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28 May 2014

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The Twisted Genius

While reading Tunde's account of the complexities of Nigeria, we ought to keep in mind Colonel Lang's warning about what our misguided meddling did to Iraq. I'm sure that all our high level neocon and R2P idiots could destroy Nigeria just as they did to Iraq if we give them half a chance. Even our plan to train and equip "counterterrorist forces" across the Sahel could blow up in everyone's faces. The last thing this region needs is a few deadly effective military units that could ally with a single faction and tip the scales into further chaos. A key part of SF MTTs to train indigenous military forces is instilling a duty to country, discipline and human rights. However, this is no guarantee that these forces will act as intended.

Tunde

Col,
I thank you for highlighting my response. How about we title it 'Nigerian Hustle' ?
TTG,
Pol-mil disengagement in the 1990s is what has led to the disintegration of what had hitherto been the most potent armed forces in the sub-region. Nigeria sent 2 ageing Alfa jets as part of it's air contribution to the Mali campaign. The entire detachment was commanded by an Air Commodre. On returning, one of the jets crashed, killing it's crew. I don't have all the answers but I am firmly inclined to believe that deepening engagement with elements of Africom spearheading the interaction might be a more cost effective, long term solution (military training teams, logistical re-equipping etc. What is the US going to do with surplus Afghan deployed equipment ? This could just as easily. E shipped to Nigeria to carefully vetted units that are not constrained under the terms of the Leahy Act for example).
We must also not underestimate the spillover effects as a result of the deposing of the Qattafhi regime. I can buy an AK for about $100-150, depending on condition. Paying a ransom of $2M gets you a lot of materiale, recruits, expertise from AQIM and a slicker propaganda youtube clip.
A point that is not appreciated is that Nigeria's unemployment is so chronic that youths are eager to be recruited into any branch of the armed forces. After basic training, they may be deployed to the north eastern sector. A job-seeker in a combat zone. You can imagine what would likely happen. Desertions are rife.
What is undeniable is that the complexity and operational art of BH and it's spin-offs has increased markedly in the last 18-24 months.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jiaFQB6t5tE
A point I hav'nt mentioned is the ethnic dimension. The AO has an admixture of three ethnic groups-Kanuris, Fulaniis and Hausa. The Kanuris can be found in areas contiguous to the northern border area. They regard themselves as being the original recipients of Islam whom subjugated the Fulanis then the Hausa. Because of their primacy in promoting Islam to what at that time was an animist, natively religious kufr population, the Kauris have regarded deprivations on the locals in the area as their historical birthright buttressed by religious precedent. There is alleged to be a strongly ethnic dimension to BH.
As a thought experiment, let me set a scene as an illustration of the complexity of unbundling events on the ground ; It is well established that BH uses bureau de change as fronts to launder monies. Yet ordinary Nigerians whom travel widely and often seek out $, often at the black market. Suffice for a license to trade, most BdCs keep no record of their customers, and their transactions. So how would you be able to target the suspected BdCs. What database are you likely to interrogate ?
On a personal level, GEJ is not a bad person. He is however, in over his head. He needs to show courage, decisive leadership, thick skin and a plan. None of those qualities has however manifested.

turcopolier

tunde

How is it that you have all this current information and you live just outside London? Who are you? You can write me abut this off-line @ ismoot@turcopolier.com. pl

bigbrovar

It would really serve this country well if the information here were based on fact and not half truth garnished with fiction all aimed at riding at general discontent with government. I do not have information on some of the issues raised in this article hence its hard for me to disprove what I have little knowledge or fact about. However here are some of the erroneous claims made by this post and which I hope the author cross checks to bring credibility to his piece.

"Yet the Nigerian army cannot field one division with all it's pre-requisite assets. Maybe not even a brigade. It has approx 70,000 men on it's payroll"

The number of troops in the Nigerian Army is 130,000 based on official sources with 32,000 in reserve (this is almost twice the number stipulated in this piece)

"To show you how inept this administration is, approx 6 helicopters were destroyed in a daring BH attack on a NAF base last year. That's about 75 percent of the air force's combat capacity"

Actually 2 Helicopters where destroyed with 3 decommissioned MiG21 This was confirmed both by eye witnesses and official sources.. It should also be noted that Nigeria currently operate a fleet of 31 Military Helicopters (Most of them based in Port Harcout) 6 is by no means 75% of 31

"The CoAS ordered ageing APCs from Belarus that were bullet and RPG magnets (without any a/c or such comforts in 40+ degree heat)"
I have been following the armed forces since the early 90s including acquisitions and procurement, no where did I get any reference to APC ordered from Belarus.. Kindly provide the source of this information, and since you seem to have a good knowledge of the type, capability and features of the APC ordered.. it would be nice to provide the name so that it can be fact checked..

"Nigeria has not had a strategic defence review for a decade"

This is also not wholly true (at least for the Navy).. You might want to google the Navy 10 years strategic plan (2011-2021) divided into short mid and long term plan.. with the aim of acquiring 44 war ships and 42 helicopters. Although a bit behind schedule.. the implementation of this plan has seen the navy procured 4 Frigates (2 former US cutter class renamed NNS Thunder, and NNS Okpabana) and 2 Chinese Light Frigates (One currently under going sea trials and named NNS Centurion, the other is in hall formation stage with 70% of the construction expected to be completed in Nigeria) .. If we had the refitting of NNS Aradu which is currently undergoing repairs in the UAE.. then we would be having 5 blue water vessel by 2015.. (excluding various MPV and defence boats procured by the navy including the first indigenously built 32m ship built by nigerdock and currently in service - NNS Adonis)

With regards to the Air Force the secretive nature of our defence makes it hard to get any concrete information on procurement and strategy.. however fillers and background sources have indicated focus on capacity building and R & D.. this has led to advancement in the area of local maintenance of our Alpha Jet fleets, building of UAVs (the Gulma and Amebo fleets) and current discussion with pakistan on the procurement of the JF17 multirole jets coupled with technology transfer.. It should also be noted that Belarus plans to setup an helicopter maintenance facility in the country.

Anyway I did not hope to (as our people say) throw sand on your work. Just to point out some of the errors made and to avert u to some recently development in other to bring balance.

I personally am not happy with the current state of defence especially the use of Soft skinned toyota in by our troops against an enemy skilled in IEDs and ambushes.. Our airforce is still stuck in the 70s and lack the capaility to carry out prompt sorties especially at night. Procurement is not transparent and still plagued with corruption.. I can go on.. they are many things wrong with our defense and our handling of the BH issue.. so many things that can be highlighted without resorting to fiction to carry out our point

turcopolier

bigbrover

"It would really serve this country well..." Which country are you referring to? Yours appears to be a British site "bigbrover" etc." Are you British, Nigerian, what? "Tunde" is locate in the London metro area. I have similar suspicions about him and have asked that he establish his credentials with me. I am waiting for a response. pl

bigbrovar

I am actually Nigerian born and bread hence my reference is to Nigeria.. They are many ills plaging this country especially with regards to our defense.. many of this problems can be revealed with little research without resorting to falsehood.. I think the aim of Tunde's post is to sensationalize the issue for attention rather than an attempt at address the problem.

turcopolier

bigbrover

You and Tunde are both in the London area. I am not sure if he is Nigerian. I would like to see this conversation continue. pl

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