The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, has declared that the military cannot defeat Boko Haram terrorists as well as bandits, using old tools and tactics.
Irabor stated that it was the reason the military had resolved to acquire new platforms and capability to address them.
Irabo, stated this on Wednesday night as Special Guest of Honour at a Regimental Dinner organised in honour of the graduating students of Senior Course 43 of Armed Forces Command and Staff College.
The CDS also noted that long-term success against terrorism, insurgency, and other internal security challenges required a whole-of-government approach and not just a military solution alone.
According to him, the involvement of the military in containing asymmetric security threats in the past few years has highlighted the need to acquire the new operational capability of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to deal with emergent threats.
“Accordingly, we are developing new capabilities in intelligence and surveillance, which are critical for staying ahead of terrorists and insurgents, and other criminal elements in the society,” he said
While addressing the graduating students who are in the rank of Major and its equivalence, the CDS noted that “asymmetric warfare encourages the use of non-traditional military tactics for which our previous training and operational doctrines were not well suited.”
The CDS added:”Nigeria as a nation is currently contending with a number of asymmetric threats. The most visible of these threats is the terrorism and insurgency by Boko Haram in the North-East.
”Equally disturbing is the herders-farmers conflicts in some parts of the country, which recently have attained a worrisome dimension with different interpretations of the causes of the conflict and personalities involved.
“This is coupled with other varying acts of criminalities that are characterised by banditry, kidnapping among others. The involvement of the armed forces in the management of such internal crises requires a complex interplay of many factors.
“As mid-level commanders, your role becomes even more challenging when operating in an operational environment that is intricately woven and influenced by many factors and several differing actors, most of which are not defined by military necessities. Expectedly, such complex security environment will require new capabilities and also portend several challenges to military and security practitioners.
“One major success determinant in a complex security environment is for you to have a thorough understanding of the dynamics that define the crisis you are deployed to contain, and the interplay of the various actors.”
He added: “This understanding will ensure that you exhibit clear thought and adequate judgement in decision making even when under pressure. It will also guide you from the manipulative tendencies of some parties to the conflict.
“You must remember that as a commander, and indeed, as a member of the armed forces, you are required to be apolitical and neutral in your decision making and subsequent actions.
“Your men will depend on you for decision making in every situation. This role will be well served if you are adequately equipped for clear thoughts in the midst of combat engagements and under the expectations of team members.
“I wish to inform you that the transformation to a desired set of capabilities that will enable us to deal with changing threats in our country continues.
”As tactical level commanders, you have a very unique role to play in the consolidation of these new capabilities through training and continuous education of both yourselves and your men.
“It has become common knowledge that long-term success against terrorism and insurgency, and indeed, other internal security challenges require a whole-of-government approach and not just a military solution.”