The Arab North are talking directly to AD while the French are using ECOWAS,under the Nigerians to push for a military solution-obviously such diametrically opposed forces greatly complicate a clear military strategy,which is the message they brought back.
Last week a story appeared saying the Nigerians were too ill-equipped and indisciplined to conduct such an operation.
“The Nigerian army is in a shocking state,” said the source, who has seenhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/05/nigerian-army-mali-mission-delayed
recent assessments of Ecowas’s military
capability. “In reality there is no way they are capable of forward operations in Mali – their role is more likely to be limited to manning checkpoints and loading trucks.”
“The Nigerian forces lack training and kit, so they simply don’t have the capability to carry out even basic military manoeuvres,” the source added. “They have poor discipline and support. They are more likely to play a behind-the-scenes role in logistics and providing security.”
Generally such stories are planted with cynical motives. The KDF had to suffer similar slights when all manner of Euro news agencies claimed credit alleging help from 'their boys' allowed the capture of Kismayu-this after near defamation when the incursion kicked off.
Though the writer of the Guardian piece,a Ghanian woman, Afua Hirsch never interviewed any Nigerian officer to at least attempt journalistic objectivity the question remains-is the Nigerian army truly indisciplined and ill equipped?
Hmmmm,as far back as the civil war an attitude of might and contempt for civilian authority was noticed-whether it was a direct outgrowth of the war and the subculture of regularly subverting established peace time authority is debatable but by 1971 a scholar,Robin Luck published a book on it: The Nigerian Military a Sociological Analysis of Authority & Revolt 1960-1967.
On page 149 he writes of officer leadership dilemmas in " a poorly established authority structure,like the Nigerian army. " As time rolled on and both the Nigerian armed forces and civilians internalised the realities of frequent army coups and the stark reality of the monopolisation of state violence by those with little compunction to use it the latter would have little disagreement with Luck's earlier contention. In the 80s soldiers would readily assault civilian drivers during traffic mishaps anywhere in Nigeria,the senior most army levels were riddled with corruption that made dollar billionaires of a handful,while the NA conduct in ECOMOG operations in W.Africa was riddled with cries of looting, rape and general indiscipline.
On that matter why is the Nigerian navy unable to stop illegal oil bunkering which is now a full scale commercial enterprise worth an estimated 100000-250000 bpd supplying off shore tankers? Is there no Coast Guard or Navy,pray tell. Those who observed the NA in the field would agree with Ms. Hirsch's basic contention that the army is indisciplined.