US AFRICOM Commander, General Carter F. Ham

US AFRICOM Commander, General Carter F. Ham

VOA News
(29 Jan, 2013)

News reports say the United States is
preparing to establish a base for drones
in northwest Africa to boost surveillance
of Islamist extremist groups. Reports quote U.S. officials, on the condition of anonymity, who say the base will likely be located in Niger. They say if the plan is approved,the base could have up to 300 U.S. military personnel.

Niger is the eastern neighbor of Mali where French and Malian troops are now battling Islamist militants. The New York Times, which first reported the story, quotes one American military
official who said the impetus for the base is the conflict in Mali, but added the drone base would also benefit U.S. intelligence and surveillance in the wider region.

The United States has just one permanent military base in Africa – in Djibouti – which is about 5,000 kilometers from Mali.


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies


  1. beegeagle says:

    Hmn..a means of keeping an eye on members of the terrorist community crisscrossing frontiers between Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Libya and Algeria and to a lesser extent, Cameroon and Chad. How about that for being the geographical centre of an anarchical neighbourhood. Niger do occupy a very strategic position as far as geography goes – with DIRECT windows on North Africa, West Africa and Central Africa.

    For terrorists, wahala comes to town 🙂

    • G8T Nigeria says:

      Nigeria pls wake up and spread your wings now, our stand against US AFRICOM is weakening, the US will use every means necessary to maintain lines of interest and communication near the Gulf of Guinea. This ploy shd be rebuff, we re tired of dese attention in the name of african partnership station, making the guinea gulf a hub for western navies to visit. I. Fear this US hegemony and evn if we cant resist directly, there re Other options wch include outright strategic plans to counter such motives. To counter this, the folowing is to be considered
      1. Acqusition of 4x helmes UAV real time relay for monitoring activities within d western african corridor.
      2. Establishment of a Gulf of Guinea command stationed down south at the entrance, far west and offshore Nigeria. Code name- Nigeria GOG comand force 1,2 and 3. Each N-GOG force shall include
      1 x Makassar class lpd
      5 x. Seaking naval helos
      150 x Special forces men
      2 x shaldag. Boats
      2 x A200 frigates
      1 x logistics ships
      This war of dominance is alive all over the world sighting example between russia and us, china and us, north and south k, china and india, e t c
      Sighting a drone unit in niger shd be discoraged or probably allowed only within a time frame. I love the US, but its love for sustaining its interest can be detrimental To the existence of Nigeria.

    • jimmy says:

      Let me say this about Nigeria every problem that comes to Africa’s doorstep cannot and should not be laid at Nigeria’s doorstep Niger for better or worse is a sovereign state if they so desire to sell every piece of their land to whomever that is their problem . For all you guys with bad belle what is NIGERIA SUPPOSED TO DO tell Niger THAT FOR A FEW millions of dollars ( less than $50 million) they should not allow it.
      Ahem we have Satellites that only require 24 HOURS NOTICES to be oriented to any country in west africa
      Guys much respect for your comments but please let us as they say be real politik OGA BEEGEAGLE laid it on the line , do you know what would of happened if Nigeria would of charge into MALI there would of being some of the very same countries now sneering at Nigeria’s back when told THEY WOULD OF TOLD THE Nigerian commander we are only here to fix accomodation O! i beg make you know kills us o! ;(
      On a more serious note Ivory Coast changed everything the dynamics of FRANCO PHONE VS ANGLOPHONE NO LONGER came into play , now we are seeing the emergence of CHAD and IVORY COAST and the disappearance of Ghana as a regional power broker, AFRICA has no one to blame but herself.I have decided to hold on the decline of South Africa for now but disturbing things are happening MILITARY WISE perhaps the rot is truly setting in over there AND THAT IS ALSO VERY BAD NEWS FOR AFRICA so fellow Nigerians do not start dancing as our other crabs err african brothers are doing.
      OGA DOZIEX where you dey another medium troop carrying transport plane in south africa crashed please we need your expertise is this really a growing problem first the sub then this?

  2. beegeagle says:

    You are not getting it, my brother. Even the USA and developed nations have bilateral security arrangements.

    What you have not thought about is this – Nigeria asks to establish a drone base in Niger and they, seeking to assert their sovereignty, shy away from the idea. But Africa being what it is, let France ask for that privilege and what happens, it is presented on a platter. Reality check – how many French military bases are in Africa – Bangui, Libreville, N’djamena, Bouake, Abidjan..COUNT. Would any of those countries allow Nigerian or South African bases? Unlikely. Real politik..that is the way we are.

    So if what we cannot get through Niger comes via our joint intel effort with the USA, why not? The bottomline is that the raw intel got into our palms. End of story.

    We can get out fleets and flotillas – even the same USA threatened to decertify Nigerian ports last year unless maritime security efforts are stepped up..a move apparently aimed at stampeding our leaders into proper provisioning for the military. They even gifted the FG a big ship to match words with action.

    So who should be blamed – our official tardiness towards procurement issues in the configurations appropriate to the task OR a US Government?

    The Gulf of Guinea Guard Command which is a decade old has not been given full effect because of the same African crabs-in-a-barrel attitude. Ask for a base even if to secure the JDZ with Equato-Guinea and you are likely yo get turned down. If a foreign power from outside Africa does, they might get it.

    The reason why the Gulf of Guinea Guard has yet to commence oceanic patrols – that petty bickering when Africans deal with African issues is what is stalling the GoG Command and is what would obstruct any plans for any Nigerian base outside our shores.

    You heard someone say the other day that troops of a certain West African country used to undermine ECOMOG’s chain of command by only taking orders issued from their national capital – just to erode the authority of their Nigerian Field Commander. The same chaps would gleefully salute the shadow of a passing Corporal of a NATO or EU army.

    • peccavi says:

      I wither oh. We are crying, France operation in Mali, is that what Naija should be doing?
      We are crying about drone base instead of trying to get NAF personnel in their or getting them to lend-lease us some drones to operate in conjunction with them

  3. blissful says:

    Eeh political africa, u go suffer tey unless GOD intervain. Making of drone base in Niger, is giving US ultimate power over africa. So it should be discouraged & stop not even giving it an operational time limit bcs, it wil b extended after it expired.

  4. beegeagle says:

    I am not looking at this from any other angle than from that which favours Nigeria. Pilatus PC-12s flown by US PMCs have been active from Mauritania to the Red Sea since 2010 at the latest. US drones have attacked targets in Somalia from inside Ethiopia. They have one in Djibouti, another in The Seychelles.

    It is not our protests which would lead a cash-strapped Niger to climb down from this action, laudable or condemnable. It has never happened. Nigeria has refused the offer of hosting the AFRICOM HQ and will not host any US base because of the sensitivity of the political and religious undertones entailed for our fragile internal balance. The matter is serious enough as to bring down a sitting government. But Niger are not Nigeria and they make their own sovereign decisions.

    If the base is in Niger, I would rather think how I can use intel emanating therefrom to my advantage – same way Pakistan use intel emanating from drone activity in Afghanistan.

    If the AU come together to reject the base and ask Niger to suspend the plans, I won’t weep if they have their way. But if it is opened and active, I would not hesitate to receive intel from there which advances my national security interests without recourse to convoluted conspiracy theories.

    Nobody from the outside ever dissuaded an African country from hosting foreign military bases since the Cold War era – not when the ports of Assab in pre-partition Ethiopia(now in Eritrea) and Berbera in Somalia hosted the USA and Sovier navies at different epochs. Not with the Kamina Air Base in Mobutu’s Zaire which the CIA used to aid UNITA in nextdoor Angola.

    For this Mali operation, France lifted off a phalanx of combat jets more potent than what any West or Central African nation could have mustered from NEXTDOOR CHAD where, as long ago as the Babangida regime, they stationed a mix of Jaguar and Mirage F1 jets during Chad’s war with Libya over the Aouzou Strip? THAT represents a bigger threat tou our interests than any drone base in any corner of this neighbourhood.Two republics distant in the CAR, they have been there for much longer.

    So what are we saying? Anything new? Fifty years down the line, post-independence, the CFA Franc is tied to the French Franc and several Francophone nations still host French military bases. Never mind a drone base. This is a routine development as far as I know and my assessment of its morality or otherwise would not change a thing – not in French-speaking Africa. That is why I said ‘real politik’ – looking at things dispassionately.

    What I do not have any issues with is the fact that the FG need to seriously focus on our defence procurement issues.

  5. beegeagle says:

    Let us get this straight. Niger and Mali IN COMBINATION operate budgets which do not match that of Rivers State.

    IF the US Government offered them even US$80m for a base, they would grab the offer with both hands and without consulting any of the neighbours. Neither Algeria nor Nigeria would match the USA in offering them carrots. Nigerien motivations, interests and persuasions as far as the matter is concerned might be iron-cast. At this point, only the people of Niger can force their government into a climbdown as far as the matter is concerned.

    I would rather focus on how Nigeria can make hay from this situation.

    • G8T Nigeria says:

      I understand fully what we stand to gain from US military activities in our neighbouhood but dis is also a strategy to create relevance. The overlying factor is dat United States plays too much undercover activities ard its interest. US never considered africa so important initially but needed a global covering for monitoring and intelligence gathering. The establishment of 6 commands all over the world was to project power and now tasked to checkmate terrorism. With a drone unit in niger and more presence at the GOG, u don’t need a anyfin more, the african partnership is good but we all tot its for a lil while but it has come to stay. How much contribution has d west done to restore peace in somalia, not forgetting power game in sudan btwn US and China cost the country its Unity.I bliv we could be right with our side of arguements but one honest truth is dat no western nation especially US does anytin rather than for interest. Do we want to sit in lagos and hear one or two US drones fired on suspected terrorist targets in borno or in sokoto. The americans needed pakistan to wage war against terror grps in afghanistan but what happen, drones firing into pakistan killing innocent soldiers, last I hrd of a misdirected strike was 24 pak soldiers confused to be taliban forces. The closeness of american units operating in afghans thru pak resulted in several grps bombing and fighting the nation till today, the ISI is working tirelessly to arrest the situation. Someone pls advice if a high profile terror suspect is having meeting wit his commanders in kaduna, WHAT WIll US DO. We all know no one will info our govt but d next info is baaaaaaannnnnnnngggggg. We need them for training our men not stationing units somewhere.

  6. benjy32benjy says:

    O God here we go again total recolonization of africa in full swing and you guys are typing bull.Beegs u should really know the implications of all this and to all of u that want to welcome our journey back to total slavery

  7. beegeagle says:

    Were any of those countries ever free, Benjy32? A drone base equals total slavery whereas they have had a full squadron of jets in Chad since the IBB years, even as Chad and Guinea are some of the more independent Francophone African regimes? Are you joking..or drinking something strong :)??

  8. originalpato says:

    I agree with you 100% Oga Beeg. The sleeping giant has simply refused to wake up. If not for petty politics and incompetence bordering on selfishness we should have been entering the Malian conflict as equals of France instead of Chad Republic. Very soon we would be lagging behind them and Equatorial Guinea in terms of Military Hardware Procurement.

  9. beegeagle says:

    And we do just that, G8T..train commandos, K9 teamsters and combat engineers who have shown their stuff in the conflict upcountry.

    You probably know that Algeria won’t like the idea of a drone base nextdoor either but it is NIGER’S sovereign decision. They have to be receiving booty for this and we cannot offer more than what the US would. So what to do about it?

    I suggest that we just take the intel which is sure to come our way from their exertion. It does not preclude the fact that we can optimise our own intel gathering hardware – with OWNED drones, surveillance aircraft and satellites.

    Last year, 100 military officers were trained in the security applications of satellite technology and over US$150 million was expended on ancillary ground infrastructure in Abuja under the ambit of the ONSA. We only need to align our own stuff and gather intel in tandem.

    Way back in 2003, it emerged that NigeriaSat1 – the first of our four satellites has a field of view from Senegal to western Ethiopia and from northern Namibia to the Sahara. That is our smallest satellite.

    Who says that they cannot survey all of Mali, Chad, Niger, Mauritania and the Sahara if they attach the requisite degree of seriousness to the venture and a matter of day-to-day activity?

    Why are we worrying about matters which are beyond our control while failing to act on that which is within our grasp? If the USA did not disclose this, would it have been a more tolerable reality – same way Pilatus aircraft had been quietly patrolling the Sahel for a few years until last year’s disclosure?

    It is NIGER, not Nigeria and nobody can fathomably plant a foreign military base of a world power in Nigeria. The North – traditionally resentful of Western influence on account of the Arab-Israeli conundrum, would go up in flames. Even the FG knows that.

  10. Detona says:

    Guys, it not been that long ago (September 2009 to be precise) when UN military inspectors checking NA’s assets earmarked for deployment to UNAMID (APCs et al), declared the assets “of zero standard”, “unable to protect troops in combat”, and other such tripe. I remember how sickening the comments were, even though NA issued a statement that Nigeria was “not ready” for the inspection and about measures “being put in place”, etc. I remember the issue was about mine resistant APCs optimised for desert conditions, which apparently we could not deploy at the time.

    For a country that spans the entire gamut of sahel, sudan (savannah), rainforest and mangrove swamp areas, all the way to the sea, and bounded by the sahara in the North, that verdict for me was most damaging and a reflection of the strategic irresponsibility (or lack of vision) of our National leadership, over the years. For a country with the amount of human and natural resources and sheer economic muscle of Nigeria, it is obvious that we have a lot to lose should our strategic interests be undermined by any hostile intervention, be it foreign or domestic. It therefore beggars belief that we would wait until UN inspectors were underway, to be ready to deploy first rate materiel to a flash point just 1,000km east of Maiduguri.

    I want to believe that the NA has since acted to remedy that embarrassment, and its intensive simulations in Yusufari and other such locations should have done a lot to induct some officers and men into the peculiarities of desert warfare, but let me use this forum to appeal to those who should know better, that strategically speaking, it is unacceptable for there not to be clear daylight between Nigeria’s military capabilities on land, sea and air with any others in sub-saharan Africa, with the singular exception of you know who. The name for that reasoning is called deterrence, and the protection of economic and strategic interests. It doesn’t mean playing ‘big brother’ as some western nations are wont to, but when the need arises as it now has, we should be able to ‘shock and awe’. That’s what is expected from any ‘giant’ worth her weight in gold.

    • doziex says:


      Unfortunately, shame or embarrasment does not motivate nigerian authorities. Nor does it seem to concentrate the minds of nigerians on the importance of electing responsible leaders.

  11. Saints says:

    Lets wait and see what algeria is going to say about it..i know of their pro anti western traits.going to the extent that they even had to protest france INT in mali.we all know it was going to come to this.so we are already prepared.after all if we find an unauthorised aircraft in our airspace we could always try to bring it down.which brings us back to the question of procurement.are our anti aircraft weapon system good enough

  12. camouflage1984 says:

    Sorry Generals but permit me to go a little off topic..this is the Nigerian Spirit

    • jimmy says:

      Can we on this blog find an honest way to contribute financially to this man so his endeavors do not go to waste GEN BEEG can you link him up with some people in the air force

  13. eyimola says:

    Seems like they are going to split the defense of Mali into Zones. There will be 6 Zones in the liberated areas with Nigeria getting one in the South and another halfway into the country. Togo Chad, Niger and Burkina Faso will also get zons of operations

  14. peccavi says:

    Op Serval SItrep as of 28/01/2013

    17eRGP (Airborne engineers) conduct daylight para drop into TIMBUKTU to assist in clearing the runway and making it operational
    Fr/ MNA forces clearing TIMBUKTU house to house uncovering weapons and explosive caches

    Looting of Arab, Algerian and Mauritanian businesses reported in TIMBUKTU. MNA brought situation under control
    Fr/ MNA forces clearing GAO house to house uncovering weapons and explosive caches

    Force numbers now to exceed 8,000 including policemen
    Nigerian president states 900 army and 300 NAF personnel in theatre. Roles/types unknown

    Nigerien/ Chadian forces enter ASONGO South of GAO
    Chadian forces move north from MENAKA
    UK to send up to 40 personnel to the EUTM and 240 others to conduct training in AFISMA countries
    Cyprus to donate 2400 Zastava (Yugoslav army AK variant) 7.62mm rifles to the MNA
    $455m pledged in donors conference in ADDIS ABABA
    UK donating £3m to AFISMA and £2m to UN Fund for Mali
    Japan to donate £120m to Sahel countries

    Hundreds of people reported to have fled KIDAL and moved towards Algeria
    En forces reported to have pulled back to Adrar des Ifoghas mountain range near Algeria
    Enemy forces reported to range between approx 2,000 and 5,000 and consist of
    Ansar el Dine: commanded by Iyad Ag Aghaly, a Malian Taureg and based on the Taureg Efogas and Idnan tribes approx 2,000 fighters
    MUJAO: consists of mainly black Islamists from Nigeria, Senegal, Niger, Mauritania, Mali etc allegedly commanded by Mauritanian Hamada Ould Mohamed Kheirou
    AQIM: mainly consists of Algerians and other Arabs senior commanders in Mali include Abdelhamid Abou Zeid
    How many left after the MIA and MUJAO defections not known. Equipment not known


    The other side of the hill: bearing an unprecedented shock such as the Ansar Al Dine turning up with an armoured division or MUJAO manufacturing an air force, the shooting phase will soon end. We will then move onto the cheeky part, holding the ground. History has shown that it is generally easy to conquer territory, holding it is always the problem, the Romans grew so tired of ‘pacifying’ Scotland they built a wall to keep them out (it didn’t always work), with the most recent example being Mali itself, while it was easy for MNLA and allies to take the territory, the MNLA was itself pushed out by its allies and now these self same usurpers have been pushed out.
    There is however 1 key question and 1 key point. The key question is why did the enemy not put up a bigger fight for TIMBUKTU? A fight there would have at least caused some casualties and caused the Fr/ MNA forces to have to fight through a UNESCO World Heritage site. The opprobrium the en is receiving for their destruction of monuments and manuscripts would all be passed onto the French and Malians. The point is that although the enemy withdrew they were not defeated. They simply accepted military reality and declined combat. They inevitably suffered casualties and loss of materiel but they were not defeated.
    So lets turn the map around. If we are the enemy how would we fight? Well we’d need to identify their objectives, the first and most important (in my opinion) is money. Control of the narco smuggling routes, kidnapping rings and hideouts, weapon and human trafficking routes and rings is the one common goal amongst the enemy and corrupt Malian politicians and soldiers, there are genuine religious fundamentalists amongst the enemy and they are the wild cards. War such as this is bad for business. You can’t very well trans ship 4- 5 tons of Colombia’s finest across a strip of land that is being scoured hourly by recce planes, drones, satellites and so on. Maybe you can carry on the trade by carrying the goods in smaller loads but you are taking the same risks for less reward. War is bad for business, but at the same time surrender will mean they lose their power and influence, so what do they do? The objective as I see it is to fight hard to define an ungoverned space on both sides of the borders Mali-Algeria/ Niger but always leave some sort of door open to negotiations. Thus they will fight very hard, create no go areas. Try and condition friendly forces in such a way that they know at certain times or in certain areas they will get hit. They will attack the more vulnerable nations and try and get them to withdraw by threatening the home territories. They will create a situation whereby the nations remaining ill be so tired of the war they will be willing to accept a ‘not so bad’ solution in order to pull out. They will create situations whereby the foreign forces can be painted as occupiers and government forces apostate oppressors, so neat tricks such as firing mortars from villages, disguising themselves as villagers so as to cause the harassment of villagers, committing outrages against captured friendly personnel so the less disciplined will take their revenge on captured enemy or civilians all to be filmed and publicised. They will attack western interest pushing up insurance premiums and threatening their nationals and assets. The interesting sideline of this is that when the enemy has established a credible threat they can then start demanding protection money. The Italians were notorious for this in Northern Afghanistan, which caused a little bit of a problem when they were replaced and the local Taliban leader turned up at their replacements HQ for his payment. They do not seek outright victory just enough ungoverned space to keep their business intact. So how wil they do this. Indirect fire into friendly FOBs, IEDS on the roads, ambushes in choice areas, assassination of government officials. The attacks will be worse up north but there will be an increase gradually in the south as those who joined the enemy re infiltrate back to their home areas, others will be hid in returning refugees, and they will gradually set up cells and start a campaign of urban terrorism. They will be joined by others infiltrating south and as more and more resources are put into security with very little left for development and basic services as well as the inconveniences and dangers of living in an insurgency, pressure will grow on the government for a deal of some sort. The enemy does not need to do much in this country of few roads and few towns. They do not need to go shopping for weapons after Ghadafis arms bend down boutique.
    The interesting phase will have begun when we see attacks in Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso, Benin etc. Nigeria, Algeria, Chad and Niger already have internal security issues so any attack thus can simply be seen as an extension of their existing problem. When a country like Ghana needs to weigh up the choice between contributing troops to AFISMA or dealing with mass causally events in its cities or attacks on its infrastructure or the cost in blood and treasure of setting up a counter terrorism apparatus, what do you think the logical choice will be?

    Hold: There were places in Iraq and Afghan where you crossed and you knew you were going to get hit. In my own case this was a compound/ vegetated area 200m north of our compound, any time the local nationals passed and I asked them where were the Taliban, they would laugh and point in that direction. The platoon prior to mine that went to clear the area did so very successfully however during their withdrawal, the Taliban had infiltrated behind them and completely fixed them with RPG’s and small arms, one young fellow was shot in the abdomen (through his webbing and body armour) only saved by his friend who shot the Taliban who walked up to shoot him in the head. To extract that platoon had to call in mortars to within 20m of their position. This compound at the time had about 4 machine guns (1x 12.7mm, 2 x 7.62, 1 x 5.56) and a 51mm mortar, was defended by claymores and had a platoons worth of men. We had Apaches and fast jet on call if needed and the FOB behind us had 81mm mortars. The Taliban could not take our compound but we could not push them out of the area (we did bomb the shit out of them though from time to time which was always nice).
    I tell this story for two reasons, (1) because I like to remind myself of the more interesting times of my life (2) because it helped illustrate everything that is bad about COIN and al the constraints and limitations there are. I have no idea of the Taliban orbat except that they had IEDs, RPGs, and small arms. I have listed what we had above. We had enough fire power to hold our position, we had enough men to push out and clear that area if we needed to. We had enough organic fire support and fire support on call to ensure the enemy knew we were not there to mess about and extract ourselves from naughty situations, but we still had a no go area 200m to our front.
    The Taliban tactics in the operation I described above are exactly the same for a platoon, company, battalion or brigade. If you don’t hold the ground you don’t own it. Despite a successful attack, during the withdrawal the enemy closed with them and but for the superior skill of the soldiers (particularly the mortar fire controller) they would have been destroyed. In COIN you must dominate the ground, you must own the ground. If you are not there the enemy is. We bombed that compound, shelled and mortared it, shot it up, set up sniper ambushes whatever. Once we pulled back they went back in. The only way to defeat an insurgent is to deny him freedom of movement.
    To paraphrase Mao when the army attacks and insurgent retreats, when they army retreats the insurgent attacks, when the Army stands still you infiltrate and intimidate.
    Friendly forces have attacked, the enemy has retreated. At some point the operational tempo will slow down, the extended supply lines will be vulnerable. I expect the first counter strikes within 3-7 days and depending on the response we will see how deep a quagmire this could be.
    The easy part has finished

    • jimmy says:

      The real war begins DAY+1 after KIDAL falls . Nigerian forces wherever you are as they say in the N.B.A ( NO BABIES ALLOWED)
      Oga Peccavi I swear to GOD nah lie you missed your true calling it is not to late to become a comedian lol! bombing the shit out of those Mother-F—-S LOL 😉
      The holding or the beginning of the dirty war now that the end of the clean war is over. The question you raised about the willingness to retreat in Timbuktu with the expected Neanderthal (prehestoric MAN) like instincts to destroy Manuscripts that proved African wrote and recorded HISTORY several hundred years is to be expected. .The unanswered question is W.W.A.D (what will ALGERIA do? and what will Mauritania do? these are key questions with ALGERIA STILL SMARTING from a great own GOAL by its ill behaved terrorists err freedom fighter they will be in no mood to accept some of their Citizens who are reputed to be the top commanders in Mali wow HOME AWAY FROM HOME!
      I will say this about the ITALIANS ain’t nothing changed since Somalia. The Italians are the soldiers you don’t want near you in a firefight, Then LT COL POOPOLA ACCORDING to the L.A. TIMES upon reports reaching him of how they paid of various SOMALI warlords not to attack them which resulted in the ambush and death of SIX Nigerian soldiers called them cowards. There are versions of what LT COL POOPOLA ( later Maj GEN) did to the Somalis who ambushed the Nigerian soldiers later on but this is not the place.

      • peccavi says:

        The Italians are good soldiers, they just have a f**ked up way of doing things, where they bribe everyone rather than fight. however when they fight, they fight, don’t believe the bull. In Nasiriyah, Iraq they were being smashed everyday and held the town (it was also where I met the most beautiful woman I ever saw in a warzone! And they had non alcoholic beer in their mess hall, Viva Italia!)
        But they have this really silly practice of paying people off and it creates many problems
        The Mauritanians will stay out, there are too many of their people in the insurgents for them to risk getting involved
        The Algerians will keep playing their wierd ass game but I forsee they will be more and more active covertly

    • Akin Oges says:

      Good job peccavi, as always. “He who has a brother who travelled a path would know how to avoid obstacles lurking on the route”. Thanks for sharing your privileged experience here. May your ‘well’ never run dry. Be Blessed.

  15. freeegulf says:

    generals, the thought of US base right on our door step doesn’t sit well. of course, we might think there’s a bright side to this. but i find it hard to view such open window.

    we re not a client of america, willingly or not, we re not, we have never been a client state, not even at the height of the NCW. even while facing our greatest crisis, the civil war, we did not allow britain to call the shots. the FMG quickly diversified its arms purchase in order not to be conditioned by the neo colonial designation of britain.

    just some few years back, the americans tried to station troops in nigeria, and obj, in his shortsightedness (he probably wanted to use them as a bulwark against coup exercises) willingly gave his nod. the army high command had to put its collective energy together to stop such myopic decision. and aso rock relented. they, the americans where not satisfied. next, it was AFRICOM, fortunately the yar ar dua admin smelled a ploy and decided a no no.

    now, we have niger hosting a drone base( according to reports, these drones would not be armed with missiles. they will be for surveillance only) right in our backyard. nothing good can come out of it. we are not a client state that wants to be used. we re not looking for some petty advantage as a client state. this is all about the gulf of guinea. now, we will become the saudi arabia of the gulf of guinea.

    i understand that some are concerned that we will gain some tactical intel from this drone base. however, america would only share what they want to share. how many laison officers of the nigerian military will be stationed in the said base?

    its a shame that we have weak and inept leaders. the only leaders that ever had true vision for this country where either killed or their regimes where cut too short!
    nigeria needs to take a hard look on her foreign and domestic policies and see where they agree and conflict with american broad interests. there should be a nigerian military presence in the said base. another pakistan/afghanistan at our borders aint what this country needs.

  16. freeegulf says:

    american policy is slowly shifting from the middle east to the asia pacific and the gulf of guinea.
    seventh fleet is becoming very prestigious and would soon eclipse the 5th and 6th fleet. of course, 6th fleet will remain busy giving the renewed importance of africa to the united states and their energy needs.
    the rise of china as a global player is causing lots of headaches for the americans, and they will do everything possible to contain chinese expansion.
    with crude oil abundance in the gulf of guinea, and chinese ‘takeover’ of africa, more bases will start to spring up in and around the gulf of guinea. my fear is that, there will be more trouble ahead for nigeria. there’s no better plot than to invent troubles and come forward later with the solution.
    we can deal with boko haram. their’s, is a political problem that will reduce or flare up depending on how the presidential election of 2015 is decided.
    having the americans in niger has no long term strategic advantage to nigeria as an ‘independent’ country. we can have our own bilateral, trilateral, multilateral agreement[s] with niger, chad and cameroun if needs be. we dont need the americans to show us boko haram sahel route. the americans are not our allies, at best, they re lukewarm friends. our policies and visions should not be decided by the CFR or any pentagon related groups.

    american bases are mushrooming in every hot spot and energy spot across the globe. they re getting really desperate as their power begins to wane. even the once mighty roman empire came crumbling down. nothing new here. empires rise and fall. the empire of the united states of america is not the first and certainly wouldn’t be the last

  17. beegeagle says:



    Niger said Wednesday it was ready to
    host a base for US drones monitoring
    movements by Al-Qaeda-linked groups
    currently based in northern Mali. “If Niger has an opportunity to receive
    support in the shape of aircraft or drones to monitor suspicious movements from Mali, we will not turn our nose up at it,” Defence Minister Karidjo Mahamadou told AFP.

    He added however that he was not aware of any formal deal allowing the
    deployment of US drones on Niger’s soil. A US official said Monday that the
    Pentagon was planning to station drones in the region — most likely in Niger — to bolster surveillance of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and its allies.

    Washington has expressed fears that
    AQIM, one of the groups that seized
    control of northern Mali 10 months ago,
    was expanding its ambit in the region
    and turning into a global security threat. France launched a military operation in
    its former colony on January and has
    already recaptured the north’s main
    cities. It hopes to hand over to a
    multinational African force which has yet to fully deploy.

    US President Barack Obama’s
    administration has provided transport
    planes to help ferry French weapons and
    troops and offered to share intelligence
    with Paris from surveillance aircraft,
    including reportedly unmanned Global Hawk spy planes.

    The United States and Niger signed a
    status of forces agreement Monday, which will provide legal safeguards for any American forces in the country. The
    Pentagon secures such agreement for
    base arrangements or troop deployments.

    AQIM fighters have been crossing
    northern Mali’s desert borders with
    Mauritania, Algeria and Niger with ease
    to run what is believed to be a lucrative
    drug and migrant smuggling operation to Europe. They are well-trained, have abundant weaponry and hold several Western hostages but are heavily reliant on fuel for their movements in the vast Sahelian expanse.

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