Why Wagner when there’s Soldier of Fortune?

Why Wagner when there’s Soldier of Fortune?


I often read Soldier of Fortune, a US mercenary magazine, in the 80s and 90s. On the one hand, analyses and reports from the front, as well as the history of wars and conflicts, as well as the parties and groups involved, and on the other hand, Karl May-style adventure reports from authors with pseudonyms like Mike Winchester. For advertising there are also T-shirts with prints like “Nuke them all, let God sort them out!” and sexy, busty bikini girls with martial guns in the style of Farah Facet from Charlie’s Angels – a homage to Charlie Wilson, who initiated the delivery of Stinger missiles for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union (see also the film “The Secret War of Charlie Wilson” with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts). You always knew exactly where the CIA was waging its not-so-secret wars and with which mercenaries and auxiliary troops. Every year there was also the gun show in Las Vegas. At that time, the SOF boss was the legendary Bob Brown and his readers and authors were a rather small group. Bob Brown seems to be a legend and was still something of a small business owner back then. With the emergence of private security companies such as EO, MPRI, later Blackwater and others, which mobilize much larger numbers of mercenaries, it is interesting that SOF now logically also has Blackwater founder Erik Prince on its Advisory board. Next to him is an ex-CIA man. Furthermore, Urban Warefare expert John Spencer, with whom Global Review had already an interview before he went to Ukraine and wrote the Manual on Urban Warefare, which was first used to defend Mariupol, although apparently not successfully.

Another reader who was inspired by SOF in his youth was Merkel’s ex-military advisor General Erich Vad:

“Knew SOF well. Reading it as a young lieutenant alongside Ernst Jünger’s “African Games”. Was in SA in 1980, wanted to emigrate and join the South African paratroopers, who were also fighting in Angola at the time. Was at the SA Airborne School in Bloomfontein. Jehuda Wallach, my doctoral supervisor, saved me from the nonsense of emigrating and sent me to the ISR airborne school in TEL Nof…these were crazy times. Yes, SOF was very inspiring for me back then…”

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