacekeeping structures at both the regional and continental levels.”[9] 
From the onset of the colonial era up to very recently Africa had very little influence on and even less say about its fate. Its defence and development was the responsibility of its colonial masters – who were not above squabbling among themselves and conscripting Africans to fight each other in their name. When African states nominally became independent from the 1960s not much changed. The peace and security agenda remained externally driven and social-economic progress became the preserve of the development set, particularly the Bretton Woods institutions, their subsidiaries and their many clones.
Ownership is important. What makes AU programmes such as NEPAD unique is that it is an African solution to African problems. In other words, NEPAD for the first time moves the development debate beyond the usual externally imposed panaceas by stipulating what the continent’s people think they need to move ahead. NEPAD signals Africa’s true emancipation from outside interests. It would be ironic then to leave the peace and security agenda in the hands of non-Africans.
IMPI, in common with NEPAD, must be based on rational self-interest. Participating in NEPAD is self-evidently in the interest of every African-as should be involvement with an IMPI. However, it is a truism that politics all too often tends to the destructive rather than constructive and politicians to the irrational rather than the rational. At the time of writing Africa and its offshore islands are host to 54 nation states. It is an unfortunate reality that many of these states are wracked by internal turmoil and some others are locked in armed conflict or cold political stand-off – often over vague colonial era border delimitation – with their neighbours. African states are also widely differing in their levels of political and economic development. Resources and demographics are unequal and many borders blithely drawn at the Conference of Berlin in 1884-5 do not correspond with Africa’s ethnic boundaries. Mixing these ingredients is a recipe for conflict that will keep parts of Africa in turmoil for the foreseeable future. Was this not so the peace and security required for NEPAD to take root and flourish would already be in place.
Not all of Africa will support NEPAD all the time and threats to the continent’s peace and security will periodically arise. It is these threats that an IMPI should seek to prevent, defuse or defeat by gradually establishing a pan-African network of partner states appropriately supported by Group of Eight (G8) nations.          
Its framers envisage IMPI to serve as a “bodyguard” to NEPAD. Its objectives would be to:
n                   Professionale and right-size Africa’s armed forces, paramilitaries and militias, and
n                   Divorce its military, gendarmerie and intelligence services from any unhealthy influences on national politics and the economy by ensuring appropriate civil-military relations through security sector transformation and continuous education.
IMPI, as proposed, would include at least four programmes. Interrelated, each would play a critical role in making an IMPI a success. They are:
n                   Establishing a continental Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme to team African militaries regionally as well as at the continental level and allying them with outside powers committed to the African Renaissance,
n                   Establishing Reserve components in every African military and gendarmerie,                
n                   Establishing Reserve Officer Associations along the CIOR -model to service Reserve and retired officers belonging to these components, and 
n                   Establishing military universities along US- or Swedish-pattern to train professional Reserve and Regular officers. The Citadel, Norwich University and the Virginia Military Institute, all august educational institutions in the US, could serve as role models.
IMPI Programme 1: Establishing an African PfP
A number of African countries are already interested in introducing an African PfP based on the proven NATO recipe, which since 1999 has had both a training and an operational component.
An African PfP will foremostly have to be a partnership of African states dedicated to the eradicating armed conflict from the continent. Outside partners can only play a supportive role. NATO’s PfP is focussed on integrating a number of states that either want to join the alliance or at least operate along side it. Therefore, the appropriate model to study would be the ongoing greater integration of European militaries by the creation of the German/Netherlands Corps, the Eurocorps (which includes a longstanding Franco-German brigade) and efforts to create a 60,000-strong EU rapid-reaction peacekeeping force.
An African PfP would also provide an opportunity to integrate various existing initiatives such as the French RECAMP (a Programme for the Reinforcement of Africa’s Peacekeeping Abilities), the US successor to ACRI (African Crisis Response Initiative) and Britain’s BMATT (British Military Assistance and Training Team) projects into a more focussed whole. It will also allow Africa to take charge of the agenda and to formulate the continent’s defence and security requirements. How much remains to be done can be seen in the reported absence of any African participation in a meeting in Paris, in late June (2002!) by the three powers to further “fine-tune” and harmonise their programmes. 
While an African PfP will initially have a training focus, well-trained, thoroughly-prepared operating forces will later be available to carry out armed interventions, peace enforcement and similar operations anywhere in Africa under an United Nations, African Union or other, appropriate, mandate.               
Due attention must also be given to including paramilitary police/gendarmerie and construction troops in the programme. While overwhelming military power is a non-negotiable requirement for a successful intervention or peace enforcement operation, peacekeeping is not an armed forces core competency. The focus is on pacification, disarmament, refugee repatriation and stabilisation – functions requiring a policeman’s hand not a soldier’s fist. The military’s focus here should be providing proper combat service support. During both peacekeeping and the concurrent initial phase of post-conflict reconstruction the military can further assist by providing the troops and the means to repair infrastructure and resurrect local government. This was common during World War Two when so-called “town majors” were appointed to govern towns and repair the damage until civil authority could be restored and take over. While it has now become common to leave this task to relief and aid agencies, this has not always been successful or wise. A modern version of the town major`s office is the civil military operations centre (CMOC), as practiced by US forces in Bosnia, Kosovo and during disaster relief operations in Mozambique in 2000. Such centres co-ordinated the needs and requests of nongovernmental organisations for military assistance with the mandate of the deployed force, without letting the tail wag the dog.[10]                  
IMPI Programme 2: Establishing Reserve Components
The value of including a Reserve Component into armed forces and gendarmeries is well established. Among the numerous advantages are that they allow a country to save money but not having to maintain a large regular force. Reservists are only paid when they are used. Under this programme an omnibus programme would have to be designed and approved on how to establish a Reserve Component. While the military culture is near universal, public culture is not. A specific plan covering all the practical, legal, administrative and military aspects will have to be tailored for every state participating in this programme. Appropriate support will have to be provided by IMPI partners during this process. In this context, the US state National Guard-to-PfP-partner-programme that for example twins the New York Army National Guard with, say, Estonia in providing funding and support as well as participation in joint exercises deserve highlighting.       
IMPI Programme 3: Establishing ROAs
Reserve Officers Associations have been around for generations in Europe and the US and have become especially powerful in the latter. As pools of living military expertise they serve their countries well while providing members, both Reserve and retired officers, with many valuable ministrations. The role that ROAs can play in promoting liberal-democratic civil-military relations cannot be under-estimated. In this regard Africa was fortunate in having a reservoir of senior retired military officers now engaged in a wide variety of commercial and other activities. This is an untapped source of expertise that could easily be marshalled into an organisation with a common agenda.
IMPI Programme 4: Establishing Military Universities
It is proposed that at least such universities be established on the continent, one per region. These institutions should academically focus on training scientists and engineers – of which Africa has a dearth – to world standards. In addition to the academic programme these institutions should also offer a compulsory US Reserve Officer Training Corps-style programme so that graduates are presented with both a bachelors degree by the university and a Reserve Officers commission in their national armed forces. The goal of this programme is to provide each region with a steady supply of military-professional young officers, the bedrock of a successful armed force. 
Faculty should be drawn from both Africa and abroad and students should be selected by competition as well as nomination. The institution’s funding should be a combination of partner grants, user-nation dues and sponsorship. Students should be obliged to repay their nations in kind (through a fixed period of military- or public service, proportionate to the study period) for the education received. It is anticipated that many graduates will accept regular commission in their home armed forces or gendarmerie. It is expected that most will later follow a distinguished career in the public service or private sector. As such, it is expected that this programme will play a major role in building a new Africa.       
Enhancing African Defence Co-operation
In terms of this African defence co-operation can take place on two levels and two planes: African countries can engage in defence-industrial as well as military cooperation. African militaries can work together in both the force preparation (training, etc.) and force employment (operations) fields. This could further include establishing joint units along the Eurocorps model – perhaps the embryo of an African army as proposed by Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi, in many respects the father of the AU – and the AU or regional bodies such as the Southern African Development Community, the Economic Community of West African States or the Inter-governmental Authority for Development could acquire equipment such as ships or patrol aircraft to be jointly crewed and operated by their members along the model of the NATO AWACS fleet.     
Another regional or continental project could be to establish a number of high class exercise/maneuver area for member countries. Germany has an instrumented combat training centre (CTC) at Hohenfels and the US has a CTC at Fort Irwin, California for heavy forces and another at Fort Polk, Louisiana for light forces. This gives company/battalion/brigade size units an opportunity to really train as they would fight and the electronic monitoring devices to record their decision making for discussion afterwards. South Africa has a CTC – no yet instrumented – that could become a centre of excellence for realistic training. 
Multinational joint training exercises and operations as motivation for integration
With Africa accepting more and more responsibility for its own stability, it is of the utmost importance that the security organisations of the region join forces in harmonising their activities on every level.[11]
A series of training events held within the SADC in recent years have stressed the need for better integration on both levels and planes. Starting with Blue Hungwe, in Zimbabwe in 1996, through Blue Crane in the Northern Cape and off Durban in April 1999 to the Franco-Tanzanian Exercise Tanzanite has highlighte the need for common doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures. Blue Hungwe, a battalion-level exercise involved land and air forces along with civilian police. Blue Crane in 1999 added naval elements to the mix. A plethora of intergovernmental organisations as well as non-governmental organisations also participated. Tanzanite, also a brigade-level exercise was even larger in scale.
Integration will logically lead to common procurement. Zimbabwe Defence Industries CEO Colonel Tshinga Dube (Retd) is on record as saying that “besides meeting the defence requirements for the region, South Africa can also help other SADC members develop their defence industries. In so doing, the regional armies would be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment designed and manufactured in the region for the region.”[12] He also found it unsurprising that many of regional armies had spent millions of dollars acquiring sophisticated equipment which when used in the region performed badly, for it was not designed and tested using regional parameters.” As a rule the cooling systems of imported vehicles fail in the demanding African bush with its “hot and high” conditions. Dube also called for the consolidation of defence industries in the region. “A mechanism can be put in place whereby industries are set up in countries according to resources available to them. For example an industry to manufacture brass cartridges can be set up in Zambia where there are large reserves of copper, likewise Zimbabwe with plenty of iron and steel coupled with its sophisticated foundries can produce cast products like mortar bombs and artillery shells. Such industries can then supply the whole region for them to be viable. (South Africa) with its technological(ly advanced industry) can co-ordinate the processing of the raw materials in various SADC countries.” Dube continued to say a “Defence Technology Board set up under the SADC’s Organ for Politics, Defence and Security, comprising of technocrats in the defence sector to share, disseminate and implement defence projects within the region could be a starting point”. This way, a project too expensive or cumbersome for one country can be tackled by the region as a whole. “Failure to utilise regional products may be attributed to lack of trust among member states, sanctions against each other, unwillingness to transfer technology between member states, influence caused by inheritance from colonial powers and the fear of dependance on neighbours”, he said. The consequences of importing from outside the region was also severe. First there was the exhaustion of scarce foreign currency, with about 30 percent of the purchase price going to freight charges alone. Next, imports perpetuated the region’s lack of technological advancement and high unemployment and kept it dependent on the developed world. “In most cases purchases are done through third parties which tends to increase the value of goods and sometimes result in the wrong equipment being delivered, ” Dube said. Armscor, the South African DoD’s procurement agency and life-cycle equipment supporter, has also expressed itself in favour of regional military-industrialisation, joint regional purchases and standardisation on numerous occassions. It also sees a role for itself as a SADC purchasing agent.   
NEPAD and IMPI as a rationale for integration
You can do a lot with diplomacy, but you can do a lot more with diplomacy backed up by firmness and force.[13]
As the African Renaissance unfolds one may argue that the need for armed forces will fall away and with it the need for arms. In consequence, no market for defence products. Quite the contrary. As already said, progress will often be halting and there will be reverses. It is in such circumstances that the more democratically advanced African states will likely militarily intervene or dispatch peacekeepers and peacemakers to restore order or to create the conditions for a new beginning. Providing defence products to such states and their militaries should not only be acceptable, it should also imperative. What is good fopr the goose is good for the gander. If G8 nations could post-September 11 massively increase defence spending and acquisition to wage a “war on terrorism” then AU members would be justified in doing the same to support NEPAD and IMPI. Those who disagree might find themselves fighting charges of hypocracy.       
Nevertheless, most reputable defence manufacturers and marketers steer clear of much of Africa because of public pressure, home government regulation and the unreliability of potential buyers. Simplistically put, many potential arms buyers are seen as beyond the pale in the public eye. Others are the subject of international concern and others might be “non-state actors” (read armed opposition groups or unrecognised governments ) for whom obligatory end-user certificates are hard to obtain. Home governments generally require the latter before authorising exports. Other considerations also apply. Many US companies   believe their State Department and its regulations are a major advantage to their direct competitors in Europe and further east.[14] Many South African defence executives feel the same about their National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) and its head, Education Minister Kader Asmal.
Countries, including South Africa, also ban exports to countries involved in armed conflict in sympathy with the UN Charter’s obligation that members to refrain from armed conflict and to engage in the peaceful settlement of disputes. In these countries it has already become unacceptable to export arms to belligerents.[15] Considering the number of conflicts presently raging across the continent, this substantially reduces the number of potential, let alone real, markets. The impoverished nature of many governments, their limited ability to raise funds for arms and the dictates of the international donor and financial community also play a role. Arms are expensive and can generally only be bought “legitimately” in peacetime – when other priorities prevail. (Arms can of course be bought during conflicts, but generally only from less reputable dealers and manufacturers and at a considerable premium). The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund also generally keep clients under the proverbial thumb and generally prescribe defence spending at 2.4 percent of GDP or less.
In many African countries this is such a paltry sum as to make them non-viable markets: hence the already stated need to pool financial resources and/or establishing multi-national acquisition projects and units. Funding must also be obtained and be lobbied for in terms of the AU`s objectives and to support its programmes.                                     
The national arsenal as an indicator of clout
Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian military philosopher, understood not only the nature of war but also of international relations. War, he said, is “merely the continuation of policy by other means. We see, therefore, that war is not merely an act of policy but a true political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, carried on with other means.”[16] Turning to the nature of war the astute scholar said a picture could be formed by imagining a pair of wrestlers. “each tries through physical force to compel the other to do his will; his immediate aim is to overthrow his opponent in order to make him incapable of further resistance. War is thus an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will.” Continuing the wrestling analogy, Clausewitz described war as a dynamic interaction between two living, opposing, wills, each determined to subjugate the other. “So long as I have not overthrown my opponent I am bound to fear he may overthrow me.”          
Returning from the past to the present and from the theoretical to the practical, it can be seen that Clausewitz`s teaching applies as much today or in the past. Similarly, it is as true in the realm of war as in international relations. The veracity of this can be seen in the manner in which, for example, the United States cajoles friend and foe to achieve its foreign policy objectives. Would it be able to do so if it did not have vast military power in addition to its economic strength? Compare its influence with that of Japan, a financially powerful country that only has the clout it purchases. Many have therefore drawn a link between a country`s international influence and its military capability.[17] Factors to determine the latter include not only its regular and reserve force levels and their standard of training but also population of military age, and its actual or latent defence industrial capacity as well as its existing military stocks and their quality.  
A case study in clout: New Zealand v Malaysia
New Zealand recently abolished its air force`s air combat command and has since put its fighter aircraft up for sale. The RNZAF`s A4K/TA4K Skyhawk fighter-bombers and Aermacchi 339 fighter-trainers had become too old and too expensive to maintain. New Zealand`s government decided replacing them was also too expensive, all things considered. The considerations included funding priorities (the need to fund an under-resourced and poorly-equipped[18]awker Hunter, a Fouga Magister which entered service with the French military in 1960, and a Cessna A37B Dragonfly built in 1972 and used during the Vietnam War. “Quite how this will have prepared the ships and their crew for the realities of modern warfare is unclear,” Defence Systems Daily reported on February 19, 2002.[19] Army for its new peacekeeping role), the lack of a discernable threat and the geographic reality that despite the rhetoric on both sides of the Tasman Sea, Australia, in its own defence would always co-incidentally protect the New Zealand home islands. A consequence of this was the recent spectacle of the Royal New Zealand Navy practicing anti-aircraft drills against a group of enthusiasts flying vintage military aircraft, including a 1950`s era H
While New Zealand is now widely considered a freeloader, the Malaysian government, by contrast has embarked on a major defence procurement drive in an attempt to increase its global presence – despite worries that neighbouring countries could construe its dealings as aggressive, the Internet daily reported on April 10th. “In a flurry of deals, the as yet unconfirmed key advancement is likely to be a deal with French firm DCN for three submarines. The defence ministry has sealed a US316 million contract with European consortium MBDA to buy the JERNAS short-range missile system to form a new air defence regiment, as well as a US48-million-dollar deal with Russian state-owned company Rosoboronexport for the IGLA air defence system. These contracts were announced just twenty-four hours after the Malaysian government sealed three deals worth 304.65 million ringgit (US80.17 million) to buy assault rifles and equipment in the first round of its defence shopping spree. Two contracts were to supply mobile military bridges, comprising a 113.2 million ringgit deal with a joint-venture firm involving Britain’s Vickers Bridging, and a 106.9 million ringgit agreement with another firm involving France’s Constructions Industrielles DE LA Mediterranee. Under the third pact, Malaysia will buy 84.5 million ringgit worth of Steyr assault rifles from local firm Syarikat Malaysian Explosive Ordnance.”[20]
Applied to South Africa
Applied to South Africa it can therefore be seen that recent media reports[21] querying the SANDF`s state of readiness would have had the additional consequence of undermining South Africa`s international standing. The reports coincided with the launch of the African Union in Durban in July 2002 and reportedly embarrassed the minister as he was greeting arriving Heads of State who were apparently surprised that the SANDF was not what they had been led to believe. Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota indicated his clear irritation with the reports at a media conference[22] where he also attempted to assure the South African and foreign public that all was indeed well. According to the reports spiraling personnel and material acquisition costs had left too little money available for the defence force to function properly. In consequence there was reportedly little money available for training, maintenance and deployment. This, in turn, had alarmed the public, who see the 60,000 strong military and its additional reserves as a major bulwark against crime and foreign governments who look at South Africa to provide peacekeepers to back up diplomatic initiatives. However, the critics charge that keeping quiet would simply exacerbate the crisis, which they say has gone on too long. The military was apparently neither willing nor able to reform itself and required intervention in the full public scrutiny to ensure problems of the last few decades were finally put right. Better for the public to be alarmed now than learn the truth later, when rain clouds gather and the house is found to be without a roof, they argue. In war the price for a lack of peacetime preparation is exacted in blood and generally not that of those who failed in their duty at the time.[23]
Defence capabilities cannot be switched on or off like a light switch. Modern fighter aircraft take up to 30 years to develop, while defence planners consider five years as long term. In 1910, no one could predict the coming of World War Two. Even the nature of the first global catastrophe, then just four years away, could not be clearly seen, although with hindsight all the signs were there.[24] It is no longer a simple matter to convert factories to war production. Both the factories and arms, above component level, have become very specialised.               
Who decides what to buy?
Much future planning.. is one part Starship Troopers, one part Ulzana`s Raid and three parts pure hokum.[25]
Who decides – and how – what should be bought and whether it is appropriate?
The Defence Review
The correct starting point is the defence review. This is normally drafted by defence department officials to articulate defence policy, propose force design and articulate the consequent personnel and capital needs to the lawmaker. Depending on the political system concerned, the review is itself approved by the legislature and/or forms the basis of the necessary appropriations legislation.
Using South Africa as an example, it can be seen that the current SDP, which will see the country acquire four Meko A200SAN patrol corvettes , three Type 209 submarines, 30 A109 light utility helicopters, 24 Hawk lead-in fighter trainers and 28 Gripen advanced light fighter aircraft, was informed by a Defence Review that was drafted in 1998 and afterwards approved by all parties in the National Assembly. There is now some controversy that the acquisitions themselves were never approved by Parliament as the Defence Review was simply a “wish-list.” This assertion does not bear scrutiny. The annual defence budget, announced in Parliament by Fınance Minister in February, have every year since the contracts underlying the SDP took effect include provisions to pay for the acquisitions. These and other provisions have each year been discussed during the defence budget debate (usually in April, this year in May) and were subsequentally approved by vote by the National Assembly.
The South African defence debate is dominated by arguments based on the present realities of the pressing need for social spending on such crucial issues as health, education and housing, the unacceptable level of crime and violence in South Africa, the general instability and high level of intra-state conflict in our region and the relative absence of a clearly defined military threat to South Africa in the short to medium term. All these arguments have merit and need to be considered in the final definition of the defence requirements of South Africa, but the defence debate must never lose sight of the enduring role of defence and the long-term nature of defence strategy and planning.[26]
There are, of course, defence reviews and defence reviews. The 1998 Defence Review (DR98) is reportedly still being tinkered with by DoD officials. If this is the case this practice should be condemned as the modified version is obviously not the document approved by Parliament. It would be better to follow the US example where the Pentagon is required by law to produce a defence review every four years, coinciding with their presidential elections. As an aside, the latest Quadrennial Defence Review was due days after the September 11th terror attacks – and in the space between that tragic event and September 30 when presented to Congress – about two weeks – it was completely re-written to take the new situation into account. Impressive is an understatement!
It is not clear when the next Defence Review will be done. The US example suggests the time is now right for a new Review, taking into account all that has happened since DR98. Since South African politics runs in five year cycles (elections, etc.) it can be hoped that a “DR03” will soon be available to guide lawmakers on future acquisitions. It is hoped that the deliberations preceding the final drafting will be as inclusive as the process preceding DR98. One trusts that there will not again afterwards be reports of tinkering with the paperwork. Energy- and time-saving as these may appear to DoD officials, they are fundamentally undemocratic and may lead to a position where officials and outside commentators are no longer singing from the same sheet, leading to confusion and the undermining not only of the defence debate but of national security itself! This may well be the cause of the present fuss over defence readiness in the media.
A related concern was that many civil society bodies that took part in the DR98 process afterwards complained that although they had been consulted in the drafting phase their input was not in the final document or had been otherwise manipulated. A mechanism may have to be found to prevent this from happening again, if only to prevent disgruntled organisations from attempting to discredit so important a document out of pique.     
The force design of a defence force is the final expression of its roles, functions and defence posture as determined by the state’s political leaders and that military’s principals. It will of necessity be driven by needs but will also be constrained by resources. In the South African context emphasis should therefore, shift from heavy, ground mobile forces, to light air- and sea-mobile forces. There will be a quantitative and qualitative difference between a force design based on conventional defence only, and that which is required for the broader spectrum of the prevention, management and resolution of conflict”.[27]
Parliamentary oversight
Of even greater importance is authorative oversight by Parliament. It is vital that MPs have a working knowledge of defence matters and have access to independent experts. When acquisition plans are discussed it is crucial that corresponsing staffing programmes exist. It is pointless to field 700 armoured cars when there is no plan to hand to crew them. Similarly, it is of little use to use nomenclature such as “company” or “battalion” when it is not understood what is meant by this. A permanent military liaison staff based at Parliament could be useful in explaining such terminology to MPs and in keeping them informed. Parliamentary transcripts from as recent as May 2002 indicate that there is still some work to be done in this regard. “We cannot continue to learn of developments through the media and leakages
rather than through official briefings by the department to Parliament. The force design structure changes but Parliament continues not to be informed. We had hoped this pattern was past, but obviously
it is not.”[28] Sadly, Parliamentary oversight is still more theory than fact.
Where might South Africa`s priorities now lie?
The SANDF should be designed to assist in shaping conditions of peace and stability in our region, to dissuade and deter aggression and military or armed adventurism against South Africa or our allies and to fight and win wars when that becomes the only option for ensuring a better peace.[29]
Two articles[30]w Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) . The South African DoD`s Strategic Plan for financial years 2002/3 to 2004/5 supports this approach by pledging the SANDF`s support for NEPAD and regional peacekeeping. It is therefore hoped that a future defence review accepts this as the basis for force design and equipment acquisition.           
in the African Armed Forces Journal (AAFJ) have argued that the SANDF should re-organise itself around the concept of expeditionary warfare. Other articles[31] have made the case for African armed forces to adopt an indigenous Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme as their contribution to the Ne
The SDP on the advice of DR98 focussed on recapitalising the SA Navy and SA Air Force. A number of other funded acquisition programmes, most notably those to acquire lightweight transport vehicles for the SA Army`s airborne as well as Special Forces (Projects Ambition 1A and 1B for a tractor and a “commando jeep” respectively) and another to acquire a light missile ground-based air defence system (GBADS) for the same Service, are currently underway.
Landward defence  
The funded Army GBADS programme will see its air defence artillery acquire a battery of man-portable very short range air defence (VSHORAD) missiles. A separate requirement exists for a short range system (SHORAD) for the Army as well as for the SAAF for point defence. The need can be met by the indigenous – although still developmental – Umkhonto system and it is hoped that in time this will be acquired. The Army also has plans to buy an initial instalment of about 300 8×8 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) to replace 1,200 Ratels after 2007 and 1,500 armoured personnel carriers to replace 429 Casspirs and 538 Mambas at the end of this decade. Both vehicle classes will likely be locally produced. A second batch of IFV, including 70 equipped with a turreted anti-tank missile system to replace the ZT3 will be required after 2015. The ZT6 Mokopa, being developed for the Rooivalk attack helicopter could be a cost-effective solution. There may be an additional requirement for the same or a lighter anti-tank missile to equip the anti-tank platoon of the infantry battalion. These are at present manfully soldiering on with the antique –but effective – 106mm recoilless rifle and some shoulder-launched rockets. The army also plans to acquire about 50 new main battle tanks (MBTs) from 2010 to replace the 168 veterans currently in service. More will be bought if funding allows and need be. By then the current multi-billion rand programme will have been completed and the equipment paid for – allowing for these new acquisitions. There is also pressing need for new utility trucks to replace the 2, 5 and 10ton SAMIL (SA Military) series currently in use. Adopted in the early 1980’s they have now reached the end of their chassis lives. Planning suggests new heavy tactical logistics vehicles will be acquired simultaneously with the IFV and APC. It is hoped this agenda does not prove over-ambitious. 
In many cases the viable, cost-effective alternative to new acquisitions, namely service-life extension programmes (SLEPs) have already been exhausted. The much- and many-times upgraded Olifant MBTs currently in service are already 60 years old and many other systems are pushing at least 30 and – becaue of metal fatigue — have also reached the end of their useful lives. SLEPs are generally a good alternative as equipment can be refurbished and modernised to “almost new” standards.   
Some of these programmes may be overtaken by events. South Africa is following the international trend towards lighter, more expeditionary forces. It is in the process of adopting a new military strategy that will lead to a new, smaller, force design and structure. While the strategy has not yet been made public, enough has been said by Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota and leaked to the media to make some sense of what is to come.[32] The change is partly the result of the existing force design costing R400-million more than the approved budget of R1,8-billion. But it also follows the logic applied in the US to make its armed forces lighter. Situated at the southern tip of Africa, South Africa faces no conventional military threat from its neighbours, all of whom are –like it or not — economically dependent on their southern neighbour, the world`s 20th largest economy. South Africa is geographically isolated from most of its likely deployment areas, which like Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo lie in the Congo basin or Rift Valley.
Unlike the US services with its bias to heavy armour, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is already light. It is just not very mobile. The bulk of its armour, artillery and mechanised infantry was, is and will remain in the Reserve component. The Infantry, the largest corps of the largest Service, the SA Army, makes up a third of the SANDF. The bulk of its 14 regular battalions are “light infantry” scattered in garrisons across the country in a manner and for a purpose reminiscent of US Cavalry forts during the “Indian wars” there. The Army`s cross-border operations from northern Namibia into southern Angola in the 1980s, no matter the range or duration, were all launched from well-stocked logistic bases near the frontier. By emphasising expeditionary mobility in addition to lightness, the SANDF will, in a sense be returning to the ability its antecedents, the horse-mounted burgher Commandos and the swift Zulu impis (regiments).   
For a continent three times the size of the Continental US, where communications are notoriously poor, expeditionary mobility means a renewed focus on logistics: getting a force to where needed and supplying it once there. There are few navigable rivers comparable with the Mississippi or the Rhine, few metaled highways and scarcely any railways. Peace is also a relative concept and despite moves towards peace in Angola, Burundi, the DR Congo, the Horn of Africa and west Africa, backsliding is common. Factional leaders often go back on their word, most infamously Jonas Savimbi in Angola. What is meant to be a peace-support mission of short duration can then easily degenerate into a full-blown long-term military intervention.
Air Defence
If this is the challenge, what does the SANDF have to meet it and what else will it need? Clearly, there is a premium on air transport. But this is prohibitively expensive. The SA Air Force`s transport component is also quite small. Operationally it consists of a dozen C130B transports augmented by a handful of Casa aircraft, while tactically it fields 44 medium lift Oryx helicopters and ten 10 BK117 as well as 30 Alouette III light utility helicopters. These are clearly not enough but can be augmented by charter flights – charter companies abound – as was done last year in moving South African troops to the DR Congo and Burundi. There is no other real alternative as the SAAF lacks both a pool of qualified reserve pilots of any depth and aircraft for them to fly. Other aviation programmes that should enjoy attention include more unmanned aerial vehicles for reconaissance and attack duties for the SAAF, maritime patrol aircraft to act as force multipliers for the navy as well as both airborne warning & control (AWAC) as well as search, track and attack radars (STAR) systems together with precision attack munitions and cruise missiles.
Seaward Defence
The SA Navy (SAN) is in the same boat as the air force. It has a small reserve but this has no sizeable vessels assigned. At best the aging naval Reservists – recruiting for the Reserves in all Services is slow because of a lack of funds to provide basic or promotion training – can serve as combat replacements. And according to current planning this is how it will be. What is not clear is whether these plans include any provision for taking up ships out of trade – as well as arming and crewing them – in case of hostilities. Whalers and trawlers, liners and cargo vessels were rapidly militarised at the start of World War Two and many served with distinction in the forerunners to the SAN. The British Royal Navy in addition maintains a Royal Fleet Auxiliary of merchant ships sailing under a civil flag (the Red Ensign) but often built with armament hard-points. The US Merchant Marine operates along similar lines. 
Returning to the SAN, it must be pointed out that the sea-going service has limited depth. At peak, when its new acquisitions are in commission, it will muster four light frigates, three diesel submarines and a number of fast attack craft (missile) or multipurpose offshore patrol vessels.[33] All are at face value optimised for a conventional war at sea that should never come. Terrorist attacks such as that on the USS Cole at Aden, naval guerilla warfare along the lines practiced by LTTE (Tiger Tamil) guerillas off Sri Lanka during the recently ended civil war there and attempts at littoral sea or port denial had to be expected during the naval phase of intervention or peace support operations. Yes, the Navy must remain capable of defeating such threats without becoming unduly distracted by force-protection measures and while keeping the sea-lanes-of-communication open. But this is only one side of the coin. The navy must also be able to help shape events ashore by projecting force or fire ashore. Yet a land-attack ability seems an afterthought in the present naval construction programme. The corvettes lack a heavy enough gun to engage shore targets decisively and will carry missiles with no known shore attack ability.
As far as projecting force ashore is concerned, there is room for optimism. A Navy Review conducted last year found that the service had a need for two landing platform dock (LPD) ships. In a recent interview[34] Chief of the Navy, Vice Admiral Johan Retief said vessels of this type would replace the Navy`s 
underway replenishment vessels which had only a limited ex tempore amphibious capability. “To help shape their thinking, the SAN has requested and received briefing about the Dutch Rotterdam-class LPDs and about the Singapore Endurance-class. ‘From a regional deployment point of view, LPDs are probably the most useful ships you can have – in addition to landing troops and flying off helicopters, they can refuel and resupply other ships, so they would be better than acquiring another tanker,` he explains. ‘But we expect the or for them to be completed only in 2012 – fairly far off, and we can expect a lot of refinement in our thinking before then,` he adds. Still, buying LPDs would transform the abilities of the entire National Defence Force, giving both the Army and Air Force a mobile base, and being capable of landing and picking up personnel and equipment entirely independently of any harbour,” the article concluded. Amen!
The SAN may also have reason to push for its own air wing. Despite the launch of the SAS Amatola (F145), the first of the patrol corvettes, in June 2002, the contract to purchase maritime helicopters to operate off her was still awaiting signature. Only four Westland Agusta Super Lynx 300s were to be purchased against a reported need of perhaps six to eight for training and operational needs as well as attrition. The ships and the helicopters form a system and should be administered as such. Such an air wing might also include maritime patrol aircraft, another urgent need the SAAF seems to be neglecting for no immediately apparent reason. At the same time the SAN needs to invest in riverine craft and experience in order to operate alongside the SA Army Engineer Corps.
The Reserve Component
Meanwhile, there is growing evidence of a crisis in the SANDF in the availability and quality of combat (camouflage) uniforms and personal equipment. Why this is so is unclear as the country in the past manufactured uniforms and boots of exceptional quality. (South African sheepskin jackets and leather boots clothed many of the Russian soldiers advancing on Berlin in 1945 – according to reports the kit was well received.) Uniform provision to both the regulars and the reserves (where the bulk of the problem seems to lie) was, until recently, while not perfect, at least adequate. Now some reserve units are reporting that they are purchasing uniforms, personal equipment and even vehicles, commercially, with Regimental funds at SANDF disposal sales and the like to clothe and equip their troops!                
The acquisition process
The South African acquisition process is simple and on first appearance tamper proof. However, the report[35] of the tri-agency investigation into allegations of corruption surrounding the SDP found that where persons heading the process at a lower level was ex officio or otherwise advising decision makers at a higher level, the system could become compromised – and a single man could influence the selection process. It is expected that this deficiency will be corrected. A system is only as good as the people who designed and staffed it. It can only work if that staff is honest and competent.       
In terms of the current system, the Minister of Defence personally authorised all acquisitions with “cardinal projects” requiring Cabinet approval. The Secretary for Defence exercised control over these and was “professionally advised” by his staff, including those from the Defence Acquisition and Procurement Division (DAPD), until recently headed by Shamin “Chippy” Shaikh. Parliament played “a rightful watchdog role.”[36]       
The correct starting point of the acquisition process is the requirements of the end user: the infantry, armour, artillery, etc. They are meant to generate or contribute to an operational capability requirement, a staff target, a staff requirement, a project study report, a development plan, an acquisition plan. In the Army, the first hurdle is obtaining approval from the relevant formation or division, the next is securing the blessing of the Chief Director Army Force Structure in that capacity and as head of the Army Armaments Committee. Next, acquisitions had to be approved by the Army Council. (The SAN and SAAF system works thae same up to this point.) Once approved it had to be accepted by the Operational Staff Council, headed by the Chief of Joint Operations. This appears to be the most senior military officer to approve acquisition projects. The next level is departmental, and approval must be obtained from the Armament Acquisition Board headed by the chief of the DAPD. Then is decision must be obtained from the Armament Acquisition Steering Board, headed by the Secretary for Defence. Finally, the minister, as head of the Armament Acquisition Council had to sign. In the case of the SDP a cabinet committee headed by then-Deputy President Thabo Mbeki and including the ministers of defence, trade and industry, public enterprises and finance made the final decision. There are so many levels it must be asked whether the needs of the end user is still paramount by the time the minister signs – and whether he is sufficiently drawn in in the first instance.                  
Defence-related industries in Africa  
Africa’s defence industry is small and is largely concentrated in South Africa and Egypt. Smaller centres exist in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya.
 The modern Egyptian industry seemingly concentrates on the assembly and maintenance of US equipment under strict conditions. This nascent capability may hold a key for the US into Africa. While US helicopters and especially the C130/L100 are in widespread use in Africa, export controls and a seeming anti-US bias is preventing its entry into that defence market.[37] Egypt as both an African and an Arab state might be an effective middleman and marketer. The Egyptian minister of state responsible for armaments manufacture visited South Africa in September 2000. It is believed such trans-continental links and cooperation were discussed. Egypt can also become a valuable ally of South Africa by marketing and selling its goods in Arab North Africa and south Asia, where South Africans are often at a considerable cultural and political disadvantage.            
The Namibian defence industry is minute and concentrated in the Windhoeker Maschinen Fabrik, purchased by the government in 1998. The company developed the Wolf-series of armoured personnel carriers for various counter-insurgency units. The vehicle is similar, but heavier, than the South African Casspir range. Both the Casspir and the Wolf remain in Namibian Defence Force and police service. (The Wolf has also been sold to the DRC in limited numbers.) It is slowly being joined by the new Wer’wolf APC, some of which have already seen action in the DRC. The Wer’wolf is smaller than the Wolf and modular in design, meaning a range of rear compartments or flatbeds can be fitted. The vehicle is currently being marketed worldwide by Military International Limited (MIL) of Canada.
 Zimbabwe’s defence-related industries were also created in the face of international sanctions, this time in the 1960’s and 1970’s following a Unilateral Declaration of Independence by the white minority rulers of the then British colony of Rhodesia. As is the case in South Africa, only a small part of the Zimbabwean defence industry is specialised. The country has a high-quality and truly competitive textile industry which also manufactures the Zimbabwean military and police’s uniforms and tentage. As a matter of interest, these camouflage uniforms are identical to those worn by the former Rhodesian security forces. Apparently a thriving market exists for these uniforms in the US where they are sold as the latter! Some years ago the Chinese helped build Zimbabwe facilities for light arms manufacture. The country now manufactures a full range of small arms ammunition as well as 60mm and 82mm mortar tubes and bombs. It can also manufacture and refurbish East Block small-arms, such as the AK47/AKM family.       
Botswana, Tanzania and Kenya
Botswana is credited with a maintenance and limited repair capability. Tanzania also has a Chinese-manufacture arms and ammunition plant and Kenya has a military textile industry as well as repair and maintenance facilities.
Case study: How South Africa has used policy to reshape and globalise the domestic defence-ralated industry[38] to allow responsible local acquisition.    
South Africa developed a large and sophisticated defence industry in the 1970s and 1980s in the face of increasingly rigorous international sanctions and embargoes, culminating in a mandatory UN arms embargo in 1977. The embargo substantially strengthened the local industry – but at a huge cost. It sheltered the South African defence industry from competition, leading to bloated bureaucracies, massive over-pricing, research and development of products at government cost but without proper authorisation, kick-backs and other forms of corruption. The prevailing positive attitude towards acquiring defence technology through illegal means, such as espionage, theft and smuggling, did not help matters and did the country a great disservice. For reasons of national pride it is still not acknowledged how much of the industry’s “domestic” products were in fact imports. The G5 and G6 155mm artillery systems use barrels and extended-range full bore ammunition developed by the late maverick Canadian scientist, Dr Gerald Bull.[39] He passed on the same technology to Austria and a number of other countries.
The drift ended partly with the release of the White Paper on South Africa’s Defence Related Industries in December 1999 by Education Minister Kader Asmal in his capacity of NCACC[40] by head and partly with the start of defence-industrial offsets related to the strategic rearmament programme. The highlight of the Paper was its integration of all “procedures and processes regarding arms control” and its addressing of the current situation with its “fragmentary legislation and resultant structures”. The Paper also called for the establishment of a “dedicated defence technology organisation to coordinate and integrate defence research in the public, private and academic sectors, with the specific objective of retaining and enhancing certain specified strategic defence technologies”. These were identified as:
n                   Logistic and maintenance support; and
n                   Integrating, adapting and modifying equipment bought on the open market to provide a combat advantage. Technologies key to this were:
·                     System integration;
·                     Command, control and communication means;
·                     Sensors and data processing;
·                     Electronic warfare as well as “strategic and tactical electronics”; and
·                     Combat systems software, including simulation and war-gaming.
These technologies and capabilities are reportedly to enjoy a “limited amount of protectionism” and subsidisation by government. The capabilities they represent make up roughly 40 percent of the through-life costs of systems.[41] Not only would control over these aspects give South Africa a self-sufficient mid-life upgrade capability, but it would also keep a significant portion of the money spent on an arms programme in the country- without having to accept R&D and production risks for the primary equipment. The document also encourages outside investment in the local industry. Joint ventures are especially favoured, particularly if black empowerment partners are involved. In all instances substantial technology transfer will be promoted. It is unlikely the country will again endeavour to build attack helicopters or other major systems. As illustrated by the strategic rearmament packages, it is simpler to purchase these on the open market and customise them for local conditions or fit them out with South African systems.
Less than a year after signing the contracts for the packages making up the programme, the South African industry is already feeling the benefits. Allied to continuing buy-ins by international players, prospects are improving.
In addition to buying into the local industry, EADS, Thales and BAE Systems have also established their African offices in Pretoria. The country is therefore already becoming key in these players’ plans for Africa. The South African companies they now own or have interests in can only benefit from this. These companies have seen an improvement in expertise since the appointment of expatriate specialists and the purge of local deadwood.[42]  Russia is also establishing alliances in South Africa aimed at the rest of the continent.
The strategic rearmament programme is expected to generate investment or offsets worth at least R104 billion of which R14.5 billion will be in the form of South African production participation, technology transfers and licensing over an 11 year period.[43] This investment aspect was indeed the primary driver behind the purchases. Re-equipping the SANDF was a secondary consideration. The importance of the offsets are further amplified by a legal requirement that any future arms purchases also include defence-related offsets.   
Defence shows
Defence shows can benefit from the AU, NEPAD and IMPI as well. At present there is a lack of focus in South Africa. The SDP has come and gone and new Army, Air Force and Navy projects are in most cases dreams still years away. So, how do you attract your industry – let alone foreign exhibitors? As already indicated, by marketing the need to arm and equip the AU through something like IMPI to protect NEPAD until it can stand on its own. Are we doing this?       
Self sufficiency versus imports
Africa`s production capacity and the glut of East Block light arms into Africa in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s means that few if any African states require light and small arms in the near future. In fact, numerous programmes exist to destroy such arms and a moratorium on their import, manufacture and trade is in effect in the Ecowas region. Africa is also already self-sufficient in military clothing, tentage and personal load-bearing equipment. But as Dube indicated, Zimbabwe, like most other African states were reliant on non-African sources for military vehicles and trucks and much else.
Though at a low state of readiness and preparedness , the SANDF and its supporting industry has much its neighbours and allies lack. This includes logistics systems, training means and C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) capacity. All of these are essential for combined and joint operations. Global players as well as industries based in South Africa are well placed to supply these to such forces.                 
Transparency in acquisition
How transparent are arms deals? In March, Gavin Woods MP, the former chairman of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts said the following: “Arms deals are done in a confidential and secretive way and on reflection, on the international arms trade, it’s very seldom one gets to the bottom of things. The public is unlikely to be ever satisfied that they know everything about the SDP or any other arms deal.” In some respects this is bad, certainly it creates room for ill-informed speculation and rumour, but on the other hand you may still get that no matter how open the transaction is. 
An African shopping list
African requirements are in many respects the same as those of South Africa. And similarly any final selection or even listing of priorities should be informed by a continental or a series of regional defence reviews. Acquisitions should also benefit African industry through bias towards local purchases and contracts that stress offsets and technology transfer when foreign purchases are made. Very obviously there must be emphasis on regional and continental commonality.    
Painting with a broad brush there is a dire need for trucks, other logistics means and systems, communications means, patrol vessels and aircraft, amphibious vessels and vehicles, engineering equipment and bridging and utility helicopters.   

[1] This is an updated version of a paper delivered at the 8th African Defence Summit at Midrand on July 28, 2002.  
[2] Iain Carson, Transformed?, Survey: The Defence Industry, The Economist, London, July 18, 2002. 
[3] See for example Defence Systems Daily, Bush weighs in over Crusader, May 10, 2002,, accessed on July 16, 2002.  
[4] The cost of the SDP remains constant in dollars. The amount quoted excludes financing costs, interest rate fluctuations and the impact of post-contract modifications or alterations ordered by the purchaser. International experience shows the latter can be considerable.     
[5] Full references can be found in footnotes 29 and 30.  
[6] Leon Engelbrecht, Towards an Indigenous Military Peace-building Initiative for Africa: A Proposal, African Armed Forces Journal, Johannesburg, June 2002.
[7] James F. Dunnigan, How to make war, A comprehensive guide to modern warfare in the Post Cold War Era, 3rd Edition, William Morrow & Co, New York, 1993, p325. 
[8] The Americas are currently organized in somewhat the same fashion through the Organization of American States (OAS). Additionally, there is the Interallied Defense Board
(IADB) composed of general officers of the OAS nations that meet on a regular basis to discus hemispheric security matters. Curiously, there are currently 34 members of the OAS, but only 29 members of the IADB. Cuba is not a member of either.
[10] See for example Leon Engelbrecht, South Africa and Southern Africa weekly notes, Defence Systems Daily,, March 24, 2000, accessed on March 25, 2000 for detail regarding the running of a CMOC at Beira.  
[11] Maj Gen Chris Lungile Pepani, SANDF Chief of Corporate Communications, 2000.
[12] Paper delivered at the 6th African Defence Summit, August 2000.
[13] UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
[14] See Micool Brooke, “Market Turnaround, Malaysia Aims for Self-Reliance in Arms“, Armed Forces Journal International, April 2000. A number of US aerospace companies were reportedly hoping for a review of the State Department’s restrictions on transfers of high-technology weapons to customers around the world. “They say that Russia.. is one of the largest beneficiaries of current US export-control restrictions,” the article said.
[15] See for example the flak the British government drew in January 2000 for supplying spare parts for Hawk aircraft in Zimbabwe Air Force service is a case in point. Several British and South African newspapers condemned the move as flying in the face of te UK’s “ethical foreign policy” that intended to deny arms exports to countries engaged in external aggression or internal repression. The papers believed Zimbabwe qualified on both grounds.  
[16] Carl von Clausewitz, On War, Edited and Translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret, Everyman`s Library, London, 1993.  
[17] See for example Carlton Clymer Rodee, Totton James Anderson, Carl Quimby Christol and Thomas H. Greene, Introduction to Political Science, International Edition, McGraw-Hill, Singapore, 1987, Chapter 18.   
[18] The New Zealand Army of one below-strength APC/Recce Regiment, two infantry battalions and one artillery regiment mustered 8 Scorpion light tanks, 56 M113 APCs, 24 105mm “Light Guns”, and 50 81mm mortars before placing an order for 105 Canadian-built LAV-III APCs, to be delivered this year. The Scorpions are also up for disposal. The NZ Army has several reserve regiments but their members are apparently to be deployed as individual augmentees only. IISS, Military Balance 2001/2, Oxford University Press, London 2001.  
[19] New Zealand forces caught in a time-warp, Defence Systems Daily,, accessed on February 20, 2002.
[20] Malaysian government shopping for credibility, Defence Systems Daily,, accessed on April 10, 2002.
[21] For example, Leon Engelbrecht, SA Defence Force under fire for its Enron-like accounting, Business Day, July 8, 2002; and Erika Gibson, Ons Siek Weermag, Beeld, July 9, 2002.
[22] Erika Gibson, SANW se ystervuis nie verroes, Beeld, Johannesburg, July 17, 2002, p4. An agitated minister addressed the media off-the-cuff at the Milpark Holiday Inn Garden Court in Johannesburg on July 16, 2002. A prepared statement, not given to the media at the time was afterwards posted on the DoD`s website at (accessed on July 29, 2002.) 
[23] “Why was this fine Territorial battalion launched so badly equipped into the bitter street-fighting of Calais against tanks, artillery and well-armed German Infantry? The scandalous neglect of Britain`s defences in the 1930 are glaringly revealed in documents now available in the Public Records Office. In them can be seen the craven official attitudes which brought the United Kingdom to the very brink of invasion by Hitler.” Airey Neave, British MP and a subaltern taken PoW at Calais in The Flames of Calais, A soldier`s Battle 1940, Grafton Books, London, 1989, p65. What will our State Archives reveal in 30 years time?    
[24] See authors John Keegan and Basil Liddell Hart on the subject.
[25] Lt Col Steven J Eden, Three Cheers for Attrition Warfare, Armor, March-April 2002, Fort Knox, p29.
[26] Maj Gen Len Le Roux, Chief Director Strategic Management, SANDF, 2000.
[27] Maj Gen Len Le Roux, Chief Director Strategic Management, SANDF, 2000.
[28] Defence portfolio committee chairwoman Thandi Modise addressing Defence Minister Lekota and DoD chief finance officer Jack Grundling, May 8, 2002 according to a Parliamentary Monitoring Group transcript,, accessed on May 16, 2002. This transcript makes fascinating reading.
[29] Maj Gen Len Le Roux, Chief Director Strategic Management, SANDF, 2000.
[30] EA Thorne, Reorganising the SANDF for Expeditionary Manoevre Warfare in the African Littoral, African Armed Forces Journal, Johannesburg, November 2001, p13; and, EA Thorne, Air-Ground Task Forces, African Armed Forces Journal, Johannesburg, March 2002, p24.
[31] Leon Engelbrecht, Military possibilities of the African Union: An Appreciation, African Armed Forces Journal, Johannesburg, July 2001, p13; Leon Engelbrecht, Promoting Continental Defence in Africa: A possible agenda, African Armed Forces Journal, Johannesburg, February 2002, p9; and, Leon Engelbrecht, Towards an Indigenous Military Peace-building Initiative: A proposal, African Armed Forces Journal, Johannesburg, June 2002, p22.
[32] See for example, Jonathan Katzenellenbogen, Fundamental change in military strategy for SA, Business Day, May 6, 2002, p13.
[33] Keith Campbell, Future of the Navy fleet charted, Engineering News, Johannesburg May 3, 2002, accessed at on July 17, 2002. According to the report Navy chief, V Adm Johan Retief indicated the eight FAC as well as the Navy`s four minesweepers and four minehunters would be replaced by a single, reconfigureable multi-purpose class of vessel late in the next decade. “These would have the same hull and machinery, but different equipment and weapons configurations for patrol, minesweeping, minehunting and even hydrographic survey,” Retief said. It was not clear how many would be purchased, but it would be “at least eight,” the article said.  
[34] Keith Campbell, Future of the Navy fleet charted, Engineering News, Johannesburg May 3, 2002, accessed at on July 17, 2002. 
[35] Leon Engelbrecht, Arms report clears South African government, Defence Systems Daily,, November 16, 2001, accessed on November 16, 2001. The report itself is available at
[36] Brig Gen Johan Jooste, Making Common Sense of Armaments Acquisition, African Armed Forces Journal, Johannesburg, February 2001, p13. 
[37] Many see the US as an unreliable provider because of the many strings attached to US equipment and its through-life service support. The fact that Washington often cuts or delays aid as well as equipment and spare parts delivery to influence events makes the US an unattractive supplier option – even to Israel.
[38] The Department of Trade and Industry does not recognise the “defence industry” as an industry. It views companies than manufacture weapons and defence systems as belonging to specialised sectors of industries such as iron-and-steel and electronics. Hence “defence related industries”.    
[39]  The role of Bull has been acknowleged in most works dealing with the SA defence-related industry or its products. See for example, The Encyclopeadia of World Military Power, Temple Press/Aerospace, London, 1988.
[40] It is this committee, rather than the Department of Defence (DoD) or the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that stands at the apex of Defence Industrial policy ladder. The South African government considers products that can be loosely described as “defence orientated” needs the most stringent control. As Asmal would likely say, the domestic sale or export of potatoes needs little or no control. But the sale or export of even a single assault rifle or armoured vehicle could cause the country’s interests or image much harm – and has. For that reason South Africa would also to tighten up control over end-user certificates. “Even if there is the slightest possibility that a country would not honour the end-user certificate it provided and re-export the arms, South Africa would not export to that country”, Asmal said. The NCACC consists of the Ministers of Defence; Foreign Affairs; Intelligence; Safety and Security; Arts Culture, Science and Technology; Public Enterprises; Minerals and Energy; Land Affairs and Agriculture; and, Trade and Industry. Three deputy ministers and a number of officials also serve on the 27-member cabinet-level committee. Asmal is chairman. Asmal has suffered a number of major embarrassments in seeking passage of a bıll to legislate the committee`s status. Starting in September 2000 to the present, the National Assembly’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence has sent back the draft a record four times.
[41] Shamin Shaikh, Department of Defence Acquisitions and Procurements chief, Interview, December 1999.
[42] The lack of international market knowledge of certain managers and officials can only be described as astonishing. A likely cause is the low premium placed on professional reading. A senior military intelligence officer was surprised early in 2000 by the existance of the rank of colonel-general on the Russian rank tables. In May of that year, while a German naval task group was exercising with the SAN at the Overberg Test Range, off the southern Cape coast and conducting missile firings, widespread ignorance existed in South Africa about the closure of a similar US naval range off Puerto Rico. By all reports the Germans, were suitably impressed by the advanced technology of the Overberg facility – which they did not know existed. The story has since been on local television screens and it is hoped Overberg has since been marketed to the US Navy and Marines.
[43] The skeptics are eagerly awaiting failure on this front. In a main editorial, headed “Pie in the Sky“, on November 1, 2000, Business Day said: “But as distasteful as the possible corruption is the way in which taxpayers were hoodwinked about crucial aspects of the package. Government sold it as a lever for job-creating industrial policy. That, increasingly clearly, is the fairy story sceptics suspected it was. In reality, the deal threatens a balance of payments crisis.”