WE WON’T TAKE OVER THE NIGERIAN MILITARY, SAY UNITED STATES

THE NATION
By Yusuf Alli
Abuja
May 9th, 2014

The United States has said that its assistance to rescue the 276 abducted girls is not designed to take over Nigerian military and security agencies. It also said its intervention in the rescue operation will begin in a matter of days and not weeks.

Besides, said the United States, it is not on a unilateral mission because the Federal Government will continue to take the lead in the operation against Boko Haram. The US said it would set up an interdisciplinary team at its embassy in Abuja to coordinate the operations with the Federal Government.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle, met with the National Security Adviser Col.Sambo Dasuki on Wednesday to work out the modalities.

The spokesperson for the US Department of State, Ms Jen Psaki, made the clarifications at a briefing in Washington late Wednesday. She said Nigeria did not accept America’s offer in theory. The transcript of the briefing, which was released by the US Embassy in Nigeria, said in part:

“Well, I believe the Secretary, from his phone call, feels it wasn’t that they just accepted in theory. They did accept our assistance,and there will need to be a discussion about how to best coordinate moving forward, but that will be happening in the coming days.

“Yes. Our understanding is the agreement is they’ll be able to do the work that we’ve proposed.Naturally, as a part of that, there’s an assessment period of what the needs are and how we can best assist and the Nigerian Government continues to have the lead. It’s not, of course, a unilateral process we’re conveying here.

“I wouldn’t characterise it that way. What it is, is we are obviously, the Nigerian Government has the lead in this effort, and we’re not putting together a unilateral interagency or interdisciplinary team here. We are there to assist and fill in where they have needs. So we need to assess that and determine where they have needs and integrate ours as quickly as possible.

“Obviously, we have a range of capabilities. We’ve made an offer,of course, to cooperate, and we expect that will be – (cellphone rings) – oh, that’s quite a festive ring – (laughter) – that we expect that things will be proceeding in days, not weeks. But I don’t want to get into, from the podium, an assessment of where we think things stand on that front.

Psaki gave the details of United States’ assistance. She said: “I have a little bit of an update too, so maybe I’ll do this all in one. As we announced yesterday and the Secretary announced, we have offered assistance to the Nigerian Government. President Jonathan accepted our offer of assistance, and we’re moving swiftly to put in place a team at our Embassy in Abuja that can provide military, law enforcement, and information-sharing assistance in support of Nigeria’s efforts to find and free the girls.

“Our Embassy in Abuja is standing up an interdisciplinary team – this is what we specifically offered – to coordinate with the Nigerian Government. This morning, our ambassador met with the Nigerian national security advisor. “AFRICOM will send a team shortly to assess Nigerian needs. Our legal attache has been in touch with Nigerian police. “The FBI stands ready to send additional personnel to provide technical and investigatory assistance, including expertise on hostage negotiations, and USAID is working with partners on what we can do to be ready to provide victims assistance.

“So that all falls into the various categories I mentioned yesterday as a part of an interdisciplinary team that would have representatives from different government agencies.” The spokesperson said additional personnel will arrive in the country in the next few days.

She added: “I would categorise it as an interdisciplinary team to coordinate with Nigerian authorities. There are military – military is a part of that, and as I mentioned, in addition to, of course, AFRICOM sending a team, we have a broad range of resources within the United States Government we’ll offer. “Well, we expect additional personnel to be on the ground arriving in the next few days. Obviously, this is in the interests of the Nigerian Government to accept every aspect of our assistance. They conveyed that they were willing to do that yesterday, and it continues to be in their interest to be as cooperative as possible.

Asked of the US response to Britain’s plans to help Nigeria, she said: “I don’t have any other specifics. Obviously, we work very closely with the British in a range of these efforts. “And I’m certain that our interdisciplinary team that has a range of assets will be coordinating with those that they send, but some of that is still being worked out, given this was just announced yesterday.”

The State Department spokesperson debunked the allegation that the US had been slow in assisting Nigeria against Boko Haram. She said:” I’m not going to do a ranking, but I will tell you that obviously, the fact that we designated Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organisation last year and we’ve increased our efforts cooperating on counterterrorism in many parts of Northern Africa, not just Nigeria, tells you what you need to know about our level of concern and our focus on Boko Haram.

“Well, I think it’s important to note that we have been providing a range of assistance before the announcement yesterday. So that was specifically an interdisciplinary team related to this horrific kidnapping of the young girls in Nigeria. “But to date, our counterterrorism assistance to Nigeria because of threats like Boko Haram has focused on information sharing and improving Nigeria’s forensics and investigative capacity.

“We’ve been working with them to strengthen their criminal justice system, increase confidence in the government by supporting its efforts to hold those responsible for violence accountable. “We’ve provided approximately $3 million just last year in law enforcement assistance to Nigeria to help boost up their capacity. “So we have been concerned and have provided a range of assistance, and been working closely on counterterrorism efforts long before yesterday. That was just a specific announcement as it related to these recent tragic events.”

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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42 Responses to WE WON’T TAKE OVER THE NIGERIAN MILITARY, SAY UNITED STATES

  1. rka says:

    I don’t know how accurate the report below is;
    BREAKING: US Special Forces Locate Abducted Girls In Sambisa Forest- Details

    http://www.osundefender.org/?p=164009

    • Ola says:

      Unfortunately, it’s all lies. People have even posted pictures of US marines taken in Afghanistan and Iraq and labelled it as pictures of US marines in Nigeria. I wonder what people benefit form sensational stories that are mere fabrications.

      • rka says:

        @Ola, nothing surprises me these days. There is clearly a concerted effort to discredit the Nigerian Military and I don’t know for certain what their objectives are.

    • Are James says:

      This is a false report. Nigerian defence journalists are the worst bunch of human beings i have seen.

  2. rka says:

    Looks like our 650 man Ranger SF team is about to intensify their training.

    http://www.navytimes.com/article/20140509/NEWS08/305090076/U-S-sending-team-combat-trainers-Nigeria

  3. Henry says:

    There’s been a lot of mis-information in the press lately. Even reputable news sources like vanguardngr.com have reported a lot of misinformation using the same french photos from CAR.

    This is what happens when the nation runs an abysmal P.R system. Probably our government institutions would now learn how to better manage information.

    Any, I doubt the above.

  4. Spirit says:

    Ever since I heard of the offer of help from the US, Britain, China etc, my emotion have been kind of bittersweet.

    Bitter because it is a great shame that my country, with the abundance of human and natural resources and its achievement in military operations have been brought to her kneels by a group of jihadist. It is absurd that with all the great minds both in the civil and in military spheres, Boko Haram, NO, (not Boko Haram) OUR LEADERS HAVE TURNED US TO A LAUGHING STOCK IN THE FACE OF THE WHOLE WORLD. We have been shamed and ridiculed by the happenings of the past 2 months. Now Aljazerah, BBC and Apih will all have a field day rubbing it in. Now we have invited the whole world into our home. We have to open our pot of soup and count the pieces of meat in it. Well, like GEJ said, “AMERICA WOULD HAVE KNOW ANYWAY”

    It is also sweet as this might (please note that I said MIGHT) be a turning point in this war if (and only IF) the ‘caterpillars and worms ‘ that ‘ate’ this great nation to her kneels will allow our ‘good samaritans’ to work. At least, I have a little hope that things might turn around because of this one-abduction-too many.

    I will not be surprised if 70% of the $1 Billion ends up in Swizz bank account.

    As for the girls, everybody knows that BH is a blood-thirsty and blood-letting sect. EVEN AL QAEDA DOESNT DECIMATE AN ENTIRE VILLAGE KILLING OFF BOTH CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS ALIKE! Boko Haram is a group of insane fanatics. This means that at the sight/sound of any rescue operation, the girls will be killed instantly (remember the ill-fated British SAS rescue stunt in 2012). I am also of the opinion that it is extremely unlikely that with all these global outcry and the much publicised rescue mission, BH would have scattered the girls so effectively that hardly will three of them be within a 1 km radius of each other.

    Nevertheless, we must still try.

    May God bless Nigeria, May God bless everyone that prays/work for the peace of Nigeria.

    • doziex says:

      Great stuff, @Spirit.

      But, you guys must remember, that I advocated a 3rd way ad nauseam.

      We would have gotten the same advice, the same training, the same expert/ advanced mentorship, for a contracted fee.
      We could have made the terms of the contract as private as we wanted.

      In other words, we did not have to approach a single nation state for the much needed help.
      We however, had to 1st admit that what we were doing was NOT solving our problem.
      That our problem, BH to be exact, was spiraling out of our control.

      SO EXPERT HELP WAS INEVITABLE.

      But we are not the 1st, or only nation in this world that has required help.

      Even the mighty US was not too proud to turn to isreali and south African experts to solve the IED problem they encountered earlier on in Iraq.

      I also gave the example, of the indian air force. After they adopted the SU-30MKI, 50 isreali pilots were contracted, to train the already capable indian pilots on the strategic use of such a heavy strike fighter. See, the isrealis have long operated a comparable fighter, the F-15I strike eagle.
      The contract provided IAF valuable advice and mentorship. Subsequently, the IAF have since shocked the USAF with their capabilities in their jointly held CORE wargames.

      IT IS THE WAY THESE THINGS ARE DONE.

      Nobody just throws open their doors to other national interests anymore.

      On the continent, angola, Uganda, Cameroun, have signed PMC contracts to improve their capabilities.
      Many, have even gone further than mentoring and advise.

      Amisom in Somalia, has shown how facilitation of equipment, and PMC advise/ training can be a winning combination.
      Amisom is performing better than many UN PKOs, with troops from more advanced none African armies.

      I know I sound to some, like a broken record.

      Too Bad, the dye is now cast.

      We must now discuss how we can make the most out of the current situation.

      We must be vigilant against exploitation, as well as grateful for the help we are receiving.

      NA must get the best training possible and even equipment out of this deal.

      Our generals, shouldn’t try and be un co operative, out of nationalism, the time for that has past. That boat has sailed.

      The US, the UK and france, with the recent experiences of Iraq, Afghanistan and mali, might actually be very understanding of the difficulties NA has faced in containing BH.
      Their home press or media organizations are however independent of this process, and they are going to let us have it.
      NA troops on the ground, have to separate the two.

      We should avoid the repeat of the general Malu situation, that caused President OBJ to fire him.
      5 US trained ranger battalions, 1 billion USD, if well spent, and this extremely embarrassing kidnapping episode, would hopefully begin the thorough change needed in the Nigerian armed forces.

      I guess this is a lesson to madam Okonjo, our security woes has upstaged the world economic forum that she is hosting.

      We are reaping the whirlwind, for not investing ADEQUATELY in security.

      May God bless Nigeria.

      • freeegulf says:

        oga doziex, you still don’t get it do you? abeg leave mata. first ask yourself, who goes to others to beg for answers?

        you still do not understand this country. why did it take the FG this long to come out with anything serious? if it wasn’t for AJ, BBC, CNN, and Twitter that threw the spotlight on this abduction do you really think the Ogas at the top really care? its the global spotlight and the embarrassment that came with it that brought our govt up half asleep.

        those that go to others (including PMCs) for answers are those that are actually serious in resolving their problems. do you honestly think we Nigerians are serious enough. i have said it here times without number, we are currently pursuing a containment policy. not until boko yeye hits us where it really hurts. not just murdering innocent civilians, no, but actually holding the govt by the throat ala ND militants some few years back, will we finally see a serious commitment on the part of the FG to annihilate this vermin.

        you don’t need PMCs to tell you that helicopters are very necessary in COIN warfare. you don’t need PMCs to airlift troops for vertical insertions in a troubled spot. PMC was not what was needed when the distress call came in concerning the chibok BH attack.
        we are still getting the basics wrong. it has nothing to do with PMCs or Napoleonic art of war strategies. NO. WE HAVE TO TAKE THE WAR SERIOUS FIRST. WITHOUT WILLPOWER, NO PMC can help us.

        our army is not made up of retards, no. they are intelligent peeps but without the WILL, both from the military and the political class, even the god of war himself cannot save us.

        Helicopters, IFVs, MRAPs, C4ISR, if we cant get this right, we might as well stay in the queue for re-colonization.

        for those waiting for the blissful satisfaction of PMCs, we already deal with israeli contractors, pakistani SSG, indian army unconventional war centre, and many more. but without the seriousness and necessary internalization, we would continue to bumble around, and no PMC in the world will keep our borders safe.

      • doziex says:

        Oga freeegulf,

        Will power or no will power. Corruption or no corruption. You will find out that after the US sets up and equips this Ranger regiment in the NA, it would become our most effective fighting force.
        The problem is what price we are going to have to pay for that charitable deed.

        NA may be top heavy with intelligent graduates, but where combat is concerned, evidence shows that NA has a lot to learn from others.

        But I see that you simply fail to see the strategic difference in hiring a PMC, and inviting US and UK, not for military exercises, but to come and rescue our dumb asses from our incompetence.

  5. die9myte says:

    US Sending Team of Combat Trainers to Nigeria
    http://mobile.defensenews.com/article/305090021

    • Are James says:

      The problem with the NA is not raw skills. The work we need to do is in the TRADOC domain.
      Creed, military philosophy, codes of behaviour, courage under fire, valour, honesty, integrity, nationalism.

      • asorockweb says:

        Funny.

        That’s exactly the kind of “training” the US gave to Malian troops. A year later, they lost half their country to extremists.

  6. Are James says:

    lol

  7. peccavi says:

    You are incorrect Oga Asorockweb, the training the Us gave was in low level skills and tactics not indepth root level doctrine and strategy

    • asorockweb says:

      Interesting.

      Just after the French intervention, a US officer from AFRICOM was saying on TV that maybe the US trainers should have concentrated more on combat training, instead of doctrine.

      The opposite of what you are saying.

      • Are James says:

        Years ago, wasn’t doctrine a big thing in the NA?.Was that not why RSMs were so powerful & respected and we even then we had a separate command for it.
        Maybe at the end of the day every force evolves its own culture and ways of instilling it up and down the ranks whether there is foreign help or not.

        The Yankee way:
        http://www.tradoc.army.mil/

      • asorockweb says:

        I not against Doctrine.

        It is required.

        I only gave a real life example about imported “magic.”

      • peccavi says:

        The US ran basic training camps for Malian soldiers, not in depth tactics courses. Defining doctrine is based on so many different concepts such as political intent, budget, geography, capability etc.
        The US effort as essentially just an assembly line

      • Eeben says:

        Now that is a load of BS, asorockwab. I am astonished that such a feeble excuse can be made and accepted by our governments. Doctrine is that fine line that bridges strategy, operational design and tactics. It tells us how we can do things but not what to do. So, do they want us to believe that all of the training time was spent teaching troops doctrine. Besides, whose doctrine were they taught?? What rubbish.
        Soldiers are taught how to fight and win battles. They are NOT taught doctrine although doctrine forms a small part of their training – mostly through SOPs..
        But then again, we have come across many of these “trained” troops and we never cease to be amazed at how poorly trained they are. Even basic matters such as the zeroing of rifles has never been done.
        No wonder untrained, ill-equipped rebel or threat networks are able to disrupt entire African armies. But, it is NOT the fault of the soldiers but rather those who allowed them to receive such poor training. Soldiers do what they are trained to do – they fight and do not do “doctrine”.
        Rgds,
        Eeben

  8. Are James says:

    @Beegeagle
    My comments are getting lost in cyberspace. The bits and bytes are not getting to where they should.

  9. Are James says:

    *wordpress issues*

  10. beegeagle says:

    Okay, gimme precise details backstage

    beegeaglesblog@ovi.com

    I do not see any pending comments from you at this end. Just approved five new commenters and have been there for nearly an hour now.

  11. Augustine says:

    I don’t blame our enemies or those mocking Nigeria, I blame the parents and school principal that put 200 girls on a plate for Boko Haram to eat. Which one is more important, WAEC exam or human lives? This our thinking deficiency is part of what makes oyinbo man to insult us.

    • Are James says:

      Supported

    • doziex says:

      Oga Augustine,
      It is also the Shocking lack of equipment by the armed forces of an oil rich country that we find embarrassing , now we are under the spot light.

      If our media show cased to the world a plethora of NA hard ware, and properly kitted troops, If we could show case a legitimate representation of functional military might, then the narrative wouldn’t be as embarrassing.

      After all, Algeria is armed to the teeth, and still has to deal with terrorists, the US and the west with all their might, had challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      But which one be strike fighters ? we no get, Troop ferrying helicopters ? ehm, we got for in Darfur, and we have 7 mi-24s, far, far away from effective use.

      MRAPs ? we no get. No wonder the roads in maidugri are ambush prone. If we are not patrolling it, then BH is.
      That is why they are roaming around unchecked in their convoy of technical, and captured NA APCs.

      So, our problem is not just the kidnapping of the school girls, our problem is that a nation with our wherewithal, should be able to showcase more assets to deal with the situation.
      And under the spot light, our inexcusable incompetence is exposed.

      • Are James says:

        On MRAPs, I would like to take back back my earlier comments months ago arguing against buying surplus US IFV stocks A-Stan. For the MRAPs specifically and In the light of the new offers of help from the US, I think we should go for a large number of the 13000 pieces of vehicles available. Their typical wet sleeved diesel engines should not be a problem for NA engineers to maintain.The vehicles are currently headed for the scrap yard. Let us save uncle sam the $2000 they are going to spend to destroy each $1million vehicle. They will thank us for saving the money and helping the environment.

        http://money.msn.com/top-stocks/post–pentagon-giving-away-13000-armored-trucks

  12. Eeben says:

    I was forced to go through my notes and discovered that on the 18 June 2012 we submitted a written proposal to the FGN on how to defeat BH.
    It set out the formation, training and equipping of a dedicated Special Operations Group (SOG) to take the fight to the enemy, wherever he may be. We had done this before with great success and believed that it would smooth the path for the people of Nigeria whilst simultaneously giving the NA a foundational concept and template for future operations.
    We also listed our concerns at the growing BH threat, the Troika methodology, identifying and locating the Trinity of Gravity of BH along with operational concepts. Unfortunately, the effort was in vain and the concept ignored.
    Having said all of that, I wonder why the so-called foreign “training” the NA has received to date has not been successful? Could it be that – as a serving foreign officer wrote on my blog some time ago – they purposely train African soldiers badly in case they have to fight them one day?
    Forgive my cynicism but I have seen too many agendas hidden behind poor training. As long as we keep looking to the outside, any successes we have will result in hollow victories and continue to prove our inability to resolve our own problems.
    As an African, albeit a white one, I certainly do not wish to see countries on our continent turned into another Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and so on. We already witness the effects of strategic blunders in Libya and how that has impacted on regional security.
    Sadly, our continent continues to suffer from “battered woman syndrome” along with “Stockholm syndrome”. Unless we have the courage to stand up for ourselves, do things for ourselves and fight our own battles, we will continue to slip deeper into the abyss.
    When that happens, we only have ourselves to blame…
    Rgds,
    Eeben

  13. freeegulf says:

    doctrine o, strategy o, tactics, forget all this, in the end, if the country is not ready to tackle terrorism wholesale, all these fine words are just watershed bubbles.

    we have TRADOC in minna, we have JAJI, we have a brilliant general staff. in fact, send all our officers to Israel for more Counter terrorist training and COIN warfare, our head is still not ready for elimination of boko yeye. those miscreants need to match forward and threaten the govt PROPERLY, before all this fine words will turn into real results.

    and lest i forget, do not underestimate our political class and their penchant for rabble rousing; sharia, religion, money and tribalism

    • Nnamdi says:

      ^^^

      “Naysayer” :p

    • Are James says:

      We also need generals who stay long enough at duty posts to achieve something.
      GEJ dabaru-ed the military high command like three times (with good intentions) but a lot of downstream chess pieces had to move suddenly with each reorganization.
      The import of all these was that battalion, brigade and divisional commands suddenly landed on the laps of capable but utterly unprepared officers who needed some time to bring on their own methods and also competitively source war materiel to execute them, …..while all these was going on, highly mobile barbarian Boko Haram hordes were running amok on civilians in towns and villages.

    • doziex says:

      Oga freeegulf,

      If I remember correctly, they were never really ready to take the war to MEND either.

      Okay, we had the one victory in camp 5, claimed to have killed tompolo a hundred times, a man who seems to have morphed into Nigeria’s 1st PMC.
      MEND and the other niger delta rebel outfits, were never really defeated.

      They have been bribed into surrender. They gave up their arsenal of their own volition.

      So anybody waiting for our authorities to get shamed, or scared into the right action, is taking too much of a gamble.

      They are like the folks that played the violin, while the titanic sank.

      Even under Abacha or IBB, NA was involved in countless set backs, and the political will to rearm never emerged.
      we were exposed in the free town invasion, NA lost thousands of lives, but yet a military regime running a command oil economy, could not be persuaded to do the necessary.

      Charles Taylor, Sam Bockarie, Blaise Campaore, Paul Biya, etc have all defied Nigeria and NA publicly, but our establishment barely took note.

      The only glimpse of hope that I see, is president GEJ’s billion dollar war chest.

      This blog owes in to the grunts in NA that we claim to care about, to CLOSELY MONITOR AND REPORT HOW THAT MONEY IS SPENT.

  14. freeegulf says:

    oga dodiex, your assertions about the ND crisis are not true. MEND where beginning to feel the pressure when president yar adua announced Amnesty. there was real concrete changes in ’08 to ’09.

    the navy went from having a few handy patrol boats to over a hundred in less than 3 years. fine naval minds tried to establish a boat section in the late 70s with OPVs, IPCs, and surveillance aircraft to form the backbone of this command, but trust naija, we did not take it serious.
    fast forward to 2009, a third of our crude oil output has been cut off by the militants, oil companies where complaining, the FG was getting less money. only then did the navy brought out from the shelves this well researched plan and started revamping their small boat section.
    army amphibious units also started receiving more boats (these same boats where very much needed but absent during NA operations in bakkassi peninsula) and the federal govt contracted an Israeli firm to train NA troops in commando operations in ambhibious environment. marine firms in singapore, malaysia and israel who couldn’t pin point Nigeria or the gulf of guinea in a map suddenly turned huge suppliers of defence hardware.

    as for the Gen Sani Abacha regime, we did not suffer any setback militarily, with the exception of major jonny korama coup in late may 97 (a lot of activities surrounding that coup re still a bit fogged) and the way the brigadier handled the attempted ops to kick out the junta a week later in june.

    please do not compare gen abacha with the likes of IBB and abdusalam. he took security far more serious than those two. authority under him meant a whole lot. too much politics with IBB, pure disaster.

    your so called defiant blaise campore that was pleading with abacha when Nigeria learnt of the planned attack on nigeria via burkina faso by some dissident forces.
    abacha did not have any problem with taylor, in fact he made taylor president.
    cameroun was put in check. the french did everything (at least openly) to de-escalate the crisis in 94. they refused to deploy their troops when biya categorically asked for french intervention as NA’ HQ ordered the deployment of troops to the peninsula.

    when benin republic decided to harbour dissidents, we didn’t even bother to mobilize troops. abacha simply supported the opposition that was more pro Nigerian and they won the elections.
    we also had the president of guinea-bissua openly opposing Nigeria’s involvement in LBR and SRL. well, he soon had rebels in his country too. his first port of call was Abuja. he begged gen abacha to send nigerian troops to his aide. in fact, even after the french took overall charge of peace keeping in guinea-bissau with their little colonies sending troops to bissau, vierra was still adamant that there should be a NIGCON as part of the peace keeping forces. and believe me, had there been a NIGCON, he, vieira wouldn’t have lost power.

    i m not trying to paint gen sani abacha as a saint. he was no saint. but our useless garrulous media with their open war against the man, turned him in the eyes of Nigerians into a monster. he was neither a saint nor a monster. 5 years and we did not have a single kano or kaduna riot with mass killings of christians or ibos. he had security on lockdown. same cannot be said of those that preceded and succeeded him.

    @ oga doziex, please go easy on your NA bashing. yes, things are far from rosy, but please stop rubbishing the last sane institution of this headless country.

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