Mar 152013
 

In Africa there’s a war being waged. It’s not a part of the War on Terror, it’s not even a counter insurgency or police action. Nope, nothing that sexy. It is however a day to day struggle to save something that’s on the cusp of total annihilation. I’m talking about the war to save the last of Africa’s Black Rhinos.

Last year over six hundred of these majestic animals were killed by poachers and their horns sold as ground up powder in Asia. The big question is how do we stop this? How do we protect the rhinos from extinction?

Rhino Wars, a TV documentary on Animal Planet, thinks they have the answer. Insert a team of four veteran SOF operators into Africa, deck them out in multi-cams, gun them up with an arsenal of small arms, give them an armored vehicle and turn them loose on the unsuspecting poachers. Interesting idea, but is it going to work?

Former SOF guys helping protect rhinos is not a new phenomena. Last year I was lucky enough to chat with Damien Mander, a former Aussie SF operator, who’s been working to save the rhinos since 2009. Unlike the guys in Rhino Wars Damien isn’t so much about hunting poachers. He’s training and equipping park rangers, educating locals and spreading awareness. You can check out Damien’s work here. I particularly like the fact he’s looking in to using drones (UAVs) to keep watch over our lumbering friends.

Anyway this Rhino Wars show got me thinking. If I had the finance to wage a war to protect rhinos how would I go about it and what role would SOF play? Here’s what I’d do:

1. Deploy a team of operators experienced in Foreign Internal Defense (FID) to train and equip local park rangers. I’d probably run with South African Recce Commandos for this. Not because they’re any better than US SOF, more that they know the lingo and the terrain.

2. Get the FID team to develop a Human Intelligence (HUMINT) network to gather intel on the poachers. They’d have to cover off on the counter-intelligence piece as some of the poachers would have ties with the rangers.

3. Support the whole operation with logistics and intelligence. I’d like to see some UAVs up top monitoring poacher movements. Civilian technology already exists for the UAVs to download imagery from remote cameras and provide an integrated surveillance network.

4. Target the demand for rhino horn with a PSYOPS campaign. Using a comprehensive online and television media campaign convince Asian men that rhino horn products will make their dicks flaccid and their balls shrink. Maybe pay a platoon of Chinese hackers to spread the word on forums and email.

5. Lobby governments to lift the ban of rhino horn and create a legalized market. Most people don’t know it but rhino horn can be harvested. Legalize it and suddenly farmers have a valuable commodity that they need to protect and manage.

So is Rhino Wars just pseudo-documentary entertainment or do former SOF operators have a role to play in the war to protect rhinos?

JS

Jul 282011
 

Unfortunately PRIMAL is a fictional organisation. Sorry, I know a lot of you are very disappointed to hear this. I for one would sign up at the drop of a hat if such a team existed. I mean what would be more rewarding than dealing out a bit of justice to all the evil bastards in the world that are getting away with evil deeds. Murderers, criminals, despots, rapists, exploiters, corrupt politicians. The list of targets is endless, plenty more PRIMAL stories to come, it seems that the world is full of evil. In my personal opinion the world really does need PRIMAL and the values it stands for.

But whilst we lament the absence of PRIMAL it is important to know that there are vigilante type organisations out in the world fighting with PRIMAL-esque purpose and altruist motives. No they are not equipped with state of the art technology, ruthless operatives and more guns than Texas. But yes they are trying to make a difference for those that can’t fight for themselves. Here are a couple of my favourites:

Sea Shepherd. Here are a team of motivated individuals trying to stop the ruthless pillaging of the ocean by greedy corporations and governments. Yes, the guy at the helm of the organisation is a bit of a self-indulgent dick, but he does have good motives at heart and his people do great work. My sources tell me that they even have a number of former SF guys working for them that have planned and executed military style attacks against whaling ships. Yeah they might be a bit hippy and a little bit haphazard but they do embody the PRIMAL ethos.

The Grey Man. Whilst not technically a vigilante organisation, as The Grey Man operates within the law, this group has a vigilante mentality, assisting where local authorities are not resourced or motivated to do enough. Their name describes how they operate. In the military, ‘grey men’ are those soldiers and officers who keep their head below the radar. Usually this is in training institutions were they remain out of the view of instructors. In the case of this organisation, being grey is all about conducting covert recon. Grey Man operatives penetrate prostitution rings in Asia to find children being exploited for sex. They pose as pedophiles and put their lives in danger to remove children from a terrible environment. The Grey Man was started by a former military operative, no doubt a man who would love to be able to bring the fictional resources of PRIMAL to bear against the scum that traffic in the lives of children. These guys are organised, motivated and highly professional, however they are under-resourced and need funding.

These are just two organisations that are out there doing some good in the world. They’re not just bringing issues to the attention of the world, they’re taking action! That’s really what PRIMAL is all about. Bringing justice to the world through action – all be it military style action. And whilst PRIMAL is fictional, these guys aren’t and as PRIMAL gains traction as a brand and becomes financially viable it is my intent to support those willing to take action. So get across to Amazon and check out my first book PRIMAL Origin.

Till I next blog,

Jack