Friday, 6 June 2014

Heart Of Darkness

James Hall, is a retired colonel and former UK military attache to Nigeria, and was a UK military officer who has worked closely with the Nigerian military. So when he gave the  BBC an interview about the hostage situation and Boko Haram, he should be listened to. Firstly he says they are stuck in a 'Catch-22 situation' when dealing with Boko Haram.

"What they say about former military regimes is true," he said. "They cripple their militaries so that there can't be further coups." .... this obviously leaves their army ill equipped and badly trained. The consequence of this is that the Nigerian public are often more fearful of them, than they are of the terrorists. This is because the Nigerian army has reacted very badly to defeats in the recent past, for instance after one attack on a barracks by Boko Haram, the army responded by subjugating locals to an ordeal that left over 600, mainly civilians, dead. On many of the most recent terror attacks, the army is alleged to have fired a few volleys then run away faster than the civilians.

In fact, such is the poor reputation of the Nigerian armed forces acting inside Nigeria, that the UK and other Western governments are now very wary in giving training assistance, and even the sale of better equipment are also now proving to be problematic areas. This, even though the Nigerian Armies roles in African peace keeping missions, have been rather more successful than their actions inside Nigeria. 

"We have reduced dramatically the types of training and equipment we're willing to provide. Yet without the training, they won't be able to get the equipment, and we aren't giving them the training either," Mr Hall said, when explaining the Catch 22 situation. This has resulted in Boko Haram being better armed than the army (they are being financially backed by Islamists in other countries), which has resulted in the army losing many stand up fire fights to the terrorists.

What Mr Hall should have added was that, the Nigerian politicians are venal and crafty (when it comes to getting money without working, keeping money, and not paying taxes by lying), but basically ignorant, or even downright stupid when it comes to anything else ...

Nothing give this away more, than the following quote from his interview ..... 

"The trouble with the Nigerian government is that they want a big red button, which you can press and it will fix everything. I was asked by a senior commander if we could sell them the machine that can tell if a car driving down the road contains a terrorist".

"I tried to tell them that such a machine doesn't exist, but then they just thought we were hiding it from them."
Western X-ray For Spotting Terrorists

... an X-ray machine that lights up terrorists!! 

They just don't understand the concept of hard intelligence gathering, and assume that the West has secret machines that identify terrorists.

Now This Is More Like It ....

Actually, it doesn't look too hard to spot some African Islamic terrorists ...

African Jihadists Not Always Hard To Spot ...

I have mentioned before that some cultures treat Western science and engineering as 'magic', nothing more, and nothing less. I suspect that like Pakistan with the Taliban, Nigeria is playing with fire if it doesn't seriously tackle Boko Haram soon.

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