30 August, 2014

* COAS leads troops on air bombardment to reclaim territory

• Insurgents’ rule in captured area clocks one week

There is serious anxiety at the Defence Headquarters,DHQ, following the capture of Gwoza and neighbouring towns in Borno State by the terrorists sect, Boko Haram, a week ago. This is even as the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah, is said to be leading troops to reclaim Gwoza and other parts of the state occupied by terrorists.

Leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, had on Sunday, in a video declared an Islamist Caliphate Republic in the North East with its headquarters in Gwoza. This followed the inability of the military to overpower the insurgents during the battle of supremacy Gamboru Ngala. During the battle, no fewer than 480 soldiers fled into Cameroun in what the DHQ called “tactical manoeuver.”

Although the troops had since returned to join their units, Saturday Mirror learnt that the DHQ was so worried over the week about the two incidents, which it considered as the biggest embarrassment in the history of the Nigerian military.A source at the DHQ, said that the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, was very disappointed and furious over the developments.

The source further disclosed that this made the COAS to quickly round off his tour of Army formations in the country and proceeded to Borno State on Thursday to handle the situation.

Consequently, Saturday Mirror learnt that serious air bombardment had since commenced with sustained heavy fighting by land troops
with the hope to chase out all fugitives and restore order. The DHQ, having earlier dismissed Shekau’s claim of Islamists Caliphate as “empty”, finally acknowledged within the week that terrorists had taken over Gwoza, vowing also to deploy all its arsenal to reverse the situation in Gwoza.

Speaking with Saturday Mirror in Abuja, over the incidents, the Director of Defence Information,DDI, Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, urged Nigerians to have faith in the military assuring that the military had put machinery in place to rid the places of the terrorists and their activities.

“We are not given to telling you our operations and what we are doing to reverse the situation.“Wherever terrorists are in this country, we will drive them out.We will restore order everywhere. Just like the security challenges in any part of the country now, we will restore order everywhere, Gwoza inclusive”, the DDI stated.

Olukolade, who said he was confident that the Nigerian military had what it required to protect the territorial integrity of the country,urged that citizens should support and show confidence in the military as this same military remained the one to prosecute the war for the safety of citizens and the country.


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. Oje says:

    This is konbuburacious!

  2. ozed says:

    Strange headline by our funny press men. Did the seizure happen this morning or are they just hearing about it?

  3. saleh says:

    Y the condemnation of the statement. It’s a good thing that the COAS has taken a decision to oversee the ops mostly especially since the success or failure of d ops is his to bear. What he and the men need are constructive suggestions and comments. Way to go COAS

    • Are James says:

      There is really nothing BH is doing in terms of strategy. Running around three local government areas is just nuisance value to divert troops’ attention and create further pockets of weak resistance. This why precision strikes will make a difference. I think Cameroon has also become a no go area for them.

    • Augustine says:

      Oga Beegeagle, shaun sir !

      Your Guardian news source says Boko Haram now captured and controls 16 Nigerian towns and villages ! Ya Allah na ! Olorun mi o !

      ” The invasion of Dikwa brings to 16 towns and villages already captured, including Gwoza, Marte, Ashgashiya, Wulgo, Banki and Gambouru in central and southern parts of Borno State.”

      We advised about specially armed and reinforced Nigerian army plus MOPOL garrisons to be deployed for every North East war region town/village since May/June, as temporary measure until we apply Sri Lanka method to do full final offensive and defeat Boko Haram forces gaba daya ! Nobody listened to our advice.

      Now Boko Haram is using the same garrison method ahead of us and against us in our own fatherland, and the Nigerian military says they have got their biggest embarrassment to Nigerian military in all their history.

      That is what you get for ignoring us on this blog when we repeat a good advise that most of us here agree to.

      I got the support of Oga Peccavi as an ex-war veteran of NATO in COIN combat deployment. Oga Bharat also said we can do it in grid formation. Some other bloggers agreed too. Simple military strategy of medieval times still valid till today, Nigerian military top brass refused to listen to our advise.

      Are we happy? No, we are sad, this is our fatherland, if our advise is ignored and the country suffers, we are not happy, we are sad and sorrowful, we wish we had been listened to.

      We have no other country to call our own ! Only Nigeria, one nation, gaskiya ne !

      • freeegulf says:

        oga Augustine, this your method would not work. its simply a waste of manpower. how can you garrison every single town and village in the NE. its just sheer ludicrous and a non-starter. in this day and age, your idea would make the army very immobile and easier to pick off by a more daring and adaptable terrs.

        only the police and civil defence could even come this close to garrisoning key towns, but definitely not every hamlet and village. even a 250, 000 man armed forces would still do a sloppy job with this your conservative idea.

        the key is to take the war to the terrs, its good they are holding territories now. it makes them more easier to target and decimate. the military needs to denigrate the combat capability of BH to the point where the police and civil defence could take over and deal with them effectively.

        small gardemobile units sweeping large swats of land with proper air asset would do a far more efficient job in decimating this vermin. helicopters and light armoured vehicles would play an important role in this campaign. more on this later.

      • Augustine says:

        Oga freeegulf welcome back with your deliberate retrogressive and destructive suggestions. You vanish from this blog for weeks, you lose trend of the flow of discussions, only to appear one day and start looking for which people’s comments to shoot down like a sniper from tree top.

        Look here man, I don’t live in the North East zone and whatever happens there is physically not going to touch my skin. My heart bleeds nonetheless, but I can live with the mental pain.

        I am NOT writing anything for myself, but for my fellow countrymen, women and children being killed daily like fowls.

        I have written in May/June/July, many details about garrison strategy for the NE zone with input from professional soldiers like Oga Peccavi and Oga Bharat who have agreed that it is the ONLY way to stop Boko Haram from killing innocent Nigerians like chicken in a slaughter house by the thousands.

        Same you that was arguing with me that Nigerian army does not have 12 divisions. 10,000 is standard minimum, so how many divisions do you have in a 130,000 man army growing up with new massive recruitment to 150,000 soldiers?

        You do the maths and stop messing us up on this blog with crooked comments and misleading information.

        If it is you and your family living in those towns that were left unguarded to be killed, raped, and sold into slavery in year 2014, how will you feel? The other towns with garrison, are they human beings with two heads? Are those other unguarded people not part of Nigeria? Is one Nigerian worth more than another in value according to our written constitution?

        Have spent your time to read the Constitutional duty of Nigerian army? Is it not to protect every Nigerian everywhere in this country’s territory?

        Who cares how easy or hard it is to garrison NE zone? Every Nigerian has constitutional right to be protected by Nigerian army from invaders that want to murder and rape them.

        Who told you 250,000 soldiers cannot garrison NE ? Who told you we need up to that number ? How many fighters does Boko Haram have in NE zone that we need to contain ?

        You are one of those who have ZERO workable ideas and come here to destroy what others spend hours of their time developing and consulting widely before posting. You come and spend 5 minutes to destroy everything and you run away from this blog for another many days as usual.

        Why don’t you ask how garrisons work if you are ignorant and do not know it?

        Garrisons would have stopped Boko Haram from killing our men, women, and children with impunity, turning churches into mosques, turning police academy to training camp, making people like Sirius Black to get so demoralized to say Nigeria is losing this war.

        Garrison will frustrate Boko Haram as they meet heavy firepower defenses everywhere they go in Nigeria’s North East.

        Garrison would have been a stop gap measure to save lives and save Nigeria from global embarrassment until we launch final offensive that needs much time, fresh logistics, new equipment and new weapons to plan, rehearse, and execute effectively.

        Are you for Nigeria or against ?

        You are now saying Nigeria should continue the same old, and same old failed mobile army strategy that has been used for 4 years without success and led to the death of almost 6,000 Nigerians with many peoples’ lives destroyed by maiming, trauma, rape, slavery, loss of property, loss of family members, and many more evils.

        The strategy that has led us to lose 16 towns/villages to Boko Haram, the same garrison method you say is bad, Boko Haram is using it today and a whole Nigerian army chief of staff is now personally deploying himself into battle zones to recapture towns that have become fortified by the enemy because Boko got there first since people like you killed the garrison idea in this war.

        Now, you give us your own better military solution that can work to save lives and stop the massive rampage and successes of Boko Haram in the whole of the North East currently.

        Oya now start typing we are waiting….

  4. Augustine says:

    Please let us turn the tide around, piecemeal recapture of towns won’t win us this war, Boko will just choose another town to capture after they lose one.

    Let us go full blown Sri Lankan model after we liberate the 16 captured towns if possible.

    Awaited new equipment has taken too long a time to arrive, this war has been on for 4 LONG YEARS !

    • Are James says:

      You are right. Piecemeal re-capture of towns won’t work. It has to be a COIN blitzkrieg which word in itself is almost a paradox. Anyway you can’t concentrate attack and then go to sleep and hope to remove the cancer permanently, cancer needs concentrated and sustained chemotherapy or radiation treatment. This thing will cost money in terms of sustained air sorties (maybe 3 months non stop) and repeated deployment/redeployment of SFs by choppers and then more and more air strikes before advancement by regular troops. Anybody in government asking where is the money deserves trial for treason.

  5. rugged7 says:

    Can someone tell me why it is impossible in less than 1 week to re-capture gwoza using the following SOPP…???
    1. Encircle and surround the town with mobile infantry and artillery units.
    2. Give all civilians and terrorists 5 hours to surrender or leave the town.
    3. Arrange for air-force bombing of Gwoza throughout the day.
    4. Fire land based mobile missile battery units and artillery at Gwoza through out the night.
    5 Continue this tactic for 6 days.
    6. Then send in the Mobile infantry on day 7 for clearance duties.
    Why is it rocket science to liberate a small town like Gwoza?
    Na wa o. i don tire sef.
    make i go drink beer o jare…

    • Augustine says:

      Oga mi ruggedy Baba !

      We have posted 2 or 3 battle plans on this blog for the easy recapture of Gwoza, I am glad to see you add yours to the list, welcome !

      We have posted on this blog how the whole of Sambisa forest can be cleared of Bokos in less than 2 weeks, proved with facts and figures.

      Our Army has it’s own style that is now embarrassing them, let them carry go.

      Sure they will win later, Boko Haram is likely less than 5,000 men in Gwoza, Nigerian army out-numbers them 30 times, so we will win, but disgrace first before victory, that is how Nigerian army likes it. Na dem sabi o !

      Abeg make I go drink herbal tea renew my blood jare.

      • ugobassey says:

        Oga Augustine
        I agree entirely with you on garrison strategy. Hope someone important is reading and listening. God save Nigeria from BH and EVD.

    • Deltaman says:

      @Rugged7, me sef tire! man no be soja, but na simple commonsense, level the place!!! any cockroach wey remain go burn! this embarrassment do too much, DHQ abeg try make small pride remain.

    • Are James says:

      Quick one on this Australian negotiator.
      I am almost sure he is an associate of at least three western intelligence agencies. Name the first three spy agencies that come to mind and he is probably associated with them.
      Why 3 Nigerian Presidents and ex NSA’s have granted him close access to securty issues your guess is as god as mine so all our arguments against PMCs on nationalistic grounds have been out of the window since the Obj. regime.
      There is no smoke without fire so it is odd that he is shooting off names now so close to the elections.

    • CHYDE says:

      @ rugged7, your plan sounds cool, but remember that as soon as that happens, there will be those even among fellow Nigerians who will begin to cry ‘wolf’ ( if you get what i mean), those with selfish interests, and hey lest we forget the ‘trumpeters’ also from outside our borders

      • rugged7 says:

        @ Chyde, we no get choice again. Handshake don pass elbow. Things have fallen apart and the center is threatened…
        The situation is grave and the alternatives are dire.
        We have been pussy-footing for 5 years, where has it got us???

  6. Buchi says:

    Guys although I will not incline myself to believe this dry wilderness story the allegations are pretty tough

    • rugged7 says:

      Sahara reporters are the greatest liars in the entire galaxy.they even repackaged the arise interview a second time to appear like they did a 2nd interview with the australian.
      Those guys deserve 1.5 RPG straight into their door mot.
      Meanwhile i hear say U.K dey on code red-imminent threat security alert for terrorist act since a few days now…

  7. G8T Nigeria says:

    diversion strategy. The issue with Nigeria’s fight against terror seems to have a strong international dimension. One wonders why suddenly the whole rights agencies focuses on Nigeria whereas there as thousands of new flashes on right abuses going on in Gaza. Even a civilian plane was shot down and over 200 people killed in Ukraine YET we didn’t hear them. WHAT IS DIFFERENT IN THE NIGERIA CASE. Me thinks someone somewhere is using the insurgency to divert our government’s attention in its bid to revolutionize the country. All foreign news medium, rights groups seems to feed from Nigeria issues than other war fronts like in Gaza, Ukraine and Iraq neither did we hear them during drone misfire on civilians. There should be an Economic Intelligence Unit to study government policies and how it affect nations and reactions ( case study – the sudden dearth of the PIB). I strongly do not know where to place the international community in this fight. The Aussie is paid and only came out now since Nigeria now have the God given right to go all out for the insurgents. Frightening revelations always comes up when the Nigeria Military wants to react. The Aussie should seek for employment at the Austrailian Intelligence Corps to understand how information are passed rather than exploding issues in another man’s country.

    • rugged7 says:

      An obvious conspiracy against Nigeria has long existed.
      The human rights groups and NGO’s like Amnesy international are deeply infiltrated & infested by western intelligence agents anyway.
      That should be expected. My problem remains our(Nigeria armed forces) lackadaisical attitude to responding actively and strongly to them, backed with incontrovertible neutralizing facts…

      • mcshegz says:

        Oga Rugged7. I respect your hustle sir.
        Anybody who doesn’t see this is either blind or refuses to tell the truth. As a nation we have to judge and be wary of organizations that seek to undermine us as a people. Its not rocket science, but it is a zero sum game. The rise of a power connotes the decline of another. That tentacles of a nation bash and accuse you of crimes without evidence is only logical so as to protect their position, with a growth of less than 1% you can only see why they are so adamant to start a war and make sure nobody grows. hehehehe. it wont work though, the world over now knows how incoherent and inhumane they can be even though they are the ones that preach, wail and cry over human rights. Countries are beginning to take action, countries are beginning to sue, some countries in Asia ans South America now go as far as issuing warrants for arrest, so the rest of the world is not as feeble as it was after WWII. Nigeria as a nation is been put on the defensive, what we have to do is not try and defend better but attack as well, using our own institutions and PAN African reach to condemn and malign their character as well, because that’s the only way they learn. Do me, i do you, God no go vex. Why don’t the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights have offices in all these countries and then do unto them what they do unto us, ehen, then actions they take against that commission will be a justifiable reason to kick some but down here, abi? Nobody holy pass

    • Are James says:

      The West do business with us but they don’t like us much. They also do not like Presido much ….made worse by Chibok even though he is doing maybe too much to be in their good graces (big mistake on its own, when you are president you must be a nationalist, there is no other definition of the word netter a Putin than a Pinochet).
      I believe the north via some govs is keying into this dynamic and some parties complicit in the whole BH thing will escape via a media blitz of disinformation and confusion. At the end of the day BH sponsorship will be a mystery like the Kennedy assassination.
      Also the corruption in Nigeria’s defsec is known to the last dollar, let some idiots be talking rubbish they don’t know. Data analytics will reveal anything you do that uses any form of electronic exchange, human intelligence in Nigeria is more easily perpetuated than anywhere.
      To put things bluntly, Nigeria is one of the most wide open, slack, weak, corrupt and manipulable geographical container of some of most divided, most corrupt, dumbest and most politically un emancipated people the world has ever known. I say all these with love, great sense of responsibility and ZERO fear of contradiction. The only saviour would be a president with the spirit of God, lots of gravitas, massive cojones, sense of self sacrifice and some pride in the black race.

      • Are James says:

        *better a Putin than a Pinochet*

      • mcshegz says:

        Oga Are James. I respect your hustle sir.
        Heehehehehehehe. Ebi like say you wake up for the wrong side of your bed ehn, i for don give you the proper lashing you deserve if not for the fact that you covered your backside by chipping in that caveat, ” I say all these with love, great sense of responsibility” hahahah, nice one baba, you do well, you do well, So truth be told your absurd exaggerations are supposed to ginger men abi, ginger them into action. Your emotions betray you though, most times you are astute, but other times like this, you slip up. If my own emotions were to betray me, i would have rained the same type of incoherent gibberish on you but, seems i’m more level headed than that. Continue with your factless blab oga, just do it with love and great sense of responsibility. lololo

      • AreJames says:

        I will give things to you point by point.
        1. This is an Australian who has worked closely and personally with three or four Nigerian Presidents and NSA s and is a custodian of Nigerian secrets. What do you make of that?.How many Nigerians are Prime Ministerial spooks in Australia?. Please think deep about that fact and dispassionately examine the words I used which though extreme were actually very deliberately chosen to achieve effect. If you don’t feel insulted by it all then you have a victim of cultural imperialism.

      • AreJames says:


  8. freeegulf says:

    oga Augustine, getting emotional does not count for much in war. i have had divergent views with other respected peeps on this blog, i don’t think we ever reduced the argument to name calling and labeling the other ignorant. name calling, you should desist from please. and if the word ludicrous made you hot under the collar, i take it back.

    the army is no simple mathematics. whether NA got 100k or 130k still do not automatically translate into 12 divisions. factoring in the numbers of brigs, regt, garrison staff, support, and other components that make a division, 10k is a far cry.

    would leave this argument here, i did not join marshal beegs’ blog for the sake name calling and mudslinging. since you are used to this sort of act from your off and on rumble with igbi, please keep it far. if you want to beat your chest about knowledge of combat and experiences of war, please carry on and keep calm.

    • Augustine says:

      @freeegulf, go back up this page and read your own post again, you rubbed thick mud on my face, but you cannot stand it when I puff out hot air into your own face. You started the verbal attack with insults and now turn back to say the victim of your loose language and tactically constructed insult is the aggressor. If I am the aggressor, you prove it, my posts are not hidden.

      You like to start a fire but you cannot stand the choke of smoke.

      You called me ludicrous on this page, do you know what that means? Check Oxford dictionary meaning, you just called me a FOOL !

      You want to withdraw that insult because I reacted, if I kept quiet you will not take it back, and yet you did not apologize, you just ‘took it back’. You have no regrets and you are not sorry about it, you just want to save your face from the reaction of other bloggers.

      You watch how you rubbish other people’s comments and heap insults on them, then you can avoid getting a well deserved harsh reply.

      Nobody is here to beat chest for anything, or do I get paid for writing comments after a hard long and tiring day at work? Or for waking up at 3 AM to write comments when I should be sleeping? Or dem tell you say I am inside NE zone and I need village garrison for myself own selfish gain?

      ….and don’t compare me with igbi, I have NEVER called anybody stupid or fool on this blog, and today you too just called me LUDICROUS….meaning I am a FOOL.

      You are among those who form mafia style cliques against some targeted people on this blog, you team up to attack them, and run them down to ground zero without caring if the national interests of Nigeria is at stake !

      Now mister, abeg get your acts right, or just simply get off my back.

      Thanks bros.

  9. G8T Nigeria says:

    Sail in creativity of words respecting all views and common ways to agree and disagree.

  10. Oje says:

    Just a couple of days ago i conjectured that the Nigerian army is falling victim of a carefully crafted game of deception, what the Russians call ‘Maskirova’. It was paradoxically worrisome that Boko Haram had managed to steal over 400 Mortas, 7 Tanks, 5 Artillery guns (or more), 2 Self propelled anti aircraft guns and and endless supply of grenades and RPG’s yet fail to employ these weapons what will give them a decisive advantage on the battle ground.

    And barely days after its latest ” free ammunition grab” declared a Caliphate in an obscure village with zero strategic advantage. They want the Nigerian army to believe their objective is to settle on its self declared territory and consolidate, digging in for a Nigerian Army air and ground offensive. Rather than seize the initiative deny them time to consolidate we wait one week, one fucking week.

    Now as i early espoused Boko Haram has succeeded in setting up over three FOB via which it can make use of its stolen hardware (You cannot use artillery and mortars from Sambisa forest) and rain hundreds of artillery and mortar shell like Hezbollah. Imagine the psychological victory that will ensue with hundreds of artillery and mortars raining down indiscriminately on civilians kilometers away from the battle ground.

    We are making the very same mistake Gowon made during the first two years of the Civil War; failure or unwillingness to mobilize Nigeria for an all out war rather than this ”police action” that has never work. Time is running out, we allow Boko Haram dig in and get supplies. Nothing in this country suggest we are at war, its just business as usual.

  11. freeegulf says:

    hehe oga Augustine, mafia clique ko cabal ni. so who are the other members of this cabal that are trying to stifle your eminence. how can we simple ignorant folks run your Eminence to the ground eh lol. truly sad if it wasn’t funny. so now you keep tab on everyone to the point of boldly saying i was missing here for weeks/months. well thank you once again for holding the fort for us.

    i have debated policies and strategies with some older commenting members of this blog, and i can name them, very few. so please keep this gutter style argument far from here, you know those you like shining to.
    you where quick to consult the dictionary for the word Ludicrous. but in your haste, you fail to see construct or the sentence. i said the ‘idea was ludicrous and a non starter’. now can you please enlighten me on where i called you a Fool?

    you want every town, village and hamlet turned into a garrison post. well, no one doubts your sincerity or love for this country. however, your idea of garrison would be impossible for the army. the police and civil defence can come close to putting your idea into work, but not the army. it would be a disaster for them. i will explain this.

    the idea of garrison is not a problem at all. rather, what and where to garrison becomes the needy point to be raised. lets bring your idea into an operational picture for the sake of clarity of concept. marshal beeg mentioned that we have about 94,000 communities in Nigeria. now that is truly huge! how much of these do you think the tri-state of the NE has? lets play around with some figure. say, 10 per cent of the total. now lets say we are deploying platoon sized troops to each and every settlement, which is what you called for. lets even say every other settlement or hamlet. deploying anything less than a platoon would be a waste of resources and would make the outpost extremely vulnerable. at least, a platoon with a single indirect support weapon such as light mortar can hold its own until reinforcement arrives.

  12. freeegulf says:

    when i have the strength i would continue my post. i just lost the post i wrote. too long to re-write now.

  13. freeegulf says:

    i will attempt to start from the initial post that was wiped out, while being mindful of the length so as to prevent same from repeating.

    back to the strategic comprehensive village wide deployment. i said it would take a platoon at the minimum to guard each settlement. anything less could easily be destroyed by infiltrating terrs. so we have say, 35-40 soldiers, protecting each community settlement. a simple calculation would reveal that this strategy calls for the entire current strength of the NA just to guard villages. not adding the pursuit troops or any other additional offensive assets. also, this is just the tri-states. the rest of the country also need to retain army formations, no?

    if we add all the cumulative factors together, we might end up needing nearly a 100,000 man force on deployment at any giving time. now, any standard army, to maintain readiness, keep morale up, and counter fatigues, would need a third of its forces deployed, another third preparing to deploy, and a further third, on reserve, for any other situ.
    by the time we add admin and organisational works, we would end up with an army of nearly 350,000. where do we get these men from? how do we maintain and supply them? the drain on the nation would be much more than even the NCW. i don’t think an army of 350,000 is sustainable. even if it can be sustained, where is the time to raise all these battalions, brigades, and divisions? it takes at minimum, 24 weeks to train an average soldier. do we have the time? or should we then reduce the duration and training cycle of turning average civilian into a fighting soja? or should we then go back to NCW structure where men provide with less than three weeks training and sent to the frontlines to fight? we saw how that end. a war that should have lasted less than a year, ended lasting nearly three. trying to raise the NA to this force number in such a short space and time would ultimately culminate into a disaster!

    even worse, is the attitude and methodology that goes with garrisoning every settlement. it brings in a slanted mindset for the army. with the police and civil defence, its OK. they can stay on the defensive, holding an attack in place until reinforcement arrive to finish off the attackers. but for the army, it would be catastrophic.. having the army to sit at every post will only bring in a sluggish defensive mindset. even if they have specific assault battalions, having troops spread so thinly on ground would bring a negative return for the NA.

    one would expect that having these troops in every village would help reduce hostility between soldiers and civilians since they will be more familiar with the locals. well, this is only partly true. this is because, should they get very acquainted with the locals, it would be bring unprepared consequences. one of which is over-familiarity. civilians generally tend to harbour closer to army formations. this ‘creep-in’ could easily be exploited by the terrs to spy, infiltrate, and even wipe off an entire garrison.

    any reader going through this can easily perceive my bias towards the army in relation to other para military group. well, the perception is correct. para military groups are there to play supporting role in this campaign, until such time that the military capabilities of the terrs have been denigrated. for now, with the terrs being extremely combat capable, only a battle tuned army can counter and defeat them. the NA is the sharp tipping point of that spear. relegating them to guard duties in villages, would more or less blunt that spear.

    a good example is the case of ECOMOG offensive in early ’98. the force kept advancing to contact in the traditional fighting role, while at the same time securing every village and town they liberate. the result was that, by the time they cover some few hundred kms, they had practically ran out of men to continue the offensive. as such, by mid ’98, the ECOMOG offensive had grounded to a halt. thereby surrendering the initiative to the Junta/RUF, and the oppo forces punished them for that.

    an alternative strategy would have been to advance in leaps and bounds with the objective being the destruction of oppo forces rather than the capturing and holding of territory. advancing from either lunsar or port loko, ECOMOG could have kept their pace in pursuit of the enemy forces while leaving the CDF to secure the towns and villages. yes, there are drawbacks to this strategy; the CDF where unreliable, they where always looting and killing, and leaving the MSR to such forces would have been highly risky. however, every tactics comes with its drawback. moreover, the use of helicopters would have negated the need to deploy so much men to secure MSR. just from one or two tactical staging post a small, mobile combat group could have easily captured makeni, magburaka, move on to capture kiodu, and push further to liberate kailahun and pushing the rebels into guinea. a compact highly aggressive group with lift and assault helicopters would have succeeded where ECOMOG stalled. these helicopters would fly in men and supply, cutoff rebel withdrawals, transport blocking troops, move entire artillery batteries, vertical envelopment and close air support. helicopter squadrons would have been a game changing tool in that war. so unfortunate, we where too low tech.

    offensives are a grinder, they keep sucking in men, and more men. its always a nerve of steel action. the conventional linear movement, requires multi-battalion efforts. and any bestial rebel group would simply infiltrate into liberated lines, kill, maim, and generally cause havoc, just to taunt the advancing forces, make them look weak, and force them into sending more men to protect those villages and settlement. men that they cannot spare.

  14. freeegulf says:

    a leaner and meaner alternative is to provide FOBs in key town. @oga Augustine, i understand you interpreted this FOBs to mean some towns are protected and others are not. we are all nigerians and every life is sacred. however, establishing FOBs has nothing to do with the numbers of locals or their ethnic or religious ties. rather, these FOBs would be based purely on geographical and terrain considerations. these FOBs would be sited in such a way that patrols can sweep far into the wide expanse of these states, and still be able to receive support from other FOBs.

    each of these FOBs should have a minimum of two companies, with HAL group for choppers, and also have their organic artillery. this will form a strong line to protect from the terrs, and also act as launch pad for offensive actions.

    the villages and towns should be handed over to paramilitary groups. its not the job of the army. theirs is to have key bases and carry out offensive actions. another use of these bases is to lure the terrs out to be destroyed in the open. as such, choosing terrain should be of utmost importance. we dont want a dien bien phu at our hands.

    a much equipped civil defence and boosted police units could adequately man the villages. in case of contact with the terrs, they can hold them long enough for the army to rush in with helos and LAVs to wipe out the miscreants. this way, this way, the army remains a manoeuvre force, capable of taking the fight to the terrs, and the paramilitary take over stationary duties.

    personally, i think a major revamp and re-organisation is due. will explain this in further posts.

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