Technology is transforming how Nigeria wages war in the battle field. For the first time in its history, the Nigerian military now have the ability to aquire and communicate huge volumes of information in real time, rapidly analyse the date and a control system that allows it to be passed simultaneously to combat units on land, sea and air. Nigeria’s battle field situation awareness transformed its combat strategy against Boko Haram. The Jihadi group was taken unaware, they just could not adapt fast enough. The result is evident.
All hitherto held territories reclaimed by the Nigerian military.
Mass surrender of Boko Haram fighters.
A third of Boko Haram commanders KIA.
The charismatic Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau in hiding.
Save for sporadic suicide attacks agents defenceless civilians by often your children, the Jihadi group is no longer able to carry out large scale attacks, much less hold territory.
Nigeria’technological potential seem limitless. Nigeria already runs Africa’s most extensive and ambitious Space program and already making a mark on the international stage. In 2015 Nigeria made history by becoming the first African nation to manage the Space program of a European country, beating the European and Russian Space Agencies to the prize. An Almost unbelievable feat without precedent.
Since 2003 Nigeria had been operating its own satellites, five of which are currently in orbit collecting data, with plans for two more launches in 2019 and 2021 respectively. In 2005 a Nigerian satellite -NIGERIASAT-1 was the first satellite to send back pictures of the east coast of the U.S following Hurricane Katrina. Before that,in 2004 Nigeria provided data related satellite images for free in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami that devastated the region and killed over 250,000 people.
Already we have domestic manufacturing corporations like PROFOCE and Innoson. Engineers at the Nigerian Airforce Institute of Technology has in recent years fielded two domestic built UAV’s.
If we consolidate, or at least maintain this trajectory, it is likely Nigeria will have an information based system far more advanced than that of any African country. If we stay the course and not allow externally orchestrated conflicts and civil strife tear us apart Nigeria could develop these the following capabilies :
- A global satellite network with voice data and imaging capabilies taking advantage of advances in data compression processing, frequency management, miniaturization and sensors.
- A couple of satellites dedicated strictly to the Nigerian military and the possible creation of an independent National Reconnaisance or Space Command.
- Become the first African nation to develop a Cyber warfare capability.
Information gathering capability will be integral to any future conflict. To put it bluntly- Information will dominate future wars. Our experience with Boko Haram should at least make us realise that wars will be won by the side that enjoys and can exploit cheap information.
At the height of the Boko Haram Insurgency, when they were able to carve out an area the size of Belgium, it was the intelligence given to them either by clandestine French sources, moles in the Nigerian Army, or both- that allowed them to carry out precise attacks with stunning success. Think about it, the Boko Haram fighters that attacked an Air Force Base in Maiduguri, the Tactical Air Command, outnumbered Nigerian security forces by a ratio of 3 to 1. In the early hours of that morning 300 Boko Haram fighters descended on the base, they subdued base security by sheer mass, destroyed four aircrafts and kidnapped the women who were at the base.
The impact of Information technology on war was understood by Boko Haram. We are late to the party. In the modern battlefield, tactical effectiveness no longer depends on the size of forces or the amount of firepower and motorized forces, but more on the Information gathering, early warning control systems and the efficiency in utilizing information aquired.
As of this writing Nigeria does have a monopoly in this field , but unfortunately we are the only English speaking country sorrounded entirely by French vassal, the only non French controlled border we have is with the Atlantic ocean. Nigeria cannot afford to let her guard down.We must consolidate on our monopoly before it is lost.
I have stated in a previous post that unless Nigeria secures her peremetre and rid it of French influence, the country will never know peace. Not in a hundred years. To secure our peremeter we need two accomplish two things :
- Build a military powerful enough to serve as a deterrence against potential external aggressions.
- Effect regime change in Chad and Cameroon via military or diplomatic means.
Nigeria is the brain behind ECOWAS. Nigeria’s economic and military power has been the driving force responsible for making ECOWAS the most democratic region in Africa. It is disturbing that while ECOWAS member States enjoy the stability that comes with living in a democratic neighbourhood, Nigeria, the driver behind West Africa’s democratization is completely sorrounded by hostile dictatorial despots, two of whom have the longest running dictatorship on the continent. Cut off from our Anglophone allies we are on our own.
But then I have always believed that the Nigerian nation is a divine State. It is the most blessed and represents Africa’s only true hope of a globally powerful and influential nation championing the course of the black race, but unless we make good use of our potential we might not survive.
FRANCE represents the biggest existential threat to Nigeria. Not Chad, not Cameroon, not IPOB, not Boko Haram. FRANCE, and for the last 50 years it has worked tirelessly to bring about the downfall of this behemoth called NIGERIA. It has resisted and torpedoed all efforts to bring democratic governance to Cameroon and Chad. It has funded and provided weapons to help these dictators to squash dessent and oppress their people.
As of this writing France is marshalling up a powerful military alliance in the Sahel.Such an alliance alone represents a threat to Nigeria. But France is a global power, a nuclear power. Does Nigeria have what it takes to hold its own against a nation like France? Let us consider the numerical forces
Active Duty : 120,000
Reserve : 10,000
Active Duty : 165,000
Reserve : 32,000
This is as far as Nigeria will get when It comes to having an advantage, as least on the short term. In the next series we will touch on how Nigeria will respond if tomorrow it is attacked directly or indirectly by France a and her allies.