NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE ACQUIRE 2 HELICOPTERS, 400 TOYOTA 4WD TRUCKS, 5000 AK47 RIFLES

Mr Abdullahi Dikko Inde, Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service

Mr Abdullahi Dikko Inde, Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service

LEADERSHIP NEWSPAPERS
Tue, 17/04/2012

• Declare war on arms traffickers

The Nigeria Customs Service says it has
taken delivery of two helicopters, 400 units of Toyota Hilux vehicles and 5,000
AK 47 rifles to combat smuggling and illegal movement of small arms into the country.

The Comptroller-General of the Customs
Service, Alhaji Mohammed Dikko, made this known to State House correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday. He reiterated the determination and
commitment of the Customs to the security of the nation’s borders to check the proliferation of illegal materials.

Dikko assured that the Nigeria Customs would exceed its targeted internal revenue for this year from N800 billion to N1.2 trillion. “Well, I have been given a target and I assure Nigerians that the target is going to be met. The target is N800 billion, but I push my target to N1.2 trillion. “So, I made a provision of additional N400 billion extra to give them – the Nigerian people, so that they can be happy.’’

On the recently inaugurated Customs
training school in Gwagwalada, Dikko
said that the college had since started full academic activities with middle and high cadre officers from foreign countries. “It is a staff college; that means it is for middle and high cadre officers and I want to assure that the school is occupied up till December.

“American Embassy has indicated its
interest to train not only Customs but
other agencies, so also are the German Embassy and the World Customs Organisation.

“That school is fully occupied; it is the new bride of educational facilities in Nigeria.’’ The Comptroller-General also assured that the college would continue to serve as centre of excellence in the training of relevant manpower for the Nigeria Customs Service and other agencies, worldwide.

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About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
This entry was posted in AFRICA, ARMED CONFLICT, BOKO HARAM ISLAMIC STATE MOVEMENT, BORDER SECURITY, COUNTERINSURGENCY OPERATIONS, GLOBAL DEFENCE NEWS, GULF OF GUINEA, JOINT SECURITY TASK FORCE, JOINT(MILITARY)TASK FORCE IN THE NIGER DELTA, MARITIME SAFETY AND SECURITY, NIGER DELTA CONFLICT, NIGERIA, NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE, NIGERIAN PARAMILITARY FORCES, RISK ANALYSIS, SECURITY ISSUES AND CONCERNS, STATE SECURITY SERVICE, TERRORISM, URBAN GUERRILLA WARFARE, WEST AFRICAN STANDBY FORCE and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE ACQUIRE 2 HELICOPTERS, 400 TOYOTA 4WD TRUCKS, 5000 AK47 RIFLES

  1. jimmy says:

    Very good for the HELICOPTERS that means at least We get four more highly trained pilots but……….. these thin skinned………….. hi lux trucks NA WAH as long as the AKs stay in the right hands.

  2. to4shizzle says:

    I still dont understand the fascination with these 4×4 trucks in defense and security outfits they are death traps if not beefed up properly at least add bulletbroof glasses if you wont add armour to the body if we can get sandcars to replace them it will be better at this stage in our defense life these are not safe at all

  3. to4shizzle says:

    I still dont understand the fascination with these 4×4 trucks in defense and security outfits they are death traps if not beefed up properly at least add bulletbroof glasses if you wont add armour to the body if we can get sandcars to replace them it will be better at this stage in our defense life these are not safe at all but nice one with the helicopters pray what make are they? As for the AKs is it DICON produced?

    • peccavi says:

      Because 4×4’s are tough, durable and versatile and can be used for troop carrying or weapons platforms or command and control. They need less maintenance and expensive spare parts.
      Adding armour is always an option but that increases the weight and changes the centre of gravity, which puts strain on the engine and affects mobility respectively. Also how bullet proof is bullet proof? For all fighting vehicles its a trade off between mobility, firepower and protection. 4×4’s have mobility and can be beefed up with fire power but sacrifice on the protection

  4. beegeagle says:

    Speaking of 4WD trucks, we noticed that most Army Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi 4WD trucks in Abuja are configured as technicals.

    They have an openable hatch as you would expect of turreted armoured vehicles with a specially welded rotary seat(in the manner of a barber’s chair) positioned higher than all other seats and in front of the hatch, there is a welded tripod for the emplacement of GPMGs.

    Last night alone, I counted five 4WD trucks of the Guards Brigade on night patrols within the city.

  5. Henry says:

    In most developing worlds, the 4×4 truck is a popular defence vehicle. Most notable/ high profile users are pakistan and mexico. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong in using these trucks, at the moment, bearing in mind how strained our budget is 1-2 billion usd, jst recently increased to 6 billion usd ( welfare, salaries, equipment, pension, servicing or refurbishment of old equipments), we just can’t afford to purchase otokar cobra apc’s for all the security agencies, you see 400 4×4’s. There would be d argument of bulletproof 4×4’s, how the you xpect the troops or police to perform optimally, well true this argument!!!! But a bulletproof 4×4 is not mine nor ied resistant. What I do propose however is that all agents (police, army, immigration) should wear flak jackets. This is sustainable, realistic and achievable. Unlike the clamour for apc’s for all the security agencies at the moment.

  6. beegeagle says:

    Well, the Customs Service would not get 25 APCs, never mind 40. The military and the Police Anti Terrorism Squad, Police Mobile Force and Police Anti Bomb Squad, on the evidence of their day-to-day involvement in COIN-CT operations do have a MAJOR claim for a range of MRAPs and/or APCs.

    To that effect and as they meet monthly to share the bounty from the Excess Crude Account, I want to imagine that FG realise that the world-class and latest Casspir Mk.VI MRAP would only cost us $150m to grab 400 units – about $375k apiece.

    By the same token, the Made-in-Thailand upArmoured Ford Ranger
    4WD costs $40k. We could do with 500 units of those.

    We require $170m to be able to grab all of these machines. So why cant the FG come up with $70m while the state governments of the core terror-afflicted states of Borno, Yobe, Kaduna, Gombe, Kano, Plateau, Niger, Adamawa, Bauchi, Kogi and the FCT Adminstration would each contribute $5m for a total of $50m while the balance of $50m be carried forward into the FY 2013 budget of the FG? It is my considered opinion that there is a lot of uncoordinated procurement of 4WD trucks typically presented by various state governments in operational support for Police Commands active within their states. Off the too of my head, I recall that during the course of these past nine months, the state governments of Kano, Imo, Edo and Lagos have each presented over 100 4WD trucks to the Police Contingents in their states. They have spent money which, if properly deployed, could have landed them two-thirds that number of more appropriate vehicles.

    These 400 MRAPs and 500 up-armoured 4WD trucks would then be distributed as follows:

    Army – 250 MRAPs+250 4WDs
    NAF Regiment -10 MRAPs+25 4WDs
    NN Spec.Forces-10MRAPs+25 4WDs
    NA Spec.Forces-15MRAPs+25 4WDs
    Police ATS – 15 MRAPs+25 4WDs
    Police ABS – 10 MRAPs+25 4WDs
    SSS – 25 MRAPs+25 4WDs
    MOPOL – 65 MRAPs+100 4WDs

    Do that and watch the terrorists get bludgeoned.

    • peccavi says:

      The reason there is no coordinated purchase of defence and policing equipment is the same reason Nigeria is in its current paralysis, corruption and a lack of basic competence in governance

    • ocelot2006 says:

      The NPF already have a number of Casspir MRAPs in its inventory. There’s one parked in front of the US embassy in Abuja. And there are also a number of RG-31 Nyalas used solely by the NPF’s ATS.

  7. doziex says:

    You guys have covered all the bases. however, do you have any idea what an RPG, a recoiless rifle, large calibre bullets from truck mounted anti aircraft guns, would do to these thin skinned 4×4’s and it’s inhabitants?
    Granted, affordability governs the decision to acquire these 4×4’s, but so should UTILITY.

    In pakistan, the 4×4’s were a cheap conventional response to india’s overwhelming conventional dominance. But instead of countering india’s jeeps, they had to be deployed in COIN OPS in waziristan. And in COIN OPS, the 4×4’s proved to be no more than mobile death traps. The High casualty rate in recent PAK army’s COIN campaigns can attest to that.
    In south sudan, the 4×4’s are perfect when manevering against SAF armored thrusts, but when employed in COIN roles against internal insurgents, the SPLA suffers huge casualties.

    Also, in libya, chad and angola, they occasionally bested armored columns. So the intended use should be factored in before a purchase. I recall, these 4×4’s and some trucks were purchased by nigeria and other ecowas members for their stand by force. Presumeably, thats what they intend to send to mali.
    If so, they ‘ll be torn to shreds without more mission appropriate assets.

    • jimmy says:

      You have said it best DOZIEX, I don’t want to get my b.p up this morning so I will take my butt to work . 😦

    • peccavi says:

      But you can’t equip all forces with APC’s. They are not practicable for all situations particularly internal security. COIn and internal security depends alot on interactions wwith the public, being sealed up in an APC severly restricts this and also gives a false feeling of invincibilty, there is yet to be an armoured vehicle designed that cant be defeated by a mine or IED. For COIN, an long range recce, 4 x 4’s are a good option.
      One cannot discount the fact that they are also cheap and easy to maintain and operate without specialist training.

      • doziex says:

        @peccavi, but ecowas will not be going to mali to police a civilian population, they will be confronting a conventional/ guerrila hybrid.
        There would be open desert maneuvers involving rebel 4×4’s. BTR’s, bm-21 mbrls,and much more. As for the aforementioned equipment, this is what I have seen on BBC and aljazzera footage.
        Forget the devastative effect of anti aircraft guns fired at street level, forget the body shredding effect of the RPG’s. The rockets from the MBRLs will come down on any unfortunate victim, as a RAIN OF STEEL.
        I recall, in the 90’s, an armored column of advancing angolan troops were torn to shreds by a hand full of unita’s MBRLs. How much worse would it be for any thin skinned vehicle venturing into northern mali.
        In the Aljazerra footage, both the terrorists and the tuareg commanders said they were not worried in the least by any ecowas intervention.

  8. beegeagle says:

    Good points, Doziex.

    The Pakistanis are also complaining about the inordinately heavy reliance of Toyota HiLux and Mitsubishi 4WD for COIN-CT operations in the face of insurgencies that are so mine-and-blast intensive. They have paramilitary troops who number in the hundreds of thousands and most of them, including the Army’s infantrymen, use more of the thin-skinned deathtraps. One would expect them to know better – not with crackheads of the Taliban on the prowl.

    Now that we are debating this topic, it should be interesting to see how troops in other mine-and-blast intensive conflicts – Algeria, Colombia, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan get by.

    It seems to me that in Yemen and Somalia, 4WDs(technicals) dominate. The Ugandans got in some Casspir, Mamba and RG-31s in there but the numbers, compared to the number of troops on ground, is insignificant. Otherwise, any Casspir or RG-31 can take twin 14kg blasts of TNT under each wheel and 21kg TNT blasts under the hull. Dunno how they do it. The Kenyans arrived the theatre with a few dozen Puma M26-15 mine-and-blast protected vehicles. Those appear to have precisely the same STANAG Level 1 protection as the Otokar Cobra – both able to take 9kg TNT blasts and 7.62mm shots. I do not know however if the high wheel arches and pronounced V-hull of the Otokar makes her more likely to come out of a mine-and-blast incident than the Puma M26. Someone educate me.

    The Algerian Gerdamerie are in charge of the COIN ops in their vast and remote desert countryside but I see them mostly in 4WDs whereas the Army troops appear to handle the urban COIN-CT operations and I dunno the Algerians to have splashed out on MRAPs or mine-protected APCs.

    Iraq acquired 600 units of Otokar Cobra APCs while Turkey acquired 1,200 units of same for use in the AOR of the PKK rebels.

    Looks like we are on to a potentially interesting topic. I shall dwell on the comparative studies aspect of it, so stay glued to the blog.

    Doziex just said something special. NONE of these MRAPs would survive a direct onslaught by a gun-truck armed with a ZPU-2 14.5mm AAMG or a ZU-23 23mm cannon. Note that in the Libyan conflict, even the 81mm rocket pod normally used by Hind gunships and Su-25 Frogfoot COIN jets were mounted on 4WDs. Ditto 107mm RCLs.

    We had this in mind when we suggested that we get Poly Technologies of China to rush in a consignment of 14.5mm AAMGs and 107mm RCLs which would be mounted on 4WDs which would operate alongside Otokar APCs as escort vehicles.

    Remember that a BTR-series armoured vehicle used its 30mm cannon to tear through the armour of an Otokar Cobra APC at pointblank range during the Georgian conflict. I doubt that ANY MRAP would survive a salvo of 30mm cannon rounds fired by our Mi-35P attack helicopters or by any of the BTR-3 APCs from 25m out.

    We need to prepare for that possibility, now that Boko Haram are getting weapons of higher calibre.

    Stay tuned for the comparative studies thing..

  9. beegeagle says:

    Here we go, gentlemen.

    PAKISTAN

    COIN-CT patrol:

    Isn’t this foolhardy? With a squad of Taliban guerrillas hidden behind those rocks and armed with RPGs and GPMGs, these guys are donnerwitte!

    Pakistani troops

    Mighty TURKEY

    No skanking..

    Counterinsurgency troops surge forward in a convoy of Otokar Cobra mine-and-blast protected APCs and M113 APCs

    Turkish troops

    Otokar KAYA MRAP in the lead on COIN ops

    Turkish troops

    Otokar Cobra armoured vehicles lead a convoy of Turkish COIN troops in Kurdistan

    Turkish troops

    • jimmy says:

      Thank you my brother for the pics doesn’t the topography even look similar to what we will encounter in mali MINUS THE asphalt roads i.e the elevations.

  10. ENGR ENEBELI says:

    Engr Believe: I pray that God should strength u to carry us along.

  11. beegeagle says:

    In the case of the very useful Nigeria Customs Service which have not failed to exceed their targets over the past decade, the FG should give back where they take from. I am aware that the NCS do get profit-sharing opportunities(1-2%)on income generated but the institution should be enhanced infrastructurally from what they generate.

    In FY2012, they have a set target of $5.15bn whereas the Comptroller General feels that they can do $7.75bn this year. The FG just take, take and take! Do they know about giving back as well?

    Let me see – officially our federal, states and LG budgets is predicated on a benchmark oil price of $72 per barrel. They were expecting to spin about $60bn for FY2012 and have $35bn stashed away in forex reserves.

    Fortuitously, Nigeria’s premium Bonny Light which is qualitatively superior to and fetches a higher price on the market than does the benchmark Brent Crude, has fetched $125-130 per barrel throughtout $2012 – a boon of over $55 on each barrel which goes into the Excess Crude Account. At this level, we have already earned an EXTRA $11.25bn in the first quarter of 2012 and if sustained at this level, we could earn a total extrabudgetary income of $45bn by year’s end on account of high oil prices.

    Now, if not from that, then from their own exertions, I would like to see the Nigeria Customs Service given a free hand to purchase sixteen units of twin-engined Eurocopter AS 555 Fennec helicopters. That would cost about $50m and I am sure that over and above their given $5.15bn target, the NCS on the evidence of the performances posted over the past seven years, are SURE to exceed that target and possibly generate as much as $6.5bn. So why should it be hard for the FG to allow the NCS to optimally equip itself for operations and for the benefit of the entire defence and security apparatus?

    Looking at the strategic location of Borno which uniquely shares borders with very turbulent and poorly governed remote precincts of 3 countries and is the epicentre of an insurgency, by how much does the FG realise that our forces shall benefit IF the NCS ramped up the number of her air assets? In doing their jobs, from the angle of complementarity, they shall be aiding the operations of the Immigration(alien control), Air Force(ground attack) and the JSTF (air interdiction) in that zone?

    We have pointed out the FACT that the FG earned over $400 billion between 2005 and 2011 and that she did not spend ONE PERCENT of that sum($4bn) in budgetary outlays to EQUIP (not recurrent expenditure – pay+training+running costs) her defence, security and intelligence services. WHY? Is there any country on earth, assuming that the FG are posturing, which would have received so much and not spent even a percentage of that on her security forces?

    I really think that the FG are taking this posturing about wanting to deploy resources to meet ‘competing’ demands too far. Be it known to them that even if they had spent $10bn on equipping our defence and security forces since 2005, what $390bn cannot achieve for us developmentally, even if they ploughed all $400bn into the same pursuits, it would not achieve anything more. After all, people pay 10% tithe on income, so why cant the FG spend one percent of our national income on hardware acquisition, even in the face of threats related to insurrection, terrorism and piracy on a grand scale?

    People in high places should stop acting like defence or security expenditure has ever been the impediment. Of all the countries in a comparable financial position to what we know of the FG and her means, Algeria, South Africa and Egypt have spent four times as much acquiring hardware than we have done in Nigeria yet they still have much better infrastructure than we do! So what is the bloody correlation between defence expenditure and infrastructural incapacitation?

    So methinks the FG need to QUIT THE ROTTEN POSTURING and pay close attention to the serious business of equipping our defence and security forces.

  12. beegeagle says:

    We have not suggested that, General Peccavi. Of course, not every security agency was listed as being eligible. You are talking ideal situations while we are talking about the reality whereby a culture of fear, has been foisted on civil society. It sounds rhetorical to be talking about ideals such as foot patrols at a time when IEDs are getting lobbed into moving 4WDs by terrorists.

    The atmosphere is not yet ripe for what you are thinking insofar as the populace live in fear of reprisals, albeit now slowly witnessing an abatement. That was why people in Kano and Borno last month apprehended insurgents and handed them over to security agents. At some point, morale-boosting foot patrols as mainstay form of patrol would make sense but not at this juncture, buddy.

    Looking at the forces, I am sure that we left out the naval and airforce regulars, Railway Police, Airport Police, Marine Police, Immigration, Customs, Prisons and Civil Defence from the APC largesse.

    Those who we have listed though are in the firing line where lobbed IEDs and grenades, gun attacks and suicide bombings are features of daily operational life. If one does anything ahead of its time, he is going to get killed. It is as simple as that.

    It stands to reason therefore that we cannot dwell on textbook stuff whereas the cogent reality on the ground is different. The SSS, MOPOL and the Anti Terrorism Squad operate alongside the military everywhere in the same operating conditions and face the same existential threats. Except when specified as a purely military operation, all these security organs are activated simultaneously. So why should they not be given MRAPs, are they not fighting as well or are their own lives expendable commodities?

    Okay, in a world where demining teams have used Buffel and Casspir MRAPs to detonate mines, why should our Police Anti Bomb Squad who, like our combat engineers are clearing out hundreds of IEDs monthly, not have MRAPs?

    As for the amphibious Navy SBS commandos who are a COIN-CT force active on land and sea OR the ground troops of the Nigerian Air Force Regiment who like the SBS guys, are even now in the frontlines of Borno and Kano, are we saying that militarily or otherwise, their job profile does not ab initio call for MRAPs and/or APCs?

    Hey guys, just as I approached the Murtala Muhammed bridge at Lokoja yesterday, I saw a purposeful joint military-SSS checkpoint. Solid organisation – metal and bomb detectors working all the while. The SSS chaps were dressed just like the storm troopers whose photos you get to see on this blog from time to time. I get this feeling that the military love to work with the SSS, even more than they do with the MOPOL green berets and ATS red berets.

    Henry and Ken, what do you think?

    • peccavi says:

      @ beeg: General no do me, nothing less than Field Marshall, Conqueror of the British Empire abeg!

      Again I’m happy to be the ‘alternative’ voice here but MRAPs are useful but not in every situation. In urban areas MRAPs are big, heavy, intimidating and difficult to manouvre. In those instances a 4 WD is a good subsitute. In rural areas again 4WD are better choices (in some cases) as they do less damage to roads, bridges etc and have better range and durability.
      The IED threat not withstanding, foot patrols are (in my limited opinion) indispensible to any COIN op, thats the only way you get to recognise faces, notice atmpospherics, whats changed wahts new etc.
      It also helps the poulace to humanise the military, rather than seeing the boys as ‘hiding; in thier machines they see you on the ground sharing the same risks with them.
      We must at all costs avoid the US approach of driving around in APC’s crushing vehicles, and shooting in all directions when threatened.
      Dismounted patrols might lead to increased casualties in the short term but in the long term they will defeat the insurgents because it reduces their freedom of movement

  13. beegeagle says:

    Trust me, Peccavi, an Oshkosh Sandat M-LPV would not weigh more than a Toyota HiLux and a Casspir would not weigh more than a sand-filled tipper lorry. Those are running through the inner streets and are smaller than the refuse trucks of the Lagos Waste Management Authority which ply the streets, paved and unpaved, in every corner of Lagos.

    Concerning the hearts-and-mind maneouvre, are we suggesting that troops be wilfully and inordinately exposed to danger just to make a statement that is steeped in PsyOps? Like sacrificing them? As a soldier, buddy…no skanking, which of these two convoys would you rather be in inside a conflict zone – the Pakistani 4WD deathtraps (remember that they are not even carrying a 14.5mm AAMG in which case you can take down anything that move) OR that last two photos of the Turkish troops in Otokar Cobra and Otokar Kaya APCs?

    Seriously…assuming you deployed to Borno today AS IS, you would go off on foot patrols with two other mates in Abaganaram or Pompomari?

    Nor try am o..

    • peccavi says:

      I’m not advocating a foot patrol of 2 or 3 but 8- 12 men at the minimum, vehicles can be used in support but its imperative that the boys are on foot to interact with the population. That is the unfortunate thing about COIN friendly force protection must be sacrificed sometimes for protection of the populace.
      From a commanders perspective I’d rather have the latter platforms as they give me good options and protection, but if you are only given 4WD it shouldn’t prevent you from doing your job, you can use tactics to overcome the lack of armour, by stopping and carrying out vulnerable points drills, dominating the high ground, dismounting and sweeping through etc. Its time consuming but still works

  14. doziex says:

    Oya, field marshal oga peccavi, you keep repeating this british critic of the american mrap heavy patrols.
    But the british only made this critism when the going was peaceful for them. As soon as Sadr’s forces started attacking them in basra or when the “black watch” temporarily deployed to the sunni triangle, they changed their tune. They quickly doned their kevlar helmets, put cage armor on their warriors and scorpion APC’s and in basra, they stopped patrolling and fortified themselves in their bases and let the mahdi army run a mock in basra. And to add insult to injury, the mahdi army shelled these bases relentlessly.

    Also, in helmand province afghanistan, what happened to all the fancy foot patrols and beret wearing “light touch” ? After a well decorated LFT. Colonel was killed by an IED, in an inappropriately protected light APC, outrage roared in from the UK demanding american style armoured protection and more helicopters. Now, the brits are just as heavily bulked up as the Yanks, MRAPs and all.
    On a different note, you had surmized that the americans cowtowed to the Sistani’s followers just as the brits cowtowed to sadr and others in basra. I respectfully beg to differ.
    1st of, the US army faught several bloody battles in najaf, sadr city and finally basra in support of maliki’s govt. forces. (cleaning up after the non confrontational brits). It was the force of the US army that TAMED Muqtada Sadr, not the iranians, not sistani, maliki or any one else.

    The more level headed Shia block never militarily contronted the US. They were too smart to do that. They new iraq politics ultimately was a numbers game. And they had the numbers. the US tried hard to bring the sunni’s to the table. But in their anger and lust for revenge against the US, they denied themselves an organised powerful say at the table.

    Granted, blunders like an american arrogant czar and the dismantling of the iraqi army were glaring ones, but the US took their lumps and immense casualties straight on. They never backed down from the task of taming any trouble makers. This much I honestly can’t say about the brits.
    I’ll give them credit when it’s due them. Their troops are a small, tough professional bunch.

    But for them to presume to be in a position to lecture the americans, a much more bigger, stronger and tougher force, on their northern ireland formulated light touch approach, when by their own fallings, it is clear, that their doggone tactis don’t translate well to the iraqi conditions; is redickulous.

    • peccavi says:

      Oga Doziex, wait make I pull shirt first
      1) A forces posture should be dependant on the current situation, if you go in heavy you have nothing to escalate to, hence the US in some areas went in heavy and as a result had nothing to up the ante to other than full scale war. Those areas were not pacified, in Mosul, the 101st Airborne, went in light and began classic COIN ops, the area remained peaceful, they were replaced by a Brigade of Strykers. In conventional war APC’s are force multipliers, in COIN they are not and Mosul became hot
      2) The problems of the British Army in both Basra and Helmand are exactly the same (and quite different) but to my mind boil down to force numbers and strategic confusion. We were not given a clear task in Basra, nor the force numbers to achieve it. There was a single division for the entire SE Iraq area of which there was a single Brigade. A division alone was required for Basra but was never deployed because the UK government could not accept that there was an insurgency and the generals were too gutless to fall on their swords or face down the government. In Helmand again, the strategy was sound and well thought out, however once troops got on the ground rather than following the plan, the politicians and generals got excited and essentially got the British Army tied into a war defending what were for want of a better word local drug dealers and drug centres.
      3) How exactly did the US tame al Sadr? Has the Mahdi army ceased to exist? Surrendered? They fought the US in Najaf and withdrew and fought them constantly in Sadr City till the end. . Al Sadr is in parliament and his fiefdom is as ever, the only way the US was able to withdraw was by essentially bribing the Sunni insurgent leaders who were sick of Al Qaeda and were not confident of their ability to win a civil war to come alongside. The Mahdi Army declared a ceasefire, the Sunnis insurgents became Sons of Iraq and they faced AQ. In other words the US simply made deals with their enemies to buy the breathing space to extract.
      4) I will be the first to say that the occupation of Iraq was not the British Army’s finest campaign nor Helmand, but I will state if we had correct force numbers and a corresponding sensible civilian component things would have gone much better. Likewise if the US hadn’t run around Iraq in 2003-2004 doing every stupid thing possible in the book and allowing the insurgency to start things would have been different. Likewise if the coalition hadn’t gone into Iraq at all and focussed on Afghanistan , the Taliban would not have returned, likewise if the Brits had stuck to the original Plan Helmand things might have been different
      5) Softly softly tactics do not transplant to Iraq 2005 or 2007 or 2012, but in 2003 and 2004 they were spot on. Going in heavy did not deliver victory to the US, Russians, or any other army that has tried it
      And from now on my post nominal’s should include CBE, DSS, FRSC, EFCC. Observe appropriate protocols

      • doziex says:

        Duly noted Sir. (LOL)

      • jimmy says:

        @ field marshall peccavvi You dey KAMPE I don bow down for ground I DON PROSTRATE for my language i dey wait make you tell me stand up:).
        Seriously everything you said ABOUT Iraq with deep regret is true to FUTHER BUTRESS YOUR POINT the biggest mistake was the demobilization of the IRAQI army in a heavy handed approach.

    • jimmy says:

      o boy I missed out on this one o when TWO generals GOat it it is colonels jimmy that suffer oga doziex don’t forget the worst town of them all FALLOUJA. They rewrote the manual on house to house, room to room, and roof top to roof top fighting.

  15. Hi Peeps, been watching and thinking. I have a few questions and suggestions. I am not for or against. Is the situation of what we have in the NE similar to iraq? In Iraq the armies in question where foreign troops, did that add more complications to their operations? What did the commanders do to get local support? What can our commanders do to get local support? Why did the US army choose to go in with mraps? Is it to avoid troop casaulty or to avoid troop-local interaction? What do we want to achieve in the NE and what equipments would best fit in to achieve our aims? I have answered some of this questions and I think its in our best interest to get mraps.
    Peccavi I would disagree with you that using mraps would alienate troops from the locals. Nigerian troops serving in these areas speak the same language as the locals. They have the same skin color and majority of them worship with the locals in the same mosque during prayer time. The Nigerian armed forces is not an invasion army but a local one.The only language that BH undestand is the one that the armed forces are speaking to them currently.Make no mistake we would win this. BH attacks has reduced drastically since the armed forces started acquring modern tools to combat BH. I don’t think we should relent cos it could give BH time to restock and restrategize. Time to up the ante. More hardware and training is needed. We owe it to our people to provide adequate security for all.

    • peccavi says:

      In my own opinion

      The situation in NE Nigeria is not the same as Iraq except in certain tactical sense. The Iraqi insurgency was so complicated to defy quick rationalisation as there were different insurgencies against the allies and then against each other.
      Complications for the coalition were
      1) Lack of post invasion planning and manning
      2) Lack of local knowledge
      3) Lack of interpreters
      4) Political/ strategic confusion
      5) Insufficient troop numbers
      6) Failure to provide security
      7) Failure to provide basic services
      8) Refusing for political reasons to accept there was an insurgency
      9) Disbanding the Iraqi Army
      10) Disbanding the Iraqi civil service through de Baathification
      11) Troops not trained for the task they were eventually doing- nation building
      The list goes on and on

      In my opinion again for our commanders to get local support they need to provide for the local population. The government must intrude in everyone’s life by registering everyone, providing things like free health care and education all of which is tied into the COIN effort.
      Mass employment schemes as well would be ideal, with the premise being that if most local fighting age men are at work it is easier to spot out of towners, particularly if everyone is biometrically registered and if they are not at their work place an alarm is raised. Security forces should integrate with the population and enforce basic law and order as well as security. If people feel the forces are on their side, working for and with them they will cooperate. It is the easiest thing in the world to shoot men with beards or make people who offend you do frog jump, but its better to make people like you. The Security forces must be ready to accept higher casualties in the short term in order to deny the insurgents freedom of movement. Intelligence will be forthcoming and will lead to more raids and disruption.
      The MRAP thing is becoming a bit too long, in some ways I was just playing devils advocate to elicit debate but I am always of the opinion that foot patrols are vastly superior to vehicle patrols in almost all situations. MRAPS provide troop protection, they also provide mobility and fire support platforms. They are extremely useful pieces of kit but not the end all and be all.

  16. beegeagle says:

    MILITANTS BEHEAD TWO PAKISTANI SOLDIERS, KILL NINE OTHERS

    May 7, 2012
    MIRANSHAH, Pakistan
    (AFP)

    Eleven Pakistani soldiers were killed
    including two who were beheaded
    after being captured during fighting
    with Islamist militants in North
    Waziristan, officials said Monday.

    Gunmen armed with rockets attacked
    a military convoy on Sunday, sparking
    gun battles near Miranshah, the main
    town in North Waziristan — an Al-
    Qaeda and Taliban stronghold on
    Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.

    The military said nine soldiers were
    killed in the clashes over several hours
    and claimed that “heavy casualties”
    were inflicted on the militants. The heads of a further two soldiers were later found dumped without their bodies — one hanging from a barbed wire fence in the neighbourhood of Makane Bagh and the other in Zafar Town, local officials said.

    Three worshippers were also killed
    and 15 wounded when a shell hit a
    mosque near Miranshah on Sunday,
    security officials and residents told
    AFP.

    On Monday, army helicopters shelled
    suspected militant hideouts in the
    suburb of Tatta Khel and an indefinite
    curfew continued into a second day,
    officials and local residents said.Helicopter gunships bombarded a
    three-storey building known to
    contain weapons shops in Miranshah’s
    main bazaar, causing a huge fire,
    witnesses said. The building in Noor Din arms market was hit several times by shells from the helicopters, an eyewitness told AFP requesting anonymity.

    “I can see a huge fire and can hear the
    explosions, I do not know whether
    people are trapped inside or not, it’s
    already curfew here,” he said.

    Gunbattles between soldiers and
    militants are relatively rare in Miranshah. Pakistan has resisted US pressure to launch a full-scale operation against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in North Waziristan, where they are instead frequently targeted by US drone
    strikes. The most recent, on Saturday, killed at least 10 militants according to officials.

    Pakistani-US relations have been in
    crisis for much of the past year and
    Islamabad has made increasingly vocal
    public denunciations of the drone
    strikes, despite having given initial
    tacit approval.

    The fighting in Miranshah followed the
    murder last week of a senior Muslim
    cleric, Maulana Naseeb Khan, who
    taught at a madrassa near the
    northwestern city of Peshawar where
    several Taliban leaders studied. The cleric, who came from North Waziristan, was kidnapped near Peshawar and found dead on Thursday.

    After his funeral, the Taliban distributed a pamphlet blaming the Pakistani army and vowing to avenge his killing.

  17. Uwadi Anthony Chuka says:

    Bravo! To d controller general of costom… More sweat 2 ya armpit.

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