18 February, 2014

The U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, in Abuja on Tuesday expressed confidence in the ability of the Nigeria government and its military to defeat Boko Haram.
Thomas-Greenfield gave the assurance in a news conference in Abuja at the end of the two-day Nigeria-U.S. Bi-National
Commission (BNC) meeting on good governance, transparency and integrity.

Her remarks came on the heels of the
attack in Izge village on Saturday in
Borno, in which no fewer than 100 people were killed by the insurgents.

Also, Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno was in Abuja for talks with President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday where he urgently appealed for more troops to fight the insurgents.

Greenfield told reporters that the U.S. was strongly committed to support Nigeria in the fight against insurgents.
“I do not think it is a failure of U.S.
government if Nigeria government fails
to defeat Boko Haram, I think the Nigeria government will defeat Boko Haram. “We are given the government tremendous amount of support and
advice and it is our hope for the people of Nigeria that Boko Haram is defeated,’’
she said.

She expressed sympathy to Nigerians and families who lost their loved ones in the latest massacre in the North-eastern part of the country. “Extremism is a problem not only in Nigeria, it is a problem that we have faced in the United States, what we have learnt is that terrorism anywhere affects everyone,’’ she said.

On the possible use of drones in Nigeria
to counter insurgents, the U.S. top envoy
for Africa said such military plans were
not for the public knowledge. “We are working closely with your government and anytime such military actions are taken it is with the coordination of the requesting government,’’ she said.

Meanwhile, in a communiqué issued at
the end of the BNC meeting, both countries agreed to increase operational
collaboration in the investigation and
prosecution of individuals and groups
involved in corruption. The communiqué said that Nigeria and the U.S. would collaborate in cases of money laundering, illicit finance, and related economic crimes.

The meeting also agreed that ensuring
the credibility of the electoral process
would require adequate preparations for activities at all stages of the electoral cycle. Both countries recognised the importance of continuing a programme of electoral reforms as outlined by INEC and the relevance of the security services in working with INEC to safeguard the election materials.According to the communiqué, Nigeria
expresses its determination to prevent
thuggery and all forms of violence during
the election period.


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. camouflage1984 says:

    The government does not even know how to save its face

    • asorockweb says:

      Dr. Doyin Okupe knows how to put together a statement.
      My advice to GEJ is to address the public more often – his silence creates a vacuum that is then filled by all kinds of voices.
      If Governor Shettima believes that BH is unstoppable, what does he propose?

  2. rka says:

    I think what the article has stated is what has been advocated on this blog regarding aerial bombardment of the insurgents followed by a sweep by ground troops. It seems that the main problem is that the insurgents are bedding in with civilians which makes it difficult to go all out.

    It is a difficult war and I myself will give the military a bit more slack, although I do believe we need more troops on the ground which will help in systematically searching neighbourhoods for concealed weapons and caches and expose BH members. Expediting delivery of helos on order and placing orders for new ones still needed though by the FG.

  3. asorockweb says:

    Based on how Linda Thomas-Greenfield responded to the question about drones, it seems likely that the US drones that are based in Niger are being used to surveil BH – just a thought

  4. Makanaky says:

    Going by the number of lives lost and the possible ones that will be lost if our present situation does not change in our favour, I will advocate a foreign military force help us in securing our borders and fight the insurgent.
    Enough of patriotism and wishful thinking, our military cannot protect us, its obvious that they are clueless in implementing the simple rule of securing a community from repeated attacks from an enemy using the same modus operandi over and over again !

    • Are James says:

      I disagree. No foreign forces can teach us anything in urban and rural COIN. We wrote the book everybody is using in that area.
      I am going with analysts’ collective view that political leadership is the problem. All is going to change very soon but the price in human lives has been too high.

      • doziex says:

        Igbi and Are james, I just hope you guys understand how much your bravado and over confidence is going to cost us.
        At some point, we are going to have to humble ourselves and accept help that is already being offered.
        Accepting help, advise and assistance, can in no way be equated to the surrender of our sovereignty.
        NA has lost it’s time and geographical orientation of the battle field, confusion has set in. Intel, logistics, know how and leadership will be crucial in rerighting our state of affairs.
        Input by US and EU, has turned Amisom into the best african coin effort in africa.

        The US sent 100 spec ops troops to train the UPDF in jungle tracking techniques needed to neutralize Joseph Kony and his own version of boko haram.
        Add to this, 400 million usd that UPDF gets from the US yearly, and you would see that humility and cooperation goes a long way.

      • igbi says:

        Oga Doziex at this point I am ready to vote you in as president. even if I do not agree with your approach.

    • igbi says:

      What a nice solution: basically what you are saying is this: “let us surrender our sovereignty”. As I said before, I think people should stop seeing soldiers as bodyguards or as security guards, the aim of the soldiers is to whipe out the terrorists, not to serve as security guards. In some serious articles which I shared on this blog, it is explained that these massacres are committed by terrorists who have just been flushed out from their bases by the army, so they take their frustration on civilians. I guess the few soldiers we have in the north-east can not be everywhere at the same time, so while they are busy destroying a terrorist base at position A, some fleeing terrorist will be killing civilians at position B.
      My question is where is the police ? It seems to me that the police is supposed to be the force acting as body guard to the people. Many people here like to compare this situation to the COIN operations by NATO in Afghanistan and Irak, but there are very huge differences: first of all in Afghanistan and Irak NATO forces where not in their respective countries, so nobody was counting on them to be “body guards” to the people. And frankly the NATO forces didn’t care much about protecting the people, rather they cared about protecting the civil administration which they had put in place. And at the same time NATO had the objective to destroy the enemy (that is the only point our operation has in common with them). In our case, we are fighting in our own house so the lives of the people are very important to us, which is why some of our checkpoints are placed in a manner in which they can not strategically be defended. This is also the reason why the terrorists target civilians instead of facing the army.
      There is an other big difference between the mission of our military and that of NATO in Irak and Afghanistan: Nato had a policy of “shoot then ask questions” in its operations, which means that civilians could come under NATO fire if they didn’t follow NATO security guidelines. In our case, that is something we can not do, because the people in question are our people and because the western “do-gooders” would use their usual double standards to accuse the army of genocide. So in essence the mission is more difficult than that of NATO and we have more constraints than NATO and we are using less troops and less fire power. There is an other twist: most media both local and foreign are mostly against the efforts of the Nigerian armed forces, and in so they are becoming boko haram propaganda network. the body language of most media suggests they are very antagonist towards the NA and the worse for the moral of soldiers and for the moral of the civilians of the north-east is when the media tries to ridicule Nigerian soldiers by always say the soldiers are fleeing (yet it is only civilians the terrorists are attacking, and the cities are still terrorist-free). On the bright side: contrary to Nato troops, Nigerian troops are battle tested soldiers who went through a very rigorous selection and an even more difficult training.
      I think our macroscopic weak points are the fact that our own civilians are in the theater of operations and that we don’t seem to be doing anything to close the borders (mining and fencing and also digging of a big ditch). we do not have a natural border, so we have to create an artificial one.
      There is also one thing which is clear: the targeting of civilians by boko haram is an indicator of the fact that boko haram is about to be completely crushed. “A wolf is the most dangerous when it is about to be slaughtered”.

  5. asorockweb says:

    @ Makanaky
    I believe you are currently engaging in wishful thinking.

    The “foreign military” forces you may wish to invite have failed in the wars they have engaged in against religious fanatics.

    What makes BH grab the headlines so often, is their willingness to walk into a sleeping village and kill everybody they can.

    The Taliban is as strong as it was five years ago, this is after the US and most of the European countries has sent 100s of thousand of troops as well as spent 100s of billions of dollars. A single soldiers in Afghanistan costs the US govt. 1 million dollars per year.

    No foreign solider is coming to die for you – maybe you should do all in your power to help the brave soldiers that are currently doing the fighting and the dying.

    • igbi says:

      Sometimes people think soldiers are robots programmed to fight and die if necessary.
      I like your statement which is very realist: “no foreign soldier will come and die for you”.
      The next time someone is asking for some foreign robots/soldiers I will repeat that sentence to him. So they will think twice before disgracing the soldiers paying the price.

  6. Yagazie says:


    Our millitary is doing an extraordinary job under very difficult and challenging circumstances. Lets not forget that they are not fighting a conventional war against a conventional enemy. If the BH terrorists are embedded with the civilian populace- do we really expect our millitary to just go in and level the place? If the terrorists move over the porous borders into cameroun after conducting their hit and run raids against soft targets, do we really want our millitary to go over the border and engage them without a prior legal frame-work agreed with the Camerounian Govt? Let’s also not forget that the BH insurgents have been succesfully contained in a particular geographical area by the actions of our millitary and that our millitary cannot be everywhere at once. There is a lot going on behind the scenes that we are not necessarily priviy to. Let’s also not forget that the United States the most powerful millitary force on the planet could not crush the Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan or the insurgent attacks in Iraq- they could only contain it. Ditto the then Soviet Union when they invaded Afghanistan in the 1980s – they with all their fearsome millitary arsenal, could not crush the then Afghan Mujahadeen fighters. Britain (which also has a very good and professional millitary) could not crush the IRA insurgency on its doorstep in Northern Ireland. Please lets give our millitary a break!! That said, the Govt should muster the political will to fight and crush the BH insurgency – by giving our millitary the tools they need to get the job done. GOD Bless us all.

    • Are James says:

      The US security agencies as a matter of routine intercepts all defence and security communications in Nigeria…i’m talking routine everyday in the office, almost 100% coverage. It is disturbing but that is beside the point.When they cone out to say Nigeria will defeat the BH problem soon I believe they know what they are talking about. It’s been a political will problem but with the loss of life in an election year things will changem

  7. rka says:

    There is no easy way or formula availabe to defeat insurgents. Remember that there are local people providing assistance as well outside influences. USA can’t even secure their border 100% with Mexico not to talk about our mountainous border with Cameroon.

    Part of the fight should be against BH sponsors and they should be exposed. The nature of guerilla warfare means you cannot prevent all attacks just try to make it as difficult as possible. Soft targets make it even more difficult. Show me a country that can protect all it’s citizens.

    • giles says:

      tanx oga rka,it’s simply cut of der funding and 90% of our work is done we den intensify both air and land patrol to root dem out.

  8. startrek says:

    Oga RkA and yagazie you are both on point right there.

  9. Are James says:

    Guys, help is required here, I was not aware the AA – 12 was an anti-aircraft weapon.
    However, the question here is how did Islamic terrorists get their hands on a top of the line American military firearm?

  10. igbi says:

    By the way I want to apologize for some comments I made yesterday, I do not believe military dictatorship is the solution, but I am very disappointed in some of the actions (or lack of actions) of the current administration. How do we get to misplace 20 billion dollars in the middle of a war and how logical is it that our defense budget got reduced in the middle of the war and why is the government so bent on following “international conventions”, which almost nobody follow, even at the great expense of the lives of our people ? If we spot boko haram bases in a neighboring country then we should go in there and meet the terrorists with fire, the terrorists are a cross border security threat so we also have to cross the border to flush them. Even countries as small as Rwanda have at a time or an other crossed their borders to fight against cross-border security threats. everybody does that, except of course Nigeria ! Because contrary to the rest of Africa, we need permission to defend our people. Please let us be serious.

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