7 May, 2014

The aid the United States will provide to Nigeria to get back nearly 300 kidnapped girls will probably be limited to helping the Nigerians find the village in the remote forest where they are being held, experts said Wednesday.

Johnnie Carson, former assistant secretary of State for African Affairs under President Obama, said the United States can offer satellite and air surveillance through drones, as well as bring in military advisers to help units of the Nigerian military.

The United States would have to vet the units it works with to ensure they meet U.S. human rights standards, Carson said from the Nigerian capital, Abuja, during a call set up by the Council on Foreign Relations. He said the hurdle of helping Nigeria beat back the Islamist terrorists who kidnapped the girls and committed other atrocities has been the government itself.

Carson said Nigeria has rejected U.S. offers of military-type assistance.“This is a proud country with a professional military and intelligence service. Sometimes they accept things, and sometimes they don’t,” he said.

Paul Sullivan, professor of economics at National Defense University in Washington, said the United States could bring powerful search-and-destroy tools to the Nigerian effort.“We have drones for surveillance, drones for attack, special operations troops, other surveillance and support options and more,” Sullivan said. “We could make life a misery for Boko Haram,” the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the kidnappings.

President Obama has said nothing about providing “boots on the ground” to assist in fighting that may occur in confronting Boko Haram on its home territory. Before it gets “sucked into” a mess, the Pentagon will probably want to assess the situation, Sullivan said.

“One of the first steps to the U.S. getting involved militarily is to send military advisers,” Sullivan said. “They will encounter unexpected events and Nigeria’s plethora of languages, cultures and political ideologies.”

The first task for the U.S. team would be to marshal Nigeria’s best intelligence on the girls’ locations, then help organize a search-and-rescue operation, he said.The girls are probably spread over multiple locations, making it more difficult to find and rescue them.

“The tough part is what to do when you find out where they are,” Sullivan said. A military attack could result in the girls being murdered, as Boko Haram has done to hostages in past rescue operations.Buying off Boko Haram could have political repercussions. “It’s going to be very very messy,” Sullivan said. “If they can pull this off with nobody killed and nobody injured, this is going to be miraculous.”

U.S. analysts view Nigeria’s handling of the Boko Haram insurgency as another example of the government’s failure to address legitimate grievances in the country’s mostly Muslim north. The north suffers from poor access to clean water, health care, education and jobs to a much greater degree than the more affluent and mostly Christian south.

“There is a growing sense of extreme marginalization in the north,” Carson said. “There is a concern that government in Abuja doesn’t care about their situation.”


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. Henry says:


    President GEJ has just disclosed that he has given the military just over 1 Billion dollars to procure equipments.

    He’s currently speaking on the world economic forum.

  2. Henry says:

    He did say the money isn’t enough, but he’s trying to build up nigeria’s security architecture.

  3. beegeagle says:

    Good one, USA…leave it that. Use ISTAR assets to access intel, share and analyse same with the Nigerians and brainstorm with field commanders on how to decisively act on the intel.

    Too-know Britain while on yet another glory hunt (the Italians whose compatriot was also held hostage alongside a Briton were kept in the dark so that nobody shares the limelight) tried and overreached themselves in a botched a hostage rescue bid at Sokoto in 2012, remember? Those were British SBS commandos who arrived to enact some shock-and-awe. So much for infallible special forces. This is war..not a game of monopoly. So let’s keep it real.

    We are talking northern Nigeria where the dominant culture is practically opposed to Western ideals and the risk of bad faith developing among the locals, in the event that America naively put boots on the ground, cannot be made light of. The support base is at best a tinderbox.

    As their leading strategic partner in the realm of DEFSEC, the Americans need to tell their Nigerian counterparts to quit waffling a boatload of gibberish about competing demands and face the issue of the moment by appropriately equipping the military and security forces to confront any and all national security nuisance.

    There are still far too few Mi-17s in service and we need those for rapid reaction and SF insertions. There is a reason why the USA sponsored the acquisition of 36 UNITS of factory refurbished Mi-17s for the Afghan National Army. Afghanistan is vast, America know…twice as large as Vietnam but northern Nigeria alone is even larger than Afghanistan.

    Our government cannot be talking competing demands where a refurbished and highly airworthy Mi-17 costs a mere US$3.33m. Nigerian troops are still crawling around into too many perilous soft-skinned civil utility trucks. That is atrocious. America would not deploy her troops in such deathtraps, so tell your Nigerian friends the truth and quit the needless diplomatesse.

    Offer them uparmoured Humvees so that they start to relegate those useless civvy trucks to the background. Only the Landcruiser gun-trucks have any role at the battlefield. Pull back the Hilux and Ranger 4WD vans. How many times would Nigerian troops in soft-skinned vehicles have to fall prey to ambushes laid by Boko Haramites before their morale takes a dent?

    American MRAPs are a bit too bogus for the mission. The Casspir and GILA MRAPs are right-sized and absolutely ideal. How many Casspir MRAP can be bought off the South African National Defense Forces for immediate deployment? They have no need for those in the face of contemporary challenges and are on the verge of declaring many surplus to requirement.

    America, tell your Nigerian friends the truth like the straight talkers both our countries nationals are known to be.God bless you as you do so. Long live the United States of America, long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

  4. jimmy says:

    once again thank you for the news, we know based on your reports and oga gbash has been receiving crates upon crates of equipment starting in feb/ march this year and for that we should be thankful,
    What is regrettably is that it has taken the hosting most ironical madam’s showpiece the hosting of a financial event for suddenly an eye opener to realize the importance of security and the costs associated with it.ABUJA IS LESS THAN 1/100 the the size of Bornu with fairly modern infrastructure and Nigeria has deployed More than Brigade like numbers ( 6000+) to ensure security is at it tightest.This in itself is commendable this same type of security commitment with its intensity has to be sustained in Bornu/Adamawa / Yobe when this conference is over.

  5. beegeagle says:

    Thank you, Oga Henry, for the headsup. There is now a thread uploaded to that effect.

  6. kenee2kk says:

    Beegeagle you express my sentiments.

  7. kenee2kk says:

    The GILA MRAP is an excellent vehicle. used to much effect in Somalia by the Kenyan armed forces not sure how willing are SA brothers are willing to give them to us for a premium price though.

    Better IED protection than the Stryker and Humvee, although IED’s are not the immediate threat we face in this instance, nonetheless things could change.

    • beegeagle says:

      That would be the UPDF who field Casspir, GILA and Mamba types. The Kenyans field the Puma M26-15.

      The Casspir and GILA are a cut above the rest while the Puma M26, Mamba and Springbuck VI , like our Otokar Cobra are rated at STANAG Level 1. The new and larger PUMA M36 looks to be made of sterner stuff though.

      Ambush protection is very important. That is a living threat in the NE. IEDs are not a major problem in Mogadishu either and in 2012, the U.S. Joint IED Defeat Organisation rated the Nigerian insurgency as the most IED-intensive in Africa.

      Look what we can do with Casspir and GILA MRAPs here

      UPDF Casspir MRAPs in SOMALIA

      A Ugandan soldier engages an Al Shabaab ambush party from a Casspir MRAP while Somali troops watch

      A Ugandan soldier engages an Al Shabaab ambush party from a Casspir MRAP while Somali troops watch

      UPDF BMP-2 and Casspir bring up the rear after the ambush.Somali troops in red berets are in the 4WD

      UPDF BMP-2 and Casspir bring up the rear after the ambush.Somali troops in red berets are in the 4WD

      RE Pix 1. Can you try that from a Hilux? Dem go jus kpai di Note the mix of SNA DShK-armed Landcruiser gun-truck and UPDF Casspir? Good mix of mobility and protection. Most importantly, notice that the Landcruiser stayed out of it.

      If na Naija, una go put Hilux upfront mek dem wipe out di brave sojas. Enough of the nonsense abeg. Treat lives with care. Money ain’t the biggest consideration. The Yankees will never put their troops in those Hilux deathtraps

  8. Colonel says:

    Oga beegs, our soldiers are paying the price of government’s inabilty to provide them with assets needed to prosecute the war. Nigerians have a short memory. Everyone is talking down on the NA forgeting that these soldiers are performing miracles with the obvious deficiencies in the battle field. Maj.Gen Wahab alias Sankara(Chief of Admin), Maj.Gen Ilyasu Abbah(Military Sec), Maj.Gen T.C Ude(Director of Plans), GOC 1 Div, GOC 7 Div and other senior officers are battle tested officers who can hold their own anywhere in the world. What they need is modern weapons and an effective intelligence gathering system to this job!

  9. Martin Luther says:

    By Sahara Reporters

    The bombing and destruction of a small bridge linking Nigeria to Cameroon in Borno State today has caused mass destruction and confusion. The bombing occurred on the outskirts of Gamboru Ngala, site of a Monday Boko Haram attack that claimed the lives of over 300 village residents.

    At least 30 people were killed during the late Thursday afternoon bombing incident, sources tell SaharaReporters. The bridge links the immigration check points of both Cameroon and Nigeria.
    The bombing event took place on the same day of a mass burial in the town of Gamboru Ngala. It was there on Monday where a Boko Haram-led raid on the small village claimed the lives of over 300 residents, nearly ten per cent of the population.

    Sources tell SaharaReporters that 315 people of the 336 who died in the Monday attack were buried in a solemn ceremony led by civic and religious leaders.

    The Boko Haram has not claimed responsibility for this latest bombing attack, but residents of Gamboru Ngala told us that there is deep suspicion that the Islamist group is behind this latest attack in this vulnerable area.

    Since the Monday attacks many of the local Gamboru Ngala youth have joined an anti-Islamist vigilante force in the smoldering village. It was created and scores of young people are helping Nigerian military forces in the area.


  10. Martin Luther says:

    This girls thing has become very messy

    I hear of a new video today which I am too scared to talk about but my heart skipped many beats.

  11. Martin Luther says:

    We are at the tipping point

  12. russellinfinity says:

    With due respect to the grieving parents of these girls,all I can say at this point is expect the worst. Let’s be rational about this. What are the odds of finding, securing and extracting not 1,2,3…not even 5 but 200 girls alive and unharmed in an area that spans the land mass of some countries? The terrs must have separated them in small groups. Even for the US navy seals, It will take a miracle to pull this one off.

    As for the assitance offered by the west, it’s a smack in the face if you ask me. Let’s not forget in international diplomacy you don’t have friends but allies bound by common interests. This would have been avoided if the politicians since 1999 had an ounce of patriotism in them to retool the armed forces.

  13. beegeagle says:



    A team of experts from the United Kingdom have arrived in Nigeria to help rescue over 200 schoolgirls who were abducted on April 14 by members of the Boko Haram sect,in Chibok, Borno State, North east of Nigeria.

    The team, which will assist the State security agencies,will also advise the government on how to find and rescue the missing girls. President Goodluck Jonathan, had on Thursday, admitted that the whereabouts of the girls were unknown, following a video release by the Islamist sect, on Monday, where the sect leader, Abubakar Shekau confirmed that the group was responsible for the abduction and further threatened
    to sell the girls.

    The President thanked the United States of America, China and United Kingdom for offering their support in the search for the girls and the fight against the terrorists, who had staged several attacks in the northern region.

    A statement from the British Foreign Office stated that: “A team of UK experts, who will advise and support the Nigerian authorities in its response to the abduction of over 200 school girls, touched down in Abuja on Friday morning.”

    “The team will be working closely with U.S. counterparts and others to coordinate efforts and look at longer term solutions to the crisis,” the statement said. The demand for the release of the girls which has been a major theme worldwide has also been a recurring subject at the World Economic Forum on Africa holding in Abuja,Nigeria’s Federal Capital city.

    About 6,000 security agents were deployed to ensure the smooth running of the programme which plays host to world leaders from Africa and beyond.

  14. beegeagle says:

    Welcome. Look for the girls based on roles allotted to you and leave. It is no opportunity to run a parallel government in Nigeria. Ways of ending the crisis…NO externally-imposed solutions such as have failed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya. We note that they are coming to “advise and support NIGERIA” and to “work closely with the Americans”. So no skills transfer.

    Next, a pity party will be jumpstarted with tales of a humanitarian crisis so that spies and aid workers alike can swamp the Northeast with all kinds of self-serving endgames ensconced in just causes. Needless to say that any “non African” faces are likely to be fair game for a ransom-loving Boko Haram should any fail to use their discretion.

    Thank you and welcome. Support the effort by using your ISTAR assets and satellite surveillance and leave it at that. That is as far as you should go in the interest of our common humanity. Keep your security reform ideas. Last time that Obasanjo tried same with MPRI, we nearly lapsed into the old ways and a mutiny could easily have broken out. Leave Nigerians to sort themselves out. The Niger Delta peace process did not have your input, remember. Don’t engage with civil society. That is how activists get gingered up to do the insidious against their nation and government. Don’t get immersed in Nigeria’s internal affairs. The sun set on the empire here in 1960.

  15. jimmy says:
    When we lack faith in our own abilities when we run from every problem and prefer to spend money on nonsensical issues this is what we will have going cap in hand to go beg.
    We asked for more helios , more troops, more hard core procurement , it has not been heede now that oyinbo will tell us the same dammn thing” we go shake we go listen”, what is wrong with us ? smh.
    I hope this disgrace and embarrassment will wake us up. We honestly need to equip our forces to take on the current challenges, I brace for this weekend, hopefully nothing bad will happen.

  16. beegeagle says:

    Na so oooo…all the portents of post-conflict messianic claims are on the cards. Listen to ONE who should be an ally and imagine what their JJCs would do if you are tactless enough to let them in


    “The Nigerian military is a shadow of what it’s reputed to have once been,” said James Hall, a retired colonel and former British military attache to Nigeria. “They’ve fallen apart.”

    Unlike Nigerian peacekeepers in the 1990s, who were effective in curbing ethnic bloodshed in Sierra Leone and Liberia, those in Mali last year lacked the equipment and training needed to be of much use in the fight against al Qaeda-linked forces, sources involved in that mission say

    Hall said the Nigerian peacekeepers had to buy pick-up trucks and their armour kept breaking down. They spent a lot of time on base or manning checkpoints.


    Last paragraph has a ring of THE GUARDIAN (UK) as written by Afua Hirsch. In effect, a prophecy fulfilled. So they now realise how well we did in Sierra Leone and Liberia? I thought the British did it all in SLR where they fought 300 urchins called Westside Boys while we faced 30,000 guerrillas and renegade soldiers. Why the latter-day volte face?

    * WHAT does dwindling cooperation with Western forces mean? Is anyone feeling nostalgic about an imperial past? Russia and Sri Lanka have a more successful track record in contemporary COIN? Must it be the West who offer training support or advice?


    dwindling cooperation with Western forces has damaged Nigeria’s
    armed services


    WHY do our military bases have to be thrown open as a prelude to a magical turnaround? Is it bilateral training or espionage?


    such as giving Western trainers full access to its bases


    If they cannot train until they have seen the bases in their entirety, let them leave. Find Russian, Israeli and Chinese trainers instead. Such devious tricks..

  17. beegeagle says:

    No, Egbon Jimmy…leave them to impress themselves with pyrrhic pursuits of competing demands while the core of our nationhood goes to the dogs. After Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Niger Delta, Nigeria could not stand-up even two fully resourced COIN brigades as evidence of lessons learnt. EVERY DEVIOUS TRICK was invented to avoid appropriate provisioning for the military even when limping on budgets which attain no more than 30% completion rates?

    For how long did we assert that the PROVISION OF SECURITY remains the core business of government as enshrined in our constitution? Now the same Westerners who they were trying to impress as they juggled their so çalled competing demands are now gleefully sullying the reputation of our armed forces?

  18. doziex says:

    I knew this day of reckoning was coming, with the national embarrassment that it would entail.

    I tried to persuade folks here ,let’s have an academic debate on these issues before we blunder into this mess.

    I was alarmist, because the TONE WAS WARRANTED.

    We simply failed to learn from our past experiences, and were barreling down the highway to repeating it.

    Nigeria could have spent a fraction of what we are spending now, consulted with experts, albeit private ones, under contract, with an obligation to keep our business out of the Headlines.

    History would have recorded that NA crushed BH after some reforms, and the contract advisors would be in the background, as they should.

    Angola’s Fapla eventually got it’s act together, crushed unita, and killed savimbi. They intervened successfully in the DRC and congo Brazzaville, with their advisors in tow, but the victory was theirs alone. The prestige goes to Fapla and Dos Santos.

    Likewise, the UPDF is emerging as one of the leading forces in sub-Saharan Africa. They long ago embraced the concept of military advisers, private and otherwise

    However, we Nigerians refused to accept our true state of affairs, then do what is necessary to reverse it.

    Our peers, and even lesser endowed nations in Africa are solving these sought of problems with out calling the west for help, knowing that the western help comes with an unsavory baggage.

    We all know that the UK guardian and Afua Hirsh are going to have a field day at our expense.

    A dozen SU-25s, 2 dozen Mi-17s, a dozen hinds, a hundred MRAPs and a few COIN old hands, to discuss best practices with our commanders was sacrilegious to us.

    We could have afforded all that from our existing budgets.

    But now, the global outcry, which is justified, has forced us into this ignoble decision.

    The americans are already saying that our human rights tainted NA troops have to be vetted before their IRAQ and AFGHAN human rights violators can sit down around a map.

    Those on this blog, that equated a PMC contract that can be controlled and terminated to opening your doors to the UK and the US would live to rue that opinion.

    • peccavi says:

      Afghan and Iraq human rights violators?
      Oga Doziex, your points are well made but you must understand that there is more than one way to solve a problem and the constant harping on PMC’s is a trifle obsessive.
      Nigeria’s problem is not the source of expertise but the political will to understand such expertise is needed

      • doziex says:

        Yeah Oga peccavi, I know it’s obsessive, but that is because I am convinced it’s what the doctor had ordered for Nigeria.

        We are going to pay a heavy diplomatic price for years, for now crying for help from the west.
        You guys simply don’t realize how much of a blunder this is.

        SMH, you all will cry foul at the mention of PMCs, But are unperturbed that US,UK and France are waltzing in to give us charity.

        Wallahi !!

        Tomorrow, we will go and ask the same nations, to make room for us on the security council.

        It’s the charity, that actually makes us a stooge of the west, not some contract we sign with a private company.

        You guys got your anti west paranoia backwards.

  19. freeegulf says:

    oga doziex, whether we bring in PMCs or not, we still cannot sweep off the gigantic elephant in the room which is corruption and ambiguous policies, lack of will power.

    PMCs are not going to inject WILL POWER unto our veins. if we do not INTERNALIZE, then this current melee is just the beginning of disasters to come.

    like i mentioned in other threads, the more these miscreants unleash terror, the more serious the FG will get. for now it is still a containment policy. we had similar situation with ND crisis.
    this goes back to the civil war era. when ojukwu first declared the secession of the east, it was merely viewed by Lagos as a police action. all they had to do was arrest ojukwu and bring enugu under control. well, by the time they realized that he was serious, and not just that, he was actually taking with him the entire oil wealth (the country just started witnessing the big difference between oil in the south and groundnut in the north as a major earner) region with him (apart from the midwest) did gowon finally screamed; Total War. lets wait and see when these present crops of rulers will finally see the writing on the wall and realize that BH is an existential threat. this is the nigerian way off doing things. sad but true.

    human rights vetting and tainted troops indeed. the americans should first look themselves in the mirror before even uttering gibberish. @oga doziex, you re on point with that line

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