A MIX-UP OVER U.S. MILITARY AID TO NIGERIA TO HUNT BOKO HARAM

Colonel(rtd) Sambo Dasuki, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser

ROLL CALL
By Tim Starks
June 9, 2014

When House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce recently suggested waiving a human rights law to provide more military aid to Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram, he quoted a Defense Department official as being critical of its requirements.

But last week,a Pentagon spokesman, in response to a request from CQ Roll Call,said the official wasn’t criticizing the law at all — in fact, she was criticizing the human rights abuses that made it more difficult to find Nigerian military units fit for U.S. assistance. The California Republican is standing by his desire to waive the law, however, with a spokesman citing criticism of the law by Defense Department officials broadly.

The law in question is known colloquially as the Leahy Law, after its author, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt. It prevents U.S. aid to military units that are implicated in gross human rights abuses, like rape or torture. It has been in the spotlight more than usual since Boko Haram’s kidnapping of approximately 300 schoolgirls.

Speaking at a May 21 hearing of his committee, Royce said “the Leahy amendment is what prohibits our active cooperation in the steps that I’ve just enumerated here, you know, in the tracking on the ground and being able to plan that attack on the ground.”

Referencing remarks by Alice Friend, at the time the Pentagon’s principal director for Africa, Royce added, “I mean, we had the testimony by the Defense Department last week in the Senate that this vetting is ‘a persistent and very troubling limitation on our ability to provide assistance’ – they’re talking about the Leahy provision here – ‘particularly training assistance that the Nigerians so badly need,’ unquote. So this is a problem.”

Thus, he said, the Obama administration should use its power to wave the law in an emergency. A Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Myles B. Caggins III, said Friend was not calling the law itself the limitation on assistance, though. “Ms. Friend was referring to the human rights record of Nigeria’s security forces, which has been a challenge to providing assistance, as she referenced earlier in her testimony,” Caggins said.

A spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Committee said the clarification didn’t change Royce’s view. “The Committee has consistently heard from Defense Department officials that certain aspects of the law and its implementation hinder our security engagements in Africa, including Nigeria and Boko Haram,” the spokesman said in an e-mailed statement.

“The Chairman’s focus is pushing the Administration to utilize the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ waiver for DOD assistance to help rescue these kidnapped schoolgirls. Boko Haram will continue its brutality on the communities in northern Nigeria if they aren’t faced with a legitimate challenge – and it’s clear that Nigerian’s security forces alone aren’t up for the job.”

The statement did not name the Defense officials. At the May 21 hearing, another Pentagon official, Amanda Dory — deputy assistant secretary of defense for African affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense — deferred to a State Department colleague when asked
by Royce about the Leahy Law’s waiver provision. Both officials, as well as Friend, testified that the United States still had been able to find Nigerian military units to work with that were vetted via the Leahy Law.

A replacement for Friend as the Pentagon’s Africa director has not yet been announced, Caggins said.Friend departed the post May 30.

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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70 Responses to A MIX-UP OVER U.S. MILITARY AID TO NIGERIA TO HUNT BOKO HARAM

  1. rka says:

    It is really sad that the US can brand Nigerian Security Forces as Human Rights abusers without any firm evidence.

    It is a pity their own defence companies don’t ban the supply of military equipment to US Forces because of their Human Rights abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Also, just ignore what has been happening in Egypt and continue to supply them with arms even though there have been abuses carried out by both sides.

    The hypocrisy is just rank.

  2. ocelot2006 says:

    Why do we waste our precious time with the Americans? Get the much needed weapons from the Isrealis, Russians, and Chinese for pete’s sake!

    • Are James says:

      Sir, we are not even getting enough of Russian, Chinese, Israeli or any other weapons for that matter, that is just the point.
      This people are generally not spending enough on defence because of complete crass ignorance. We have full blown military illiteracy going on in government. Yet you won’t believe the sophistication of home grown global financing arrangements being used to fund some petroleum plants, fertilizer plants and PPP infrastructural projects. Why can’t we be that sophisticated in finding solutions to our defence sector. The MOF released a little less than $1bn for months to defence and thought she had done something fantastic. How does that even scratch the surface of the problem when you probably have two major military operations ongoing and internal security demands alone will take three quarters of the expenditure.

  3. beegeagle says:

    Gentlemen, I posted this to give the headsup to those of our compatriots still keen on keeping the military grounded until we can get Abrams M1A1 tanks, Apache attack helos and F16 fighter jets..some even imagine the F22 Raptor for Nigeria. Dreams are free. Such high-minded and delusional thoughts? Now, welcome to the real world outside video games of “command and conquer”

    I mean, we cannot even get ordinary training support yet we are dreaming the unattainable? Lol…mek una tok anoda tin abeg.

  4. COLONEL NGR says:

    Oga beegs…..we have said this times without number, alternative sources of necessary weapons is what we need now. Waiting for the US is like saying, the eagle and pick as many chicks as she wants till an adult provides shelter for the hen. I ask, how long are we gonna keep waiting for the US?

  5. igbi says:

    The USA are some very tricky allies. That is if we can still call them that. Perhaps we should get aligned now. Indeed we gave them preference and they took us for granted.

  6. peccavi says:

    I think the first order of business is making sure our forces comply with the law and behave as professionals.
    Anyone who believes Nigerian forces do not act outside the scope of the law is either deluded or has never come across them before. It is not unpatriotic to highlight some of the negative behaviour of our police and military.
    Once we have our house in order then we can worry about idiots like Ms Friend and her ilk who can make very stupid statements with impunity and without so much as a whimper from our government.
    But to me the priority is preventing excesses by the police and military. All of these things diminish their efforts and diminish them as soldiers and human beings.

    As per dealing with the Us, well as I have always said, those that keep writing lists of people that love us and hate us are deluding themselves. You will get what you want if you want it. I seriously struggle fo what it is we want from the US we cannot buy just about anywhere, thus I have no idea what the issue is.
    If we want equipment it can be bought on th open market, if we need skills we can develop them ourselves or again buy them.

    Again this is all fluff, noise and distraction

    • CHYDE says:

      @ Peccavi, the US forces are not known for human rights abuses, are they? Your answer is as good as mine.

      • peccavi says:

        @ Chyde
        No, they are not.
        And when they are accused, they are put through a process of military justice.
        One can argue whether their rules of engagement are so lax that they permit things that could be considered violations of the laws of armed conflict or that their military justice system is skewed towards protecting the military but the important things are
        1) Soldiers are trained and indoctrinated to respect human rights and follow the laws of armed conflict
        2) there are systems in place both military and civil to punish transgressors
        3) the system is generally impartial and open to scrutiny.
        4) allegations of abuse are rare.

        As I said if you genuinely wish to argue that Nigerian forces do not commit abuses or that these abuses are justified because US soldiers commit crimes then you are possibly misunderstanding the issue

      • CHYDE says:

        My point is, fingers shouldn’t be pointed. Now i haven’t said the Nigerian military doesn’t have it’s flaws ( yes they do) but one shouldn’t continue to point fingers when their hands aren’t clean, do you remember the Guantanamo bay incidents and how it came to lime light, It was said that a certain world leader turned a blind eye to acts of torture, even spying/tapping another persons phone is a gross HR ABUSE ( VIOLATION). You can guess what happens to the whistleblowers.

  7. igbi says:

    does this diminish britsh soldiers as soldiers and human beings ?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27397695

  8. peccavi says:

    In other words as usual you have no idea what you are on about.
    I’m explaining this more for the benefit of others to be honest so in a way thanks for giving me a jumping off point.
    War crimes, violations of laws, abusing or harmoing civilians or non combatants diminsh anyone who puts on a uniform or endeavours to defend his country as a human being and a soldier, irrespective of where they come from or who their victims are. Trying desperately to find examples of war crimes commited by different countries os not just stupid but actually proves my point.
    No soldier should be proud of using his weapon against people who cannot fight back.
    If people are too stupid to understand that basic fundamental principle then I can only thank God that most of those type of people will never be soldiers so it is not really something to worry about.

    Odi, Zaki Biam, Asaba, all happened in Nigeria. We all watched the videps of the execution of the Boko Haram suspects and leader. We are all now living with the consequences. No one including myself enjoys hearing foreigners bad mouth our country but then the priority should be to remove the reasons they use not whine about them.

    Abeg I no fit shout

    • asorockweb says:

      Oga Peccavi,

      ‘Human Rights Abuses’ have become a tool of foreign policy, so I will put it in a more traditional, old school way – ALL human beings should respect the dignity and the sanctity of all other human beings.

      Regarding US troops you made an interesting observation :

      “Allegations of abuses are rare”

      The truth is, allegations of abuses are not rare.
      If one does a survey of pro-Taliban areas of Afghanistan or Pakistan, one would uncover allegations against NATO or US forces, probably hundreds of allegations. But these allegations don’t come into the public domain.

      Allegations coming into the public sphere boils down to two factors:
      1) The NGOs
      2)The Press

      At the beginning of the “war on terror”, HRW tried to be strident about US human rights abuses, but the US public was not having it and threatened to cut off donations.

      The US press will never want to be accused of being anti-American, so they are not strident either in terms of the human rights of US occupied populations.

      You also made another interesting observation:
      “One can argue whether their rules of engagement are so lax …”

      A few months ago, a US soldier was honour by president Obama for bravery.
      CNN then did a documentary on the incident that lead to the award – basically, their outpost was attacked and he was instrumental in saving the lives of fellow soldiers.

      In the documentary, CNN mentioned that B1 bombers took out the nearby village with 2000lb bombs because “it must have become a Taliban camp by now.”

      And that was all that CNN said about the village.

      I am not sure the above incident would make the list of US Human Rights abuses.

      • peccavi says:

        So in other words you are agreeing with me

      • asorockweb says:

        Haha. If that makes you happy.

        Seriously, what is important is this:

        The NA should do all it can, keeping in mind that this is a war situation, to respect the dignity of fellow Nigerians. And this should be done, not because of the US or the NGOs, but for the dignity of the NA and Nigeria.

        But as we have seen in many wars that have come before, the tougher the fight, the less regard there is for the life and dignity of humans.

  9. peccavi says:

    @Oga Are James: good to see at least someone here understands the games that are being played

    • ozed says:

      In my un-informed view, unsavory incidents happen once people start popping live ammo.
      What determines how high minded any side can be is simply driven by the intensity of the combat.
      If you fight wars where battle starts by 9am, breaks for tea by 11am and resumes by noon after siesta, finally shutting down for the day by 5pm for ice cream, then you can legislate what troops on the firing line are allowed to do e.g. Grenada, Panama, first gulf war, early stages of gulf war 2 etc.
      However, when the intensity is higher than expected and troops are really taking casualties and are close to their wits end, human rights tend to end. Soldiers who capture a village after days of combat with an enemy that does not wear uniforms, and after taking close to 40% casualties are unlikely to spare any adult male found in that village, i dont care what army is under consideration and examples abound across the various countries Vietnam, Iraq post the conventional war, Russians in Afghanistan and Chechnya etc.

      You may argue that the Americans have not had such incidents since Vietnam, and i would counter by saying the USA has not had any conflict that really exerted them since that war.

      However, you are right that as a more developed society, they probably have more high minded people who genuinely try to hold the Army accountable for any incidents when ever they occur. In that regard i would say that i agree with you that we should continue to push for such levels of accountability. However, in the meantime we must not be pushed around for incidents for which we do not hold a monopoly.

      • Are James says:

        Realistic exposition of what really happens in a real war. High mindedness ends when your platoon buddies take bullets and are quivering on the ground, pouring out blood out of wounds and lungs as they struggle to hold on to life. When you do win that battle, you need to be Jesus himself not to vent on the POWs or civilians you suspect have assisted the enemy. Very strong soldiers have been known to conform and hold it together throughout a war only to vent on families and civil society when they get back home. PTSD is a major epidemic in the US. So the reinforced conclusion is that every army is ultimately guilty of war crimes, only argument is to what degree and at what frequency.

  10. jimmy says:

    I want to believe with the retirement / Push aside of Ms Friend ( ironic) isn’t it that the next pentagon spokesperson will be in tandem with the realistic views of Mr Royce. While in the Yoruba language what is happening to Nigeria is called “a fo wa fa” ( TRANSLATION YOU (” THE MILITARY) used their own hands to start this mess” it does not mean that this should go on.
    The US and Nigeria need at some point need to come to some basic understanding of cooperation. Nigeria needs help not every day public humiliation in the western press by High minded officials who have never ever visited Nigeria. This help is going to be classified for very obvious reasons and I do not mean silly toys like Humvees draw your conclusions.
    The hierarchy that consists of the Nigerian Military needs to honestly take a critical look in the mirror as to why they have not succeeded in capturing , and disposing of the entire core leadership of the bh, is it procurement? is it tactics, is it the officers involved ? is it the political class ( who ironically is now under the most threat from bh) and what are they going to do behind the scenes to rectify the situation.
    The US also needs some help from Nigeria they cannot help Nigeria if every question becomes a false sense of patriotism and ” need to know basis”. Last time I checked those girls still have not been found.
    LASTLY One thing the miltary cannot keep doing honestly is they cannot keep rotating the GOC of the 7th division appoint someone who is probably regarded as the best one star or two star general in coin ops by his peers in the NA and then surround him/her with the best minds in intel and ops and let him/ her get on with the job. This deployment and redeployment of officers does not make the situation any better.

  11. toondey says:

    @Are James buying or taking weapons from US will not do us any good in the long run. Just wait till you have a 0.1 degree shift in policy/interest with then the equipments become unserviceable.
    I believe we should quit being lazy and reorganise our training and method of operation ourselves, this fight with boko haram has bn on for a while and I believe we should have gotten enough experience on what changes to make, was our experience in sierria leone a waste of time and lives?. I believe we have the same substance in our skulls with this arrogant and insultive americans. They learnt from their experience and mistakes let us start with what we learnt from ours.
    Their are a pletora of sources for equipments if we are serious with our procurement rather than the US and britain who won’t sell or dash us anything serious. We need to stop being dragged trough mud.
    Ps this includes the attitude of our armed services to civilians.

  12. toondey says:

    The Nigerian government’s response to all this wreaks of lack of self worth and preservation, especially after placing themselves in a weak position. I believe its time we start to seriously engage willing partners as equals not the master slave relationship of the west. There are countries we can have joint productions with. Examples of developing economies with military JV’s inlude pakistan/china, South africa/brazil. Their products are serious tide changing armanents.

  13. peccavi says:

    Oga asorockweb: na the poitn I dey try make. Our boys need to behave not because of the US, HRW or ICC but because its the right thing to do.
    Oga ozed: members of the US have committed acts that can easily be considered war crimes, in all those conflicts listed. Hence my comment about rules of engagement. In Gulf War 1 one of the commanders had Iraqis bured alive in their trenches rather than risk the lives of his men. US rules of engagement allow them to fire if they perceive any form of danger. As I have said many times, do not get sucked in by what you see on TV, war crimes occur in every army and in every conflict. But Israel using White phosphorous does not justify Assad using chemical weapons, the US having Guantanamo doesn’t give Russia the right to disappear people in Chechenya and so on.

    What we are seeing hear are diplomatic ‘shaping’ ops.
    The US government is simply prepring the ground for what will come next. I beleive it will be greater intelligence sharing, training and possibly equipment transfer.
    However elections are due in the US this year and has already been seen, Republicans have already tried to use Boko Haram to attack Hilary Clinton the perceived favourite for the 2016 election.
    I believe that there will be a gradual drip drip of stories some critical some not so critical, essentially to make sure that all the negatives that can be said about Nigeria are already out in the open and more importantly said by the government rather than opposition.
    I believe there will be movement just before the Midterm elections in November, as President Obama cannot be sure of controlling Congress. If he gets a majority he is fine, if like now the Republicans have the majority they will most likely tie things up just to piss him off.

    So by being negative about Nigeria and painting a dire picture they are essentially covering their asses.
    When they want to propose further measures to aid Nigeria and people try and oppose they can turn round and say these people are aiding terrorists.
    If those people try and cite human rights they can say they are aware but are only helping brand new units like Nigerias SF Command.
    As an interesting aside you will note that it was after Jacob Zenns testimony to Congress that the FTO designation came in and US support for the SF Commands kicked in.
    I believe the US is playing a long game. the Nigerian military seems to be on board but I suspect that our leadership is still not properly focussed on the diplomatic/ media side

  14. asorockweb says:

    As a related story, what do you guys think of what is happening in Iraqi?

    Mosul fell to ISIL and Prime Minister Malaki says “I will send in the Special Forces”

    Is the concept of “Special Forces” weakening the militaries of naïve countries?

    If a city falls, don’t you send in the Army?

    Could the Nigerian Army have done a better job if we didn’t have all those SF battalions?

    If a tough situation arises, troops can now say: “that’s the job of the special forces”, instead of “this is our job”

    How much resources and planning man-hours goes into these Special Forces and will it be better spent on regular troops?

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/al-qaeda-inspired-militants-seize-saddam-hussein-s-hometown-1.1862908

    • rka says:

      Warfare is evolving to more COIN/CT related conflicts with less conventional applications, hence countries are moving to smaller more mobile troops, but very well equipped.

      I have been watching a series of Special Forces documentaries on the US Army’s Ranger training, Green Beret selection training, army divers and i tell you, it is gruelling and not for the faint hearted.

      These kinds of troops are what are needed more and more these days and less of the conventional infantry soldier with associated equipment. I am not saying they aren’t needed before I am jumped on.

      And on another note, in relation to this thread, nobody is saying the NA soldiers don’t or have never committed atrocities (someone please point me to a country that it’s soldiers haven’t committed atrocities and I will point you to a liar), all we are saying is fairness is required and not the western approach of throwing mud. Be careful, it may spalsh back.

    • drag_on says:

      This is a major embarrassment for the U.S.

      The CIA ( and S.Arabia?) created Osama to oppose the U.S.S.R. Osama ultimately creates Al-Qaeda.The U.S. invades Iraq,Al-Qaeda creates a new home there.The U.S. funds (again through S.Arabia) the war against Assad using the opposition,Al-Qaeda goes into Syria, ISIL breaks from Al-Qaeda and becomes as brutal as BH. Assad hands an ass whooping to ISIL in homs,now ISIL has gone back home to Iraq with the newly acquires fighting skill and are overwhelming the Iraqi forces.

      If Baghdad falls weapons will flow like water through the terror network.The U.S. policy in the middle east has been one big mess.

      Europe should be worried about the number of fighters from there in syria. They will try to come back home some-time.

      • rka says:

        It won’t be long before US weapons supplied to Iraq are used against US & NATO Forces.
        They keep creating monsters without any post conflict analysis.

        There are many British and French fighters in Syria as pointed out already and things are not looking good when they head home.

        At least we are managing to contain BH for now, so more training and specialised equipment needed, preferably from China, Russia and Israel.

        May not be a bad idea to look towards South Africa as well.

      • drag_on says:

        Iran will be very concerned if Baghdad is taken considering ISIL’s brutal ant-shia stance.

      • Are James says:

        My dear brother, you just hinted at the problem. Who are the new Al Qaida?
        They are no more the poor disenfranchised semi illiterate Arab youth, Pakis or Arghan?. They are now highly motivated young Europeans, Americans and Canadians from some of the best universities in the world. The trained mind is a very dangerous weapon.Why won’t they carve out large swathes of Iraq and Syria to form their utopian caliphate?. Who is going to stop them?. Is it all these yeye Western aligned, weak, corrupt and sometimes clueless gov’ts?. Is it the Iraqi prime minister who cannot even be breath without Iran?.. is it Upper Class Afghan weakling Karzai? or Syria’s Hafez who mumuishly just sat there until half of his country was taken away. We might just see that happening here. All we need is to have in place leaders who fight with only half their power, who do not see beyond themselves and who cannot motivate people into battle like George Bush ..funny enough.
        We are in the throes of some very dangerous shit in this world now and it has moved to our region. What they are tryingn4o do in Iraq, Syria and parts of Iran is already at play in Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad.

  15. rka says:

    *splash back

  16. ugobassey says:

    My Ogas it goes without saying that our military has a lot to over-haul in terms of professionalism and ethics but I don’t think that’s the problem here; if the Leahy law were to be applied strictly then neither would Egypt, Pakistan and even Israel get US military assistance. The problem is that even our own national defense budget is being squandered by senior military officers in cahoots with so-called military contractors. The system for hardware procurement and soldiers welfare service seriously needs to be overhauled. I believe that with a little increase in our defense budget, prudent spending, professional training and zero tolerance for bribery and corruption, we probably wont need other nations to give us ‘hand-me-downs’…..Case in point: http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/how-cracks-between-officers-soldiers-in-7div-hinder-war-against-terror/180671/

  17. Kay says:

    Their reluctance to sell us weapons or not still boils down to impunity; an extension of our society. Up till recently, whenever I typed in ‘Nigeria’ on YouTube I was always greeted with the public execution of BH suspects by a roadside. The difference is no one has been prosecuted for these acts, as evil as BH are meant to be. Other outstanding acts and even not forgetting the cog that set these wheels of sanctioned American weapon exports in Saro Wiwa’s death.

    It can not continue that no one is being held for their actions be it war crimes,executions or so. Civilians,Generals to Privates not exempted.

    In the meantime, I’ll rather an inward and outward look to others for hardwares. Better than waiting for defanged piecemeals or ‘limited’ assistance even if dark clouds persist.

  18. Triggah says:

    Mr Igbi your hatred for The USA is duly noted and is leaning slightly on paranoia. The US doesn’t have anything against Nigeria, not because they would’nt sell us advance weaponry does’nt make them hypocrites.
    I’m not defending them, far from it. I know that the USA does not do anything that does not benefit them in one way or another but thats what makes them the most powerful and successful country in the world. Thats not a bad thing, its their own policy not our business.
    This is a Nigerian blog so we should analyse Nigeria’s problem, if we want the best equipment money can buy we should go for it the right way. The US don’t just give out delicate military systems for security reasons not just to Nigeria but to all country on planet earth.
    Lets stop this petty blaming game and realise that our leaders is at fault because of their insatiable appetite for corrupt ways and ill-gotten wealth. You guys keep talking about the F-22 raptor like the US have sold it to every country except Nigeria, do you know that Isreali Airforce (IAF), US closest ally after UK, Royal Austrailian Airforce (RAAF), Japan Air Self Defence Force (JADF) have asked… no begged to purchase the raptor even at the $200 million price tag per unit but congress banned the sale of raptor to any country on september 2006.
    If somebody gives my country 2 large warships, 4 ocean-going cutters, counter pirate/COIN training and still help me look for my 200 missing citizens FREE OF CHARGE i’ll consider that country as a dear friend and ally.
    I’m not a supporter of America but i believe if you want something good, check your wallet. Then go buy it.

    Soup way sweet na money kill am.

    • ugobassey says:

      Amen to That.

    • igbi says:

      I call nations for what they are. I am a Nigerian with french citizenship, yet I condemned each anti-African or anti-Nigerian policy made in france. I even called for the Nigerian FG to seize french asserts in west africa at some point.
      So to answer your question, I do not have hatred for america, but I am not a fan of america neither. I do no believe in american exceptionalism. America is just a country among countries, if that is what you consider hatred then so be it. Do you believe in Koweitan exceptionalism ? I guess no, so does that make you a koweitan hater ? I guess no. When a supposed ally spends his time humiliating you, then you know there is a problem in your relationship. I hope it now improves and goes for the better. But I will never believe in the exceptionalism of a foreign country.

    • WachanGuy says:

      Oga Triggah tell dem!

  19. beegeagle says:

    Oga Triggah, you sound pained and I regret that. Maybe Oga Igbi can defend his position. Many months ago, even I called him out on anti-American rhetoric. Perhaps, he was not fully convinced. Do not take it personal.

    http://www.beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/boko-haram-usa-pledge-to-expand-training-opportunities-for-nigerian-military-security-operatives/

    NOBODY in his right frame of mind expects the USA to sell the F15, never mind the F22 Raptor, to Nigeria.What we are saying is that those who nurse those wild dreams should stop daydreaming. They have dreamt enough already.

    We are saying that the reality appears to be that neither M1 tanks, Apache helicopters nor F16s are realistically, attainable aspirations. Nobody begrudges America over that. What we are miffed at is the fact that some of our compatriots continue to draw us back and to retard the meaningful progress of our military by pretending that we are doomed unless we have the much-touted American systems. We are not.

    Above all, we are suggesting that in the face of observable reality, we should advance our quest for military power by turning to Russia, China and Israel where there are no Leahy Laws applicable. Nobody begrudges America over their preferences. We also hope that they are not incensed by our willingness to explore all options available to us, such as Pakistan, Indonesia and Egypt have done before us. Real politik.

    Those of us who know the real operational implications and constraints entailed in fielding the weapons systems of most of “these countries with high moral standards” would rather not touch them AT ALL. That is why we are miffed at our fan boy compatriots who place way too much premium on acquisitions which are likely to haunt us further down the line. We are not in any way upset by the American decision not to sell but Nigeria cannot afford to sit and do nothing else just because the Yankees won’t sell. That would be a very stupid and perilous decision if we took it.

    We know our American friends. They come around in their own good time. After the bout of verbal diarrhoea recently suffered by Ms Alice Friend during which she impugned the character of a hard-fighting Nigerian military and alienated Nigeria’s military top brass, the USA have made a fresh approach that is steeped in a more respectful relationship and which does not seek to alienate through the defamation of an ally in a spot of bother or seemingly talking down on a sovereign partner nation.

    In any case, if a loss of influence to China or Russia is on the cards, the USA would sooner quit the pontification and do the needful. That is the pragmatic side of U.S.diplomacy. Even I believe that this is what the Congressional Committe Chairman is subtly goading his more moralistic compatriots towards. A hard-nosed operator he is. Who can blame him?

    With the USA stalling on the sale on sale of defensive and offensive systems alike, Nigeria have already taken on Chinese MRAPs, are awaiting the transfer of a Chinese combat ship and have commenced field training with the Chinese military. Who knows, these ominous signs might be the real reason why America are looking like contemplating a review of their untenable stance.

    What is clear is that Nigeria deserves an army and not a militia; a navy which is not necessarily a coastguard; and an airforce rather than an air national guard. We must acquire and field qualitative OFFENSIVE weaponry in tandem with defensive hardware. It is as simple as that. We must acquire those from wherever they can be sourced without issues arising and where activists have yet to overwhelm the local defence industry.

    You rightly noted American largesse to Nigeria. History shall judge them as one of the top two benefactors of our military of all time. Only a China willing to give and sell offensive systems can fathomably match or surpass the Americans’ efforts.

    Back to now, we have to explore our options ref offensive and defensive systems which the Yankees are loathe to make available. We do so without prejudice and in furtherance of our highest national security interests. There is a war to be fought and fight we must, getting our armaments from wherever we can find them in baggage-free and qualitative form.

    This thread is meant to prove to fan boys of US-made kit that with such heavy work being made of mere training support, they have to be living an illusion if they are seriously waiting to be sold F16s and Apache helos. And yes, some are actually so out of touch with the reality of the situation that they believe that we stand any chance of getting sold the F22 Raptor. If you read me correctly, I SAID that this is a pipe dream. Not that we are interested in it or are expecting to be sold any. It is never gonna happen and that is the way it is. Neither do we begrudge the USA over a jet which we should not even be shopping for.

    So let us get on with the serious business of seeking the sternest alternatives which we can buy. I am sure you have no issues with that and thankfully, the FG has set the ball rolling with an immediate (not a multi-year plan) special procurement release of US$1bn.

  20. asorockweb says:

    Like Oga Beegs has so eloquently said,

    if the US will not sell, go somewhere else.

    It is such a simple matter.

    Nigerian leaders are not sophisticated enough to play both US and Nigerian politics.

    Iraqi, with all kinds of US weapons recently lost a major city to ISIL.

    There are suggestions that ISIL captured Blackhawk and Kiowa helicopters – the stuff that we have not been sold.

    Nigeria, WAKE UP! All you need is in Nigeria and in the east.

    • drag_on says:

      ISIL also has access to oil now,and they have been selling it on the black market.That money can filter down to ‘you know who’.We must take our security seriously as terror related nations collapse around us.

      • asorockweb says:

        Don’t worry too much about the oil being exported.

        Libyan rebels tried to export “their” oil, but US forces took over the tanker as it left Libya.

  21. rka says:

    Peshmerga fighters say they are in control of Kirkuk, while the Iraqi Army itself has long fled. The Kurds are seasoned fighters and appear to be the only hope for the whole of Northern Iraq not to come under the direct influence of ISIL.

    Hope you are watching and reading those in military circles. Arm the troops with more state of the art equipment to counter BH and let the training come to the fore.

    • igbi says:

      The truth is that Iraq doesn’t have an army. Their real army was the one defeated by the USA. The “army” you see now was created in less than 8 years, you need more history to be called an army. Why were the soldiers who served under saddam not recruited into this army ? They should have been put in charge of this young “army”.

      • rka says:

        Oga Igbi, that was a mistake if they didn’t recruit some of the former Iraqi soldiers. Another reason why the country fell apart after Sadam was routed, was that they didn’t keep the structure in place to maintain stability while following up with the necessary reforms.

      • Are James says:

        Very true. That eight year old Iraqi army was foolishly given some of the most sophisticated conventional weapons available in the third world by the Americans. Unfortunately that army which is mainly Shia in terms of demographics has been softened by all the oil money flowing in after the war to the top officers who have not just let down their country but also their tribe …as is expected of any over pampered officer corps.
        ISIS now has the fourth most powerful armoury in the region.

    • peccavi says:

      Oga rka, your still on the ‘up to date’ equipment mantra.
      The Iraq debacle is a clear example of what happens when you cobble forces together, give them shiny toys and call them an army.
      It has been said once twice and countless times
      An Armys success will depend on its doctrine, tactics training and procedures. Without these it is immaterial what is its equipped with, it will not be successful.
      The Iraqis are losing tanks and vehicles to lightly armed fighters, falling prey to ambushes and attacks, because they are poorly led and are being outmanoeuvred.
      Well led units like their SF have held or defeated the ISIL.

      The problems in Iraq mirror Nigerias perfectly. There is a fundamental political/ strategic dysfuntion that prevents the Government from exercising internal control or making the kind of moves or reforms necessary to obtain the loyalty of the Sunnis thus they are either indifferent or actively cooperating with ISIL.
      More equipment will not solve any problems

      • rka says:

        Oga Peccavi, I am not far off what you are saying as you probably have misunderstood me a bit.

        The “shiny toys” I am asking for in this case are not high end fighter jets and the most modern MBTs on the market, but the basics like a state of the art communication system, better NVG capable equipment, trained FOCs for the Super Tucanos etc.

        You see, I have confidence in the COIN/CT training NA troops have been going through, it is just that it is let down by the basics.

        I am all for the SU 30/35s and so on if the purse strings are relaxed, I just feel the average soldier isn’t kitted properly with the right equipment and back-up. They are getting the training that is required and a lot of good officers have lost their lives because of what I have mentioned above.

        I am hoping the new SFOC will be equipped properly to carry out the job properly and not just sent into the fray without the necessary equipment and back-up.

        I am all for what you have been saying, after all, you are officially my protector as I am a Brit (don’t tell anyone, lol) as well as a Nigerian.

  22. beegeagle says:

    You are right, buddy. Iraqi Kurds are a martial race and are seasoned fighters who resisted Saddam under the guidance of the Barzani kindred. Though a minority group, their tenacity could be the banner under which the Iraqi Army rally to save their north from a relapse into medieval bestiality.

    Reminds me of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan dominated by the ethnic minority Tajik-Uzbek synergy and featuring notables such as Marshal Mohammed Faheem, General Abdulrashid Dostum and General Ismail Khan. They played a very significant role in supporting ISAF troops to oust the Taliban from power in Kabul.

  23. drag_on says:

    It seems as though the Kurds have taken kirkuk as the Iraqi army fled. This will annoy turkey to no small end.That region is rich in oil and will further strengthen the kurds,who have an age long problem with Ankara over eastern Anatolia.
    The Iranian may react if the ISIL desecrate their holy site in Iraq.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27809051

    • Deway says:

      The Iranians have already reacted. They’ve sent in a special force unit and an elite team of fighters.

    • asorockweb says:

      Watching the video below, you will see that ISIL (or ISIS) is extremely well kitted.

      This is the net effect of the money and material that the gulf states (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, etc) have poured into the Syrian conflict.

      I wonder if western aid has helped ISIL.

      We can now thank God that the British public saved the western world from destroying the Syrian army from the air.

      Also thank Russia, without their support, ISIL and Al Nusra would have taken over Syria.

      If Syria had fallen, the campaign to recover Iraqi will be 10 times harder.

      Iraqi will prevail; just like Nigeria, they just have to acknowledge that they are in a war.
      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27806792

  24. AOk says:

    The Iraqi Air Force has, on paper anyway, a formidable array of COIN equipment. Its usage is another matter. Mi35E, Mi28 Havocs, even combat Cessna Caravans equipped with Hellfire missiles.

    I’m sure many bloggers and military types (hopefully including ours) will be monitoring how they use the above assets in this present crisis especially in the urban settings.

    What they have on order is even more impressive, including Block 52 F16s. Obviously, if the government was to fall, there would be no deliveries of those.

  25. jimmy says:

    The IRAQI nations has links between two nations:
    IRAN & USA. How this is going to play out is going to be very , very interesting.
    W.W.T.D. ” what will Turkey do ” with a semi Independent nation on it’s door step?
    The holy shrine of the highly revered Islamic Saint is in Southern Iraq. This is SHIA dominated territory up till now the insurgents have operated in and around alienated Sunni majority towns ( TIKRIT) this will be a different story.
    What is worrisome and I rarely agree with OGA IGBI but fair being fair is the wholesale collapse / err collusion of what amounts to a division of IRAQI army Soldiers that were trained by the US primarily. This is one of the reasons why i am wary of US training doctrine this is the second nation we have seen this happen too.Mali being the first.
    Like it or not there is a credible train of thought that if certain sections of the armyy had been trained by the IRANIANS it is very unlikely you would see this type of whole sale surrender. They had the equipment, they were being paid, the cancer was FALLOUJAH ( booking my next vacation there lovely spot yeah right) and from there you literally could see the spiral of those northern Sunni dominated towns falling one by one Mosul for example, the question that should worry a lot of people is Iraq going to split into three countries? 1/3 SHIA, 1/3 SUNNI and 1/3 KURD.
    Stay tuned for worrying developments.

    • asorockweb says:

      The US also trained the Malian Army.

      The Malian Army also fell to men in Technicals.

      What is going on here?

  26. drag_on says:

    I have a question.Why is it that Amnesty International and co berate the Nigerian Military over human rights abuses,and the U.S. government is turning itself in knots over arming a LEGITIMATE government to fight an illegitimate terrorist group, but when it comes to sending our boys in harm’s way in peace keeping operations abroad they welcome us? What kind of hypocrisy is that?

    • peccavi says:

      I’m sure if you email the US Embassy in Abuja they will let you know

    • doziex says:

      Oga drag on,
      The truth is that the US is merely grandstanding at nigeria’s expense.

      We are either not important enough, or serious enough allies of the US.

      Amnesty international consistently berates the US, about assistance to saudi arabia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt and isreal.
      But the US simply ignores their criticism, because of the strategic importance of the said countries to the US.
      However, nigeria presents a low hanging fruit.

      I guess we are not an important enough ally. So the US can afford to demonstrate for AI, showcase their human rights bonafides, at nigeria’s expense.

      However, nigeria can only increase our value as an ally to anybody, by taking ourselves and our security seriously.
      .

  27. Oje says:

    Oga Beeg, have i been banned?

  28. beegeagle says:

    Na wa for dis kind question o🙂

    You are reading your last comment..a question directed at me yet you are asking to know if you have been banned? If you have been banned, would your comments reflect on this page?

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