Richard SoleTuesday, June 10, 2014
[email protected]
Washington D.C., USA




Training Mission Afghanistan. Declassified

igeria could learn a few lessons from the declassified document of the United States (COIN) Counterinsurgency Conduct Afghanistan.

In the past five years since the start of the Boko Haram insurgency, Nigeria does not have a (COIN unit) Counter Insurgency operation. Nigeria can start with these principles.

COIN teaches Courageous Restraint

  1. Restraining yourself from overreacting, even in a dangerous situation.

  2. Harming innocents, or overreacting generally, can turn the populace against the counterinsurgent

  3. Protecting the population is as important as killing and capturing insurgents

We must be "First with the truth"

  1. Civilian causalities undermines the COIN principles

  2. Gain the initiative of the local situation (point of impact)

  3. Talk to Key Leaders immediately

  4. Get the truth out to the public before insurgents (via local media, word of mouth, etc)

  5. Conduct Inform & Influence Activities

  6. Inform the public

  7. Influence reaction and behaviors of the public

Tactical Cunning

Think like your enemy:

  1. Determine the Enemy's Most Probable Course of Action and plan for it

  2. Be a good guest. Treat the villagers and their people with respect

  3. Consult and build relationships

  4. Walk. Stop by, don't drive by

  5. Patrol on foot whenever possible and engage the population. Take off your sunglasses.


    Amnesty International report.

    It was almost three weeks since the abduction of the girls before President Jonathan made a statement. Though this insurgency has been ongoing for 5 years, the abduction of over 300 girls embarrassed the government of President Goodluck Jonathan and brought his incompetence to the forefront.

    Before their village was stormed, residents claimed friends and relatives in surrounding towns had warned them that the feared extremists were on their way in a convoy of cargo trucks, pickups and motorcycles. They said they reported this to local authorities that night. The police, they said, called for reinforcements but none came. Everyone, including the police, fled into the bush, leaving the girls asleep in their dorms.

    Scrutiny of the Nigerian government's response to the kidnappings has escalated. A report from Amnesty International say Nigerian authorities knew at least four hours before the attack that Boko Haram was on its way to raid the girls' boarding school in the northeastern town of Chibok.

    Then question then is, how could a preeminent military force of over 100,000 men and women be sidelined by a mere rag tag insurgency of 3,000 men rabble? Could the answer lie in corruption of the Nigerian Government which spills into the military and by extension Intelligence failure? The Amnesty International report alleges that after Nigerian commanders were informed of the pending attack, but they were unable to raise enough troops to respond.

    A military contingent of between 15 and 17 soldiers and a handful of police officers in Chibok were unable to fend off as many as 200 Boko Haram fighters who descended on Chibok and abducted the girls from their beds. The report concludes that at least 2,000 people have died in violence in northern Nigeria this year alone.

    State Department warning and the Nigerian economy.

    The United States is sufficiently worried about anti-Western terrorism in Nigeria that the State Department has released a warning to Americans traveling in and to Nigeria that "groups associated with terrorism" may be planning an attack on a Sheraton hotel in Lagos, the country's commercial center.

    With Jonathan's ineffectual leadership, it is doubtful that he possesses the leadership skills and the resolve to lead, could he be a good omen for Nigeria or bad luck. If anything, at least Nigeria is learning the lessons of insurgency and how best to respond to it.