, 11 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Clearly the NIgerian Army hasn’t made any improvements in the design of base defenses since the resurgence of #ISWAP attacks last summer. Likely a reflection of the NA’s infatuation with maneouverist doctrine—something largely antithetical to what’s needed for #COIN ops. 1/
Since the overrun of FOBs at Jili, Zari & others, why are defensive perimeters still in a circle with no final defensive fire line from crew-served wpns? Where are the OPs? Watchtowers? Bunkers? Why isn’t foliage burnt/cut to provide clear fields of fire & observation to 1km? 2/
The NA adopted the idea of ditches in 2018 to stop insurgents from advancing on their positions. Unfortunately, the berms ended up providing frontal cover and gave insurgents a close in support by fire position enabling them to get close to the NA perimeter with impunity. 3/
NA fighting positions are sub-standard—a result of poor leadership and design standards. For example, this photo from FOB Logomari (10/2018) shows how poorly some positions are made, with little frontal protection and absolutely no overhead cover from mortars or rockets. 4/
Likewise, these two hasty fighting positions provide hardly any protection at all from direct fire, and no protection from indirect fire. 5/
While the previous positions would likely stand up to an Ak-47, for a few seconds, it wouldn’t stand up to a DsHK or a ZSU-23, which #ISWAP and #Bokoharam mount on technicals like these two (the first was recaptured by the NA, btw). 6/
FOBs only have an external defensive line and lack internal trenches to facilitate resupply, secondary fighting positions, or hardened command posts. This one serve to move excess water away during the rainy season, rather than protect a soldier from small arms or AA fire. 7/
The NA could make quick improvements by:
1) using a triangle, rather than circle as a perimeter to facilitate final protective fires
2) emplacing HMGs at each apex of the perimeter
3) clearing the perimeter of vegetation out to 1-1.5km
8/
4) emplacing concertina wire obstacles 200-400m away from the perimeter overwatched by machine guns
5) ensuring that all fighting positions are dug in 1-2m deep with adequate overhead cover
6) internal communication trenches between key positions
9/
7) establishing OPs on likely avenues of approach

These are all basic, time-proven tactics in any Army’s toolkit.
10/
Ultimately, it all comes down to leadership. Soldiering is hard & leaders must motivate soldiers to do the right thing even when it’s hard work. Seems the NA’s leadership would rather default to the easy thing—even in combat—than do what they were trained to do. End.
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