What began as a reaction to Tuareg activities in Mali steadily expanded across West Africa and the Sahel. Some 6k French troops are supposedly combating jihadists in 5 countries. Not since the colonial era has France shown this level of military commitment in Africa.
What exactly is the true intention of the powers that be in the region?

In February 2012 France began the forward deployment troops and aircrafts to Chad in what puzzled West African leaders..especially Nigeria still grapling with the Boko Haram insurgency.
Barely a week after this forward deployment of French forces, Tuareg rebels rose up in arms and expelled the national army of Mali from the north of the country. On that same day the Malian president was deposed in a palace coup.

This is where things got a little weird.
The French forces that had a week earlier forward deployed forces to Chad did nothing to watched. Mali's military junta that seized power ordered the military to stand down. He left just a token force in the middle of Mali to give the illusion it was battling the rebels.
In just two months the government of Mali collapsed. The Nigerian military was in no position to lead an ECOWAS intervention force as was expected. Years of neglect had hollowed the once formidable Nigerian military, that was itself battling a home grown jihadi group Boko Haram
After Tuareg rebels took control of the northern half of Mali, the military junta submitted a resolution to the UN Security Council and officially requested for French military assistance to deal with deteriorating situation.
As a result France launched "Operation Savel" and flushed out the tuaregs. However French military presence dramatically upset the regional security and triggered the rise of jihadi groups.This prompted French policy makers to upgrade and redoubled their forces in the region.
"Operation Barkhane", France created a military alliance (G-5) in August 2014 to fight islamist militants in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. The U.S has to all heavy lifting. France cannot deploy its ground forces alone. They need lots of help from the U.S.
To combat jihadists French cooperation with their American counterpart have taken the fight to West Africa. The French govt said the G-5 military alliance seeks to restrict the jihadist by striking them at their source. The U.S focused on the Lake Chad basin
..while French military operations are conducted primarily in Mali. At the nexus of the battlespace is Nigeria, whose geopolitical importance is signified by the fact that it has been the force for peace in the region for decades, but isnow sorrounded by jihadist activities.
December 22, 2016: A milestone in the quest for victory over Boko Haram insurgents was recorded when the Nigerian army captured “Camp Zero,” the sect’s fortress located in the heart of Sambisa. It was a shocking an unexpected turn of events. The CIA had predicted it will
.take five years for Nigeria to capture Camp Zairo, the operational. headquaters of Boko Haram, because the Nigerian military was broken due years of neglect. No one expected a quick victory. You would assume that a "congratulatory message" will be in order.
On the contrary the CIA told the government of Niger that it has intelligence that ISIS affiliated insurgents from Nigeria were planning on establishing a cohesive foothold im Agadez Niger, and thereby link all the Jihadi
groups. Of course the government of Niger lacks the resources to address this threat by itself, and thereby delegated ths issue to the United States and France. The Pentagon immediately began constructing a new base for drones in Agadez, which will be accompanied by facilities
to hold Special Forces troops. This military installation is meant to stem the activities of Boko Haram. The U.S already a base in Nigers capital Niamey, which it used to strike targets across the region. However the U.S said the battlespace in the region was too
vast for the French and American forces to cover, hence Washington and Paris believed they need to set up more bases to enhance their operations. The Air Base in Agadez is the 3rd foreign military installation in Niger. There are many more bases in Chad, Mali and Cameroon.
Prior to this period it was Gadaffi's army who dealt with the insurgents in the sahel. With the destruction of Libya by NATO, a can of worms was opened. Gadaffi's huge stockpile of weapons was plundered and distributed across a multitude of secterian and jihadist groups.
After NATO helped topple the Libyan dictator Gaddafi in 2011, Mali went from bulwark against West African instability to basket case.
Abuja deplored such “illicit flows” of arms to “non-State actors. Every act of violence, arms producers profit. For them it is in their interest for violence to continue, no mater what its source. Before you plunder a mans house you first of all have to incapacitate him.
The powers that be attack other states, those states collapse. Liberated weapons fall into the hands of stateless recipients, and the arms makers sell more weapons to their home states to attack stateless forces. And on it goes. Endless war, perpetual profit.
Lets use Turkey as an example. Turkey sold $69 million worth TB2 drones Azerbaijan. Turkish drones was a successful game changer in Libya. Azerbaijan was keen to use the TB2 drone to reshape military balances in the caucasus.

Terrorism has become economics by other means.
The powers that be traffic prodigiously in the tools of global destabilization. With milions of dollars to be made is it any surprise that private companies are joining the foyer?

There's this guy, Erik Prince, founder of the now defunct Blackwater Private Military Contractor.
Erik comes to Nigeria and offers President Jonathan to destroy Boko Haram for $1 Billion. He appears to have made such offers against the wishes of both FSG’s corporate management and the United States, his main competitor at supplying anti-terrorism logistics.
The global flow of arms to terrorists shadows the arms trade between states. Captains of industry swim in the same sewage of arms as terrorists, trading weapons and influence to increase their shares of violence in ways that lead, inevitably, to moral bankruptcy and
political impoverishment leaving suffering, human death and inhuman profits in their wake in Africa and beyond.

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More from @DefenseNigeria

6 May
Nigerian army RM-70 and BM-21 GRAD rocket artillery at the Nigerian Army shooting range in Camp Zairo, Sambisa forest . ImageImageImageImage
Sambisa forest has a 66,000 sq/km landmass. Thats TWELVE times the size of Lagos. This was the former stronghold of Boko Haram, with its command and operational base situated in Camp Zairo, which had been a springboard for bomb attacks since it was seized by insurgents. ImageImageImage
In 2016 the Nigerian army launched what was expected to be the bloodiest battle of the war. Two army reinforced regimental combat team, the rough equivalent of a division wrested Camp Zairo from 4,000 diehard insurgents in what proved to be far easier than expected. ImageImage
Read 10 tweets
5 May
January 2016. In one of the most significant regional shockwaves to emanate directly from the fall of Gadaffi, a deafeted Boko Haram helped themselves to a considerable quantity of sophisticated weaponry before making a spectacular resurgence.
The reinvigorated blossomed into a major challenge for the Nigerian military. Boko Haram stormed Konduga, shelled military installations, announced the liberation of the area and shouted "Alahu Akbar"..which means God is great. Image
Their sudden strength deeply surprised the Nigerian army accustomed to fighting wispey turbaned fighters wearing flip flops wielding Kalashikovs. The Nigerian army was now faced with a force of about 15,000 fighters, well armed, better trained, wearing boots. ImageImageImageImage
Read 8 tweets
5 May
There is a saying empty barrels make the loudest noise. Just came across what is basically ISWAP TV on YouTube lol. They are showing images of attacks since January with claims the Nigerian military has been defeated. But thats not the purpose of this thread. Image
The purpose of this thread is to put the spotlight on the regression of the Nigerian military when it comes to PR. Folks, Public relations in the military is no joke. It is an important to communicate with the public. You cannot play games or be complacent.
Being in the Nigerian military is not an easy job, but it can be rewarding to be able to help to protect and inform your country what you are doing. Public relations officers are not necessarily on the front fighting, but they play an essential role in communicating information
Read 20 tweets
4 May
Here we go again folks. National Assembly members, who should be making solution based argument, have opted for political mudslinging. Just watched on Channels TV another disturbing development.A House of Assembly member in another feat of melodrama
apparently from the "oppositon party" claims...to quote verbatim:


The President has failed to equip the Nigerian army. Nothing has been done to buy modern equipment. In fact Nigerian troops have not seen a brand new AK-47 rifle.

I highlighted the term "opposition party" not because i care about politics, but because i care when politicians consistently interfere with the war effort with politically motivated mudslinging, with the aim of discrediting the government for personal selfish reasons.
Read 19 tweets
4 May
NAF today killed scores of bandits who were converging on a location following intelligence on their movement in Birnin Gwari. The NAF mobilized for armed reconnaisance. First loon first kill. Nigeria has spent almost a billion dollars to bolster its armed reconn capability.
Lessons drawn from the ATR-42s ability to turn outdated Alpha jets into precision killing machines by aquiring and vectoring jets to their targets informed the NAF strategy to seek a proven and enhanced armed reconnaisance capability.
Nigeria's armed reconnaissance capability will be dramatically strengthened with the A-29 Super Tucano, Wing Loong II and CH-4 armed drones The Wing Loong II and CH-4 is similar in capability to the American MQ-9 Reaper.
Read 9 tweets
3 May
Nigerian troops repelled a combined force of Boko Haram and ISWAP insurgents in deadly but dramatic battle.
8:40 am. Boko Haram terrorists launched a surprise attack on a Nigerian army formation - Company E in high numbers on several gun trucks and machine guns. Reconnaisance aircraft spotted large numbers of fighters converging on COMPANY E formation and relayed this information.
Outnumbered 5 to 1 the troops had ten minutes to retreat or take up defensive positions. They chose the later and radioed battalion HQ for reinforcement.

The insurgents launched their assaults on the small number of troops from multiple directions in a classic pincer tactics.
Read 7 tweets

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