Nigeria currently has ZERO batteries of medium-range air defense systems. In this changing security environment Nigeria cannot afford a decade-long gap in air defense capabilities. The fire brigade "buy it when you need it" approach will not suffice for our air defense. The entire Air Force fleet can be wiped out in a surprise attack. We have a choice.
Do we choose protection today, protection tomorrow, or try to cover both? We cannot afford to forget the future, nor can we go naked into the briar patch today. We have to adequately protect both. In this threat environment, we cannot have a gap in our defenses. The threats Nigeria faces are real and constantly changing. Traditional foes in the region have invested heavily in air defenses because they cannot hope to match Nigeria's air power.
France is just as volatile as it has ever been. Its refusal to leave and its determination to stay in the region at all cost keeps us all aware of just how precarious the situation is not just the region, but Africa as a whole is. We often take inventory of what offensive capabilities our military has.
We proudly highlight the strength of our Navy. We have assets that can “reach out and touch” our adversaries, and have boots on the ground anywhere in the region at a moment’s notice. However, it is this reliance on our offensive prowess that often causes us to gloss over our defense assets, which we need to protect the assets we rely upon.
We do not have the requisite stationary air defense assets to protect our bases, command HQ, the critical infrastructure we have just 16 ROLAND SHORADs for this. This is a standing gap in our defenses, and it is due time we invest in defensive assets that keep us protected. Another 10 years or more of such vulnerability is simply not acceptable. Cooperative overtures with our traditional foes or joint military exercises will not protect Nigeria.
These guys detest Nigeria not because of what it did, but because of what Nigeria stands for. A strong and prosperous Nigeria is not in their best interest. A divided and less powerful Nigeria is in their best interest. During the civil war, they actively provided financial and material aid to the secessionists. They did the same with Boko Haram and ISWAP.
We know this for a fact yet think closer ties and appeasement will change their disposition towards Nigeria. Nigeria will never get respect by asking for countries to be fair, asking them to be considerate. You take your respect by being competitive and a force to be reckoned with. Nigeria is not doing this at the moment.
If you sieve out the diplomatic theatrics and look deeper you begin to see the synthetic nature of Nigeria’s conflicts. Even cats have only nine lives. It defies logic and is unprecedented in the modern history of Africa.
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