Enhancing Security Operations: National Military Strategy as Elixir

By Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi

EMERGENCY DIGEST – Recently, the Armed Forces of Nigeria, AFN, unveiled a National Military Strategy, NMS, which will serve as a blueprint for the conduct of its operations.

This development is very apt and necessary, because for every standard organization, there has to be a set of principles which will guide and oversee its activities and various functions so as to ensure the achievements of goals and objectives.

This can never be downplayed, not at all, in as much as productivity and success are what organization is all after.

Therefore, just like other agencies, a strategy is also very crucial to guide successful operations of the Nigerian military, with regards to rules of engagement and neutralizing of security threats.

For the record, a strategy refers to a collection of plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.

On the other hand, Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations in order to pursue desired strategic goals. It can also be regarded as an art of planning and directing overall military operations and movements in a war or battle.

The instructive document was launched by the Minister of Defense, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd.) at the opening ceremony of the defense retreat organized by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor in Asaba, Delta State.

The strategic document, championed by the nation’s service chiefs is expected to serve as a compass for future preparations in military engagement and for the containment of security challenges in the country.

General Irabor, noted that the retreat is very necessary as it provides an opportunity for the serving and retired military officers to brainstorm on how to set the Nigeria’s military on a right cause towards surmounting the present and emerging security challenges.

Among other objectives, the retreat is expected to boost cohesion, mutual respect and the spirit of togetherness/collectiveness and brotherhood within the noble military profession, as battles and wars become more of joint operations.

According to him, all hands must be on deck in the fight against insecurities in order to sustain public trust and regain people’s confidence on the military.

Irabor, made it very clear about his obsession to continue building on the right path and legacies left behind by his predecessors for safeguarding the integrity of the nation.

In his words: “On assumption of duty as the Chief of Defence Staff, I realised the urgent need to consolidate on the achievements of my predecessors and reinvigorate our desire to defend the territorial integrity of our nation with new ideas while strengthening cohesion within the Armed Forces and cooperation with other security agencies.

“I therefore, needed to work within a philosophy that would “Foster a Professional Armed Forces capable of effectively meeting its constitutional imperatives.”

“Delightfully, the Services keyed into this leadership philosophy and together we have continued to achieve tremendous progress.

“Undeterred by the prevailing security challenges across several regions of the country, the Armed Forces of Nigeria has continued to evolve creative ways of strengthening our potentials.

“It was identified that we need to give definite and unambiguous direction to the development of our doctrines that will enable us operate seamlessly and effectively.

“Hence, the National Military Strategy was developed to provide a platform upon which our joint and respective Services doctrines will stand,” Irabor stated.

However, it is good to note that, the ultimate success of implementation of this strategy is solemnly dependant on how the stakeholders forge ahead and contribute their own quotas of practical experiences regarding the subject matter.

“Thus, the need to share our practical experiences and address thorny issues that bother the Defence Headquarters and the 3 Services, in our quest to meet the constitutional roles for the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

The Defence Retreat is thus designed to be very engaging and interactive (with no-holds-barred), in line with my desire for decision making to be a collective approach of active participation.

“This Retreat, therefore, seeks to not only concentrate on the current security issues, but to begin to plan and strategically pivot on how to fight the ‘Future Wars’. Irabor noted.

While contributing to the session, Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, urged the Nigerian military to intensify its civil-military relations to enhance information gathering from the communities, and advised that “in addition to developing a technologically-driven security architecture for the country, the armed forces should make it a priority to proactively engage and partner with our communities.

He noted that, the collaboration of military with civilians in areas of intelligence gatherings and information will undoubtedly go along way in achieving and also enhancing the national security, that the country has been yearning. And that should be considered as shared responsibility and everybody’s business.

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