Sunday, September 30, 2018

There But for the Grace of God?

When I speak of the problem of allowing Afghanistan's army and police to become static targets of the Taliban without building the capacity to react to attacks with troops and fire support--and ultimately to go after the enemy to keep them from being able to mass to make such attacks in the first place--I'm worried that Afghan forces could become like the Nigerian ground forces in the northeast:

The fatigued, ill-equipped government troops have reached breaking point, [security and military sources] said.

The setback in the war against Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) and the Boko Haram insurgency from which it split in 2016 comes as President Muhammadu Buhari seeks a second term in elections next February.

Buhari came to power in 2015 on a promise to defeat Boko Haram, and security has once again emerged as a main campaign issue.

In the past three weeks, according to military and security sources, ISWA killed 48 soldiers at a military base and, in a separate attack, left 32 dead in Gudumbali - a town to which thousands of refugees were ordered to return in June.

“The situation in the northeast is deteriorating,” said one security source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They are running out of weapons, ammo and basic equipment. They are exhausted.”

Now, ISWA is winning almost all its battles with the military, security sources said. ...

“The military are a bit like sitting ducks, waiting for a very mobile and versatile enemy to strike at a weak point or another,” said Vincent Foucher, who studies Boko Haram at the French National Centre for Science Research.

Remember that Nigeria had scattered and pushed down the jihadis not so long ago. Oops?

Which is a lesson for fighting jihadis. Like a disease, insect infestation, or infection, the jihadis have to be completely destroyed or they might multiply and come back just as bad.

When facing jihadis, shoot on sight, shoot to kill, and keep on shooting.