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Showing posts from August, 2014

5 Similarities between the Current War against Boko Haram and the ECOMOG Operations of the 1990s

For the referenced version of this article , click here

It is time we stop using the ECOMOG operations as the paradigm case of the military’s combat effectiveness – because they were not!

In an earlier article I assessed the claim, often made by our military and political elites, that the Nigerian military “brought peace to Liberia and Sierra-Leone”. In this article, I will outline what I believe to be five compelling similarities between the military’s ECOMOG operations in Liberia and Sierra-Leone, and its prosecution of the current war against Boko Haram. 

Supply Shortages and Obsolete Weaponry

In February this year, the Borno state governor alleged that Boko Haram fighters were “better armed … than our troops”. At the time, the comment was strongly rebuked by government spokesmen – Nigerian officials are legendary for their Ostrich mentality. Events have since proven him right. Reports that have made it to the public domain paint the picture of a military beset by logistical deficienc…

A Guide to the Islamic State Group and 3 Lessons for the Future

This article briefly describes what the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, now known as the Islamic State is; what its goals are; how historically unique its method of "State-building" is; and what dangers it poses to the Middle East State system. It also briefly suggests at least three pertinent lessons that countries in a similar situation to Iraq can learn.

What is the Islam State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) now known as the Islamic State (IS), and what are its goals?   The Islamic State Group believes itself to be a sovereign State; hence its reference to itself as such. It is a movement led by a man called Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi which aspires to re-establish a type of polity known as a Caliphate – an Islamic form of government underpinned by Shari’ah which first emerged in the 7th century after the death of the Prophet, and was abolished in 1924 with the end of the Ottoman Empire. The group is a Jihadi organization in that it ideologically believes the Caliphate can only be…

Did the Nigerian Army Actually Succeed in Ending the Liberian and Sierra-Leonean Civil Wars?

For the referenced version of this article, click here.

Just how true is the often heard claim that the Nigerian army brought peace to Liberia and Sierra-Leone?
Boko Haram’s five-year long insurgency shows no sign of abating. With the group now seemingly capable of seizing and holding territory, questions over the military’s competence have grown louder. To rescue the army’s wounded pride our military and political leaders often point to what they claim is the army’s “stellar credentials” in bringing peace to war ravaged countries. The ECOMOG missions in Liberia and Sierra-Leone in the 1990s, which the Nigerian military led, is often presented as the prime exemplar of the army’s competence in combat. I've lost count of how many times I've heard something like “our boys brought peace to Liberia and Sierra-Leone” whenever questions are raised over the badly mishandled war against Boko Haram. But just how true is this claim?
Nigeria’s commitment to restore peace and stability to t…