By Paul Lewandowski
October 19, 2015

President Barack Obama told Congress on Friday that he will send 300 US troops to Cameroon. The troops will play a non-combat role in the war against Boko Haram.That war is currently led by a coalition of Nigeria and its African neighbors: Cameroon, Benin, Chad, and Niger.

The US troops will provide “airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance” to the African nations as part of a larger effort by the US to support fighting against the extreme Islamist insurgency. American drones will also be used to help Nigeria with one of the most expensive aspects of the mission, airborne reconnaissance.

Obama worries that, without US support, Nigeria and its African partners will be unable to beat back the insurgents. The Nigerian military has fought Boko Haram since 2009, and in recent years the government’s ineffectiveness has become apparent, as the insurgent group continues to execute high-profile attacks.

Boko Haram has, so far, repelled Nigeria’s government from a large, rural swath in the north and reportedly controls about 20% of the country. The group has also expanded its attacks to neighboring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. The fighting has displaced 1.1 million people and killed tens of thousands. This has continued despite a cross-border offensive by the coalition of Nigeria’s neighbors, which began earlier this year.

Obama fears that, if Boko Haram continues increasing in strength, it could threaten the stability of Nigeria, Africa’s biggest national economy and a valuable US trading partner. Should the insurgency gain direct control of more Nigerian oil , it could grow even stronger, much like ISIS has in Iraq and Syria. Indeed, Boko Haram has formally made an alliance with ISIS and, like the group fighting in the Middle East, has declared itself a Muslim caliphate .

Meanwhile, the fall in oil prices this year has only added to Nigeria’s compromised status. Nigerian oil provides about three-quarters of government revenues and is crucial for the overall national economy. Should oil prices remain low, Nigeria will be severely handicapped in the war against Boko Haram.

By placing US troops on the ground near Nigeria, though in a non-combat role, Obama wants to ensure that drones and other sensitive US military technology are not misused.

International groups have accused Nigeria’s military of corruption and human rights violations. Obama fears that providing lethal aid to Nigeria’s military, without oversight, might further contribute to Nigeria’s corruption and mistreatment of civilians.


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. beegeagle says:

    The level of ignorance exhibited by this writer beggars belief. At the supposed highpoint during Q1 3015, BH reportedly controlled territory the size of Belgium. That amounts to no more than 3.33% of Nigerian territory. Since then, BH have been uprooted from most of the territory they controlled and today, BH cannot claim to control 0.33% of Nigerian territory max. So where is this writer getting the idea that 20% of Nigerian territory is under BH control?

    WHERE have US troops been effective as a COIN force – Iraq or Afghanistan? They have been in Afghanistan since 2001 and attacks are escalating. How effective has the US effort been even with more COIN resources than all of AFRICA can muster deployed in Afghanistan? So what is the unclear point about Nigeria and BH since 2009? Physicians do not heal themselves?

    • Sir Kay says:

      Morning Chief.
      Because they love pointing out other people’s shortcomings and blinded to theirs.

      • Augustine says:

        They control international news media, the west paints you black and the world sees you black. They rule the global news media network and the east cannot match them.

    • colloid says:

      **Obama worries that, WITHOUT US SUPPORT, Nigeria and its African partners will be unable to beat back the insurgents.** Na only God knows what the writer inhale before writting this piles-of-debris. Who is clamouring for their support sef? Did we say we aint capable of fighting Our-War-Our-Way? So, the involvement of US troops will now change things around and makes BH dropped their weapons??????????? Glory-Seeker, you are not wanted NOW– when it’s your turn, we will beckon on you. Thank you.

      ***The Nigerian military has fought Boko Haram since 2009, and in recent years the government’s INEFFECTIVENESS has become apparent, as the insurgent group continues to execute high-profile attacks.*** Can someone reminds me when the US had been in Iraq and Afghanistan please? Ehn ehn! I dont even know it’s that longggggg oo, thank you Oga mi. With all the great “firepower” and large troops dedicated and stationed in Afghanistan, what has the US troops achieved?? You said? Hahahaha… Killing civilians and claiming there was a technical or intelligence failure. How has the US faired in Afghanistan and Iraq? How EFFECTIVE have US Anti-terror campaigns been in Libya/Syria/Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan/Somalia etc??? See Pot Calling Kettle Black. Even our Kettle better their Pot.

      ***Obama fears that, if Boko Haram continues increasing in strength, it could threaten the stability of Nigeria,***
      The only thing that could destabilized Nigeria FURTHER is US involvement in this war. It is a known fact that MORE terror groups/individuals will join BH on solidarity against US. This will constitute more problem than could be solved for Nigeria. US always have a trail of terrorists following them wherever they interceed(military-wise).

      ***Obama wants to ensure that drones and other sensitive US military technology are not misused.***
      Have they sold us any drone before? CyberGs, can someone chip in here? Who is misusing what? Are we even operating any of their UCAV/UAV? Reaper, Predator or Global Hawk?? Or are we getting drones from US?

      ***International groups have accused Nigeria’s military of corruption and human rights violations.***
      The entire world are aware of the MOST corrupt Military and the Military with the WORST human rights records. I wont say more than this.

      This article almost make me puke. Chai! A combination of Idiot-is-cracy, Ignoranmus, bad belle-rism, stupidity and ill-baked research.

  2. Augustine says:

    “Obama fears that, if Boko Haram continues increasing in strength, it could threaten the stability of Nigeria, Africa’s biggest national economy and a valuable US trading partner. Should the insurgency gain DIRECT CONTROL OF MORE NIGERIAN OIL , it could grow even stronger, much like ISIS has in Iraq and Syria”

    – PXW NEWS
    By Paul Lewandowski
    October 19, 2015

    Please which Nigerian oil fields do Boko Haram insurgents already directly control, for this journalist to talk about them gaining direct control of MORE NIGERIAN OIL? Is Boko Haram already drilling oil in Niger Delta?

    Do some human beings deserve to be on the job they do and get paid every month?

    • Sir Kay says:

      Haha, I noticed that too, because that moron insinuated that bh currently controls some of our oil, I mean, if true, why are they transporting oil in polythene bags, smh.

  3. Augustine says:

    American troops engaging Boko Haram in direct combat will attract many sympathetic terrorist organizations from around the world into the West African sub-region. Let us not stir up a hornets’ nest, the USA drags some enemies along with it wherever it goes, let’s not allow the USA ‘import’ Al-Qaeda to West Africa while it’s Army is in Cameroon. MJNTF is good enough when combined with each country’s domestic security agencies and local community intelligence networks.

    Cameroon just needs to step up it’s game and become a strong nation like Chad, the Cameroonians have been like chicken since independence, too weak to fight big challenges, always calling for foreign help, does Chad have two heads and two hearts? Remove the BIR special forces and the rest of the Cameroonian military is afraid of Boko Haram.

    • Sir Kay says:

      It won’t be as bad, we are simply lucky we aren’t located in the middle east, this would have been so bad for us.
      But if we have light skin Arabs trooping in because of US troops in Nigeria, obviously they will stand out and that won’t work. Unless if there are dark skin Africans willing to make the trip over.
      Besides, look at the pics on NA forum and see how these guys live, its gross, at the end of the day, what we are struggling with is still a low level insurgency, compared to those going on in the middle east.

  4. jimmy says:
    Good Morning to all my BROTHERS on the blog.
    The above article is a poorly written , EXTREMELY ill- researched journalistic work, and honestly spending more than a few lines on it does it more good than it deserves.
    The people in Washington who responsible for the DAY TO DAY interaction with their defense counterparts KNOW EXACTLY what is going on. Case closed.
    Oga Augustine, OGA Beegeagle it does appear the Motorcycle QRF has begun . Two days ago I poster an article showing Nigerian Soldiers riding POLARIS ATV unfortunately it went to the ” awaiting Moderation .
    Please help me retrieve it, the reason why I hailed you is that
    1) Just a sneaky feeling it does appear another HEAVY weapons CONSIGNMENT was delivered
    2) Your long sought requests of Fortifying some rural villages is taking place.

  5. jimmy says:

    * who are responsible for their day to day interaction with their counterparts in Abuja know exactly what is going on”

  6. Are James says:

    Yes I agree that some more consignments of weapons were received recently if we read between the lines of the Army Chief statement made recently. They could be balance items from outstanding GEJ era orders and maybe some newly ordered stuff .
    GEJ era items alone with their expendables should finish Boko completely.

  7. COLONEL NGR says:

    This type of reporting is a disgrace to journalism. Will the writer say he doesn’t have access to the current situation on ground in Nigeria?

    The presence of US soldiers would only escalate the violence being perpetrated by the group. This is our war and i believe the Nigeria army is capable of winning it even though we are progressing slowly.

    For me. It is a no no. No American boots in the north east.

  8. Spirit says:

    For where?
    I suggest we don’t waste quality time commenting on this article. The writer is clearly an ‘ET’ as no other logical explanation exits for this ‘joke’ of an article.
    “The US wants to ensure that the drones are not misused” by who? We have lost count of the number of times US troops have ‘misused’ drones in Afghanistan and Iraq. At least NAF have not been accused of bombing schools and hospitals in the NE.
    The writer obviously doesn’t know the size of Belgium or what 20% of 923,000km2 looks like.
    The US should please give new excuses for not supplying these hard wares, we are tired of
    hearing same old story.
    I strongly advise that US should keep her boots ‘off-the-ground’. Nigeria doesn’t need them and the people of NE Nigeria will not ‘welcome’ them.


  9. Kola Adekola says:

    That is a very annoying article. Tonda fire whoever wrote it!

    The US has sent just 300 soldiers to Cameroon and they are already ratcheting up the demonic propaganda?
    If anything, this is the first hint of mission creep, especially as US elections are just around the corner and “foreign policy” (read cheapened lives of foreigners) is a stomping ground for presidential heads. Where these heads are mere containers for intellectual and moral vacuums concerning anything beyond US borders, it becomes a dangerous scenario for the foreigners at the brunt. Nigeria had better sit up and knuckle down.

    Fence off Nigeria’s borders. Let even goats require a passport to cross. If the Cameroonians want American boots running around their country, let them keep them over there, outside our border fence. After all, Cameroons Far North is boko harams reservoir of foot soldiers.
    Fence off Nigeria’s borders. Nuff said.

  10. mcshegz says:

    @nigerian_armed.forces: “Nigerian Joint Special forces team aboard a AS 332 Super Puma helicopter wednesday successfully raided a are-ram location in Mandara Mts”
    can anyone please identify the comms gear in the backpack? or tha’ll be too much info?
    not sure if its Harris or Russian; either way
    digging this Velcro uniform though; fo real, looking sharp and on-point

  11. Kola Adekola says:

    My Oga’s, I wonder what Nigeria spends daily on the struggle with boko haram?
    Here is an eye opening article on costs of a similar war against terrorism (only, against much better armed terrorists than boko haram).

    By extrapolation, a years spend for Russa’s Syria campaign would be about $1.5 billion. Lets put that in context, in December 2014, the Federal Government of Nigeria shared 580.4 billion Naira as allocations for that month alone.
    Now, 580.4 billion Naira is approximately $3 billion; twice the amount Russia will need to keep up the current tempo in Syria. This includes spending on the whole advanced array Russia has employed; everything from airport maintenance to missiles, feeding the troops, electronic warfare ships, patrolling missile cruisers, space assets etc.

    Nigeria’s total allocation for December 2014 alone would fund a whopping two years of Russia’s war on ISIS in Syria, yet we are still fighting boko haram?!
    My Oga’s, something is seriously wrong with our planning and strategy.

    • sabatino9 says:

      Nigeria’s problem is not the availability of funds, that the least of our worries. Rather its the willingness or lack of it from the political class, who would prefer maintaining status quo irrespective of whose ox is gored as long as the money sharing continues unabated. It shocking by all standards, that a matter of national security is relegated to the background in favour of protecting their political interests, when it would be near impossible to have a democracy if (God forbid) bokoharam succeeds in bringing this country to its knees.

      They would rather purchase G-wagons for themselves than purchasing much needed equipments for our boys.

  12. beegeagle says:

    Sir Kay, but there are dark-skinned Arabs in Niger, Chad, Mali and Sudan and they are also bound to be non-ideologue type mercs who will come from as far afield as Somalia.

    Think how quickly we moved from a local Somali conflict featuring Gens Aideed, Morgan, Col Ato et al in 1991-2006 to the rule of the Islamic Courts before Al Shabaab.

    AS were bolstered by jihadis from Europe, the USA, Africa and Arabia. Question is, how did that pan out since there are arguably many more dark-skinned Somalis.

    I think the USA should stay away from the frontlines. Once word gets out, goons who are passionate about giving the Yankees a fight in the conviction that they are irreconcilable foes shall SIMPLY converge on NE Nigeria.

    The byline used for propaganda would be that the USA are killing muslims in Nigeria and ’em jihadis shall converge on Nigeria from EVERYWHERE. The mission needs no hard sell among jihadis.

  13. to4shizzle says:

    Only Reason USA is coming to smile with the Government is due to the Ongoing Offensive against BH. It sees Nigeria is Strong it needs to help Niger and Cameroon and Chad, to maintain its “Reason” for being in Africa Media is employed to guarantee readers and citizens back home it’s helping an Allied Country. We all know the situation on ground, Reason CoAS Buratai has been soliciting for Cooperation between Media and Military during the latest convention held few days ago, More PR for our boys keeps things in check, this days we have been seeing reports of many BH Members killed suddenly Oga USA has come. I think they can stay far from us and direct dia Satellites to do a Daily Flyby of dia Recon Sats or UAVS for Intel purposes and limit it to that simply, be the Eyes of our Airforce so to speak, but no boots on ground no no! Even our Current Military won’t allow it, you can see we have leaned more on UK BMATT for NCOs which we currently realize lack that ” Soldiers Edge needed, any Person tells you the NCOs are critically needed to be performing 100% for Strong Offensives to hold, they Whip da Privates into shape and provide needed Battle tested Field Practices Officers may overlook, anywaiz we welcome more trainings by UK Regimental and Special Forces groups but Uncle Sam can Stay out, thank you.

    Meanwhile the HMS Lancaster has berthed in Nigeria, the Frigate from the Royal Navy will undergo training I guess with our Naval Counterparts, since the meeting with the CDS of UK military more increased productive partnerships have been ongoing, interesting.

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