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Nigeria-US Bi-National Commission and Nigeria Security Interests: How to Make the Commission A Win-win Project (5)

By John Amonda
STABILITY operations, domestic and foreign, therefore, constitute the routine tasks of the security forces.

What then are Stability Operations that account for the majority of the duties of the US Security Forces? An understanding of this conceptualization of the US security concern can be gleaned in what the FM 3- 07 describes as the “Strategic Approach”.

All militaries as institutions of state must train to be effective in the two domains of security competence, namely (a) to defend, protect and secure the prosperity of the nation’s way of life; (b) to be effective in undertaking stability operations.

This is true therefore both for the US Army and the Nigerian Army. Developing the competence in one domain results in consequent development in the other domain. This is what the US Army FM 3- 07 describes as the strategic approach or what the US Ambassador to Nigeria calls the holistic approach.

The Strategic Approach is presented thus in paragraph 1-10, 1-11, 1-12 and 1-13 in the FM 3-07.

“1-10: In the complex, dynamic strategic environment of the 21st century, significant challenges to sustainable peace and security persist across the spectrum of conflict. In this world of sovereign states, unequal in development and resources, tension and conflict are ubiquitous.

Sources of instability that push parties towards open conflict, known as drivers of conflict, include religious fanaticism, global competition for resources, climate change, residual territorial claims, ideology, ethnic tension, elitism, greed and the desire for power. The drivers of conflict emerge as numerous symptoms of crises worldwide.

In this era of persistent conflict, rapidly evolving terrorist structures transnational crime, and ethnic violence continue to complicate international relations.

These conditions create belts of state fragility and instability that present a grave threat to national security. While journeying into this uncertain future, leaders will increasingly call on stability operations to reduce the drivers of conflict and instability and build local institutional capacity to forge sustainable peace, security and economic growth.

1-11: Army integrated approach to stability operations require a framework that applies across the spectrum of conflicts, from stable peace to general war.

It must frame purposeful intervention at any point along that spectrum, reflecting the execution of a wide range of stability tasks performed under the umbrella of various operational environments-

*To support a partner nation during peace time military engagement;

*After a natural or man-made disaster as part of a humanitarian based limited intervention;

*During peace operations to enforce international peace agreements;

*To support a legitimate host-nation government during irregular warfare;

*During major combat operations to establish conditions that facilitate post-conflict activities;

*In a post-conflict environment following general cessation of organised hostilities.

1-12: In each instance, the roles and responsibilities of the various actors-civilian and military- vary according to the threat, stability of the environment, viability of the host-nation government, and several other factors.

When the situation requires intervention, posturing such an effort for success necessitate a detailed conflict assessment; this assessment provide a thorough measures of those factors and helps to appropriately delineate roles and responsibilities among the actors involved.

This assessment also serves as the basis for planning, which links the broads strategic goals to a realisable end state, supportive objectives and discreet executable tasks.

The resulting plan nests these together into a coherent framework optimally suited to address the conditions of the operational environment identified by the initial conflict assessment.

1-13: For many agencies and organisations, stability operations are considered as part of broader efforts to re-establish enduring peace and stability following the cessation of open hostilities. For military forces, however, stability tasks are executed continuously throughout all operations.

Executed early enough and in support of broader national policy goals and interests, stability operations provide an effective tool for reducing the risk of politically motivated violence.

It does this by addressing the possible drivers of conflict long before the onset of hostilities. Providing the authority and resources to conduct these stability operations as part of peace time military engagement may be the most effective and efficient method to mitigate the risk of lengthy post-conflict interventions” (P 1-4 and 1-5).

These paragraphs present the strategic methodology for detailing national security and stability operations tasks to be performed by the nation’s military forces. They describe what must be appreciated by a Nigerian government in the Bi-National Commission Partnership with the US Government.

The message contained in the paragraphs quoted is clear. The US has articulated a national security technical template that is available to all governments who must effect the sovereignty and safety of their society as they institute the stability of their governance environments.

It spells out the strategic thinking that must be done by Nigeria if it is to benefit from the Bi-National Commission as an intellectually and rational equal with its US partner.

Indeed the US in its FM 3-07 has provided the process for its partners, irrespective of their present national security conditions to undertake the description of their own spectrum of conflict from stable peace to total hostilities with its adversaries as the context for its role in the Bi-National Commission.

The US cannot be responsible for doing its thinking and Nigeria’s thinking and yet be expected to treat a rationally dependent government as its intellectual equal and partner. Respect is possible only between moral and intellectual equals.


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