Tuesday 16 July 2024

Why Hezbollah Fights Israel

An all-out war between the armed wing of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia political party, and the armed forces of the State of Israel is considered by many geopolitical analysts to be inevitable. Such a conflict would cause not only the infliction of a high level of destruction on both Lebanon and Israel, but it would also invite a regional conflict involving both the United States and Iran. The Western mainstream media often portrays Hezbollah as a “terrorist” organisation which functions as the “proxy” of Iran. But the implication that Hezbollah operates on a rationale of Jew hatred and that it exists solely to menace Israel on behalf of Iran is a misguided one. Hezbollah’s origins are inextricably rooted in Israel’s 18-year-long occupation of south Lebanon. It was born out of resistance and although now a major player in Lebanese politics, its continued existence as an independent military force is arguably justified on the basis that Israel, a nation which has refused to draw its final borders, poses a threat to the integrity of Lebanon’s borders up to the River Litani. This Zionist claim to Lebanese territory is a longstanding one which pre-dates the establishment of Israel and is one which motivates Hezbollah even though its ongoing military exchanges on Israel’s northern border are consistently couched in terms of solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people of Gaza.

Hezbollah is designated by both the United States and the European Union as a terrorist organisation. Britain has also proscribed Hezbollah. While acknowledging that it was “formed in 1982 to resist the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon'', the British position is that Hezbollah’s External Security Organisation (ESO), remains culpable for a number of acts of terrorism - most dating back to the 1980s- which involved bombings, kidnappings and aircraft hijackings. Closer in time, although not mentioned in the official British document is the claim that Hezbollah was responsible for the assassination of Rafic Harari, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, in February 2005. A UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) concluded that there was “no evidence that the Hezbollah leadership had any involvement in Hariri's murder and there is no direct evidence of Syrian involvement.” But it also found beyond a reasonable doubt that the attack had been organised and conducted by a Hezbollah member named Salim Jamil Ayyash who was convicted in absentia.

What makes Hezbollah a peculiar political organisation is the fact that it effectively functions as a state within a state. Although Hezbollah itself is a part of the Lebanese government with national governmental functions and obligations, its formidable military capacities and the deployment of such capacities lie outside the ambit of the Lebanese state. It also runs social programmes that include health care, education and youth-related endeavours. Some of these services are extended to non-Shia communities.

But the security goal which defined Hezbollah when it began functioning as a resistance movement following the Israeli invasion of 1982, namely that of expelling Israeli forces from Lebanese soil and keeping them out remains to this day. This is because Israel still occupies the Shebaa Farms which borders the Golan Heights which was illegally annexed by Israel from Syria. Although largely recognised by the international community as being part of Syria, the Lebanese state claims it.

That aside, Hezbollah is aware that Israel, a state which has never constitutionally declared what its fixed borders are, poses an existential threat to Lebanese territory; specifically that which extends up to the Litani River. Israel covets the water resources of the Litani, and south Lebanon, populated by a substantial percentage of Shias, forms part of what in the ideology of Political Zionism is “Greater Israel.” Thus, Hezbollah is fundamentally motivated to resist any attempt by Israel to expand into Lebanon and acquire territory under the cover of war.

Such fears are in fact well grounded.

The claim to Lebanon up to the Litani River was first made before Israel’s creation by David Ben Gurion during the Paris Peace Conference after the First World War. Israel made the first of many invasions of Lebanon during the fighting with Arab armies in 1948 and occupied south Lebanon until it withdrew its forces in 1949 as part of an armistice agreement.

Nonetheless, a strategy by which Israel would eventually take over south Lebanon was set by both Ben Gurion and Lieutenant General Moshe Dayan, the Chief of Staff of the Israeli armed forces between 1953 and 1958. As Prime Minister Moshe Sharett noted in his diaries, both men felt that Israel had to play a role in fomenting trouble between Lebanon's different denominations consisting of Christians, Muslim Sunnis, Muslim Shias and the Druze. Dayan went further in conceiving the idea that Israel would cultivate the loyalty of a Lebanese Christian officer who would one day declare a Christian state in south Lebanon and that after an interval, Israel would annex the state for itself. Sharett quoted Dayan as saying the following during a 1955 meeting of Israeli defence and foreign policy officials:

The only thing that’s necessary is to find an officer, even just a major. We would either win his heart or buy him with money, to make him agree to declare himself the saviour of the Maronite (Christian) population. Then the Israeli army will enter Lebanon, will occupy the necessary territory and will create a Christian regime which will ally itself with Israel. The territory from the Litani (River) southward will be totally annexed by Israel and everything will be alright.

Remarkably in the 1970s during the Lebanese Civil War, the soldier whom Dayan imagined materialised right down to the rank which Dayan had suggested. Major Saad Haddad, a Christian army officer who defected from the national army of Lebanon, formed the renegade South Lebanon Army (SLA) which in 1979 declared the "Free Lebanon State".

The declaration came the year after Israel had invaded south Lebanon as a response to an attack in northern Israel by guerrillas of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). A few months after “Operation Litani,” the Israeli military withdrew from south Lebanon, and left parts of the region under the control of its proxy, the Christian Maronite-led SLA.

Israel again invaded Lebanon in 1982 with the objective of expelling the PLO which had continued to launch operations from Lebanon. But although this was achieved after the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) fought and bombed its way to Beirut which it ruthlessly besieged, Israel continued to occupy south Lebanon after it withdrew from Lebanon’s capital city.

Although Prime Minister Menachem Begin had privately assured President Ronald Reagan that Israel “did not covet one inch of Lebanese territory”, a pledge which he backed up by declaring to the Knesset in June 1982 that Israel did not want “one square millimetre of Lebanese territory”, the threat that Israel would seek to permanently occupy south Lebanon was a real one according to a secret U.S. State Department report which was leaked to the press in September 1982.

Dated September 15th, the memo concluded that there was a danger that Israel’s “logistical operations will evolve into permanent administrative agencies”. Writing in his nationally syndicated column, Jack Anderson noted that the suspicion was that Israel was “in the process of building a military-civilian government for Israeli-occupied Lebanon” and that it was using the same pattern of “infiltration” that had been used when establishing settlements on territories within the occupied West Bank.

Indeed, reports at the time indicated that the right-wing fundamentalist Gush Emunim settler movement planned to establish settlements in southern Lebanon, the group and Major General Gad Navon, the Chief Rabbi of the IDF, apparently believing that God was bequeathing south Lebanon to Israel as compensation for Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai as part of its obligation under the Camp David Peace Agreement with Egypt. But the creation of Hezbollah ensured that any Israeli designs on south Lebanon would not come to fruition. The insurgency broke the will of both the IDF and its SLA proxy force leading to Israel's withdrawal in 2000 after 18 years of occupation.

In 2006 when Israel again invaded Lebanon in response to Hezbollah’s action of killing three IDF soldiers and taking two into captivity to bargain for the release of Lebanese captives in Israel, a 34-day war ensued during which Israel was forced to withdraw its forces.

Known as the Israel-Lebanon War, the conflict saw Hezbollah's reputation and prestige surge in the Arab world. And although there were misgivings among Lebanese Shia and other denominations about Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian “Dirty War”, the attempt by outside powers including the United States, Turkey and Israel to overthrow the secular Baathist government by using Sunni Islamist proxies, its role in helping the Syrian Army contain and then defeat al-Qaeda and its off-shoots the so-called Islamic State and al Nusra were appreciated by Lebanese communities.

Many among the Maronite community viewed Hezbollah’s efforts as helping preserve Christendom in the Levant, while other communities within Lebanon’s multi-confessional society were grateful owing to the realisation that if Syria had fallen and become balkanised, Lebanon would have been the next target.

Although Hezbollah is conscious of its responsibility to keep the peace among Lebanon’s denominations, fear and suspicions persist over its activities which may bring a war with Israel that will almost certainly result in the devastation of large swathes of Lebanon. But this is arguably tempered by the collective memories the Lebanese people have of the role played by Israel in cynically fomenting trouble among its diverse groups in order to achieve its own national goals.

The Lebanese are now aware of the confirmation in Ronen Bergman’s book Rise and Kill First, that during their national civil war, Israeli military intelligence created a phantom terrorist organisation called the FLLF (Front for the Liberation of Lebanon from Foreigners) which was responsible for carrying out a series of indiscriminate bombings which caused the deaths of hundreds of innocent Lebanese civilians between 1979 and 1983. Retired Mossad officers admitted to Bergman that the FLLF had been created for the sole purpose of sowing chaos, confusion and division among Lebanon’s religious groups.

It is while bearing these aspects of Lebanon’s distant and not too distant history that an objective understanding of Hezbollah’s violent opposition to the Zionist State of Israel can be understood.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2024).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.

Friday 14 June 2024

End of US-Saudi Petro-dollar Pact

While the Western mainstream media made headlines out of the Russian Federation's decision to suspend trading in U.S. dollars and Euros, the presumed non-renewal of the 50-year long petrodollar agreement between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not been subject to widespread reporting.

The Russian decision, a reaction to the imposition of a new range of sanctions, was widely interpreted as a sign of economic weakness when in fact it was the latest of a series of developments which are sounding the death knell of the U.S. dollar as the world's de facto reserve currency.

This originated from the decision of President Richard Nixon to enter into a bargain with the House of Saud which involved the United States guaranteeing the security of the Saudi state in return for the Saudis selling oil in dollars. The arrangement, which was made possible due to Saudi dominance within the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), ensured the survivability of the U.S. dollar as the de facto global reserve currency.

A Saudi Arabian decision to sell oil in different currencies including the Chinese Yuan, the Japanese Yen and Euros will have far reaching ramifications in terms of American domination of the global economy.

Having a world reserve currency such as the U.S. dollar is objectively a useful international financial device. For one, it offers lower exchange rate risk and aids sovereign states in conducting critical transactions such as settling payments for exports and imports of goods and services between nations.

If blame has to be apportioned for the drift away from the dollar, then a substantial degree of fault must lie with the policies of successive U.S. administrations which have consistently weaponised the dollar. The antipathy shown to its main global competitors in both military and economic power have prompted the circumstances which have pushed Russia and China into an alliance of interests which has only hastened the coming to being of a multipolar world order and the trend of de-dollarisation.

The less other nations trade in dollars, the more pressure will be brought to bear on the American economy which has a frankly unmanageable level of sovereign debt.

The United States has arguably got into this predicament because of its failure to provide consistently sound moral leadership, as well as its failure to focus on promoting meaningful economic development around the world. Instead, it has opted to be partisan in global affairs and is solely concerned about maintaining a coercive form of hegemony through regime change wars and the aforementioned strategy of imposing sanctions and seizing foreign reserves of nations (including gold reserves) in regard to which it has contrived an adversarial relationship.

A decision not to renew the U.S.-Saudi pact would represent the latest chapter in a sharp descent in American power and prestige. It is widely believed that the respective decisions by the United States to destroy Saddam Hussien of Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya were to an extent based on the threats by each leader to undermine the U.S. dollar. Hussein sought to sell Iraqi oil in Euros, while Gaddafi planned to launch an African Dinar, a currency that would be backed by gold and valuable resources.

It is clear that much of the world has tired of U.S. global policy, and it is up to the people of the United States who are facing formidable internal problems to pressure for change to the unchanging policies of the political class and policymakers which has caused a great diminution in American influence and moral authority on the global stage.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2024).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.


Wednesday 12 June 2024

The Propaganda Lies of October 7th

Colonel Golan VACH, reserve Israeli Defence Force officer who is the head of an elite Search and Rescue unit, photographed in February 2023. Photo credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

Colonel Golan Vach is the originator of the burned babies lie pertaining to the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades operation of October 7, 2023.

Many atrocity lies have been spun by the Israeli propaganda machinery. These include:

. 40 beheaded babies

. Babies baked in ovens

. Systematic rape of Jewish Israeli women

While there were acts of brutality committed by Palestinian guerrillas on October 7, the Israeli narrative spun by Western mainstream media of a wholesale massacre of innocents consistently fails to mention the following: 

. The taking out by Palestinian guerrillas of Israeli soldiers and security personnel including Special Forces troops and soldiers of the elite Golani Infantry Brigade.

AND the deaths of a large proportion of Israeli civilians and soldiers by the IDF via:

. Tank shelling of Kibbutz buildings where Hamas were holding hostages

. the use of Apache attack helicopters firing hellfire missiles at Israelis being taken to Gaza by Hamas as hostages.

Civilians, including many at the Nova music festival, were caught in the crossfire of gun battles between Hamas and the IDF.

It should be noted that the deliberate targeting of Israelis by IDF tanks and helicopters was the application of the Hannibal Doctrine which is based on a longstanding army order that soldiers in danger of being taken hostage should be killed in order to prevent such an eventuality.

One Israeli reserve officer, Air Force Colonel Nof Erez, an IDF pilot, referred to Israeli military action as "Mass Hannibal" in action.

The killing of Israeli civilians by tank shells has been corroborated by witnesses such as Yasmin Porat, while Israeli helicopter pilots have admitted firing on cars and people heading towards Gaza even though they lacked the information to distinguish between Palestinian guerrillas and Israeli captives.

It should also be noted that the charred remains of victims and burnt out cars and buildings could only have been caused by heavy armaments not in the possession of the lightly armed Palestinian attackers.

The untruths told by figures such as Colonel Vach and Brigadier General Barak Hiram, as well as Yossi Landau, the spokesman for Zaka who invented the 40 beheaded babies lie, have served two purposes: 

1. To cover up the aforementioned role of the IDF in the alternately deliberate, reckless and accidental killings of its own citizens.

2. To prepare the justification for a disproportionate response which has turned out to be a genocide.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2024).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.



Thursday 30 May 2024

The Gaza Genocide: My Interview On Jahan Emrooz ("Today's World"), A News Programme Broadcast On The Islamic Republic Of Iran News Network

I had a brief interview on Wednesday, May 29th about Israel and Gaza on Jahan Emrooz ("Today's World"), a live late night news programme broadcast from Tehran on the Islamic Republic Of Iran News Network (IRINN). One question related to the revelation about the threats issued by ex-Mossad chief Yossi Cohen to Fatou Bensouda, the former prosecutor of the International Criminal Court,` and the other to paralysis caused to the United Nations system by the use of the veto to deny a UN Security Council Resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire to the conflict in Gaza.

Q. According to the recent report published by the Guardian, Mossad directly threatened the ICC prosecutor and her family. We can see that Israel not only doesn't stop its genocide and doesn't follow international laws but also threatens the prosecutor. You teach law in England, based on the actions that Israel has shown what do those international rules mean? 

Ans. Well, I think that this is an extremely sad development. It shows us two things. First is that Israel does not believe itself to be a normal nation. It deems itself to be exceptionalist and that it can act above international laws and norms, and as a result it rejects the universal moral order. And the second point would be that it also reveals the shambles of this so-called international rules-based order which the United States, Israel's benefactor and enabler, has often touted. It shows the hypocrisy that Israel can do things which are redolent of gangsterism. If you interfere with a judge, a person who is a judicial (office) holder through threats to them or harass them as Yossi Cohen did, that is a criminal offence, a very serious criminal offence which should be punished. Alas, that is the situation that we see ourselves in because this has been brewing for many years. Israel has flagrantly flouted international law and it is time for the international community to start doing something. The first thing they should start doing, obviously, is to accept the prosecutor's recommendation that Netanyahu and his defence minister Gallant be prosecuted, and that notice is served and that this be rigorously pursued. Otherwise the international law will be in disrepute.

Q. Another factor is the position of the UN in the world. We know that the United States has vetoed the ceasefire in this war four times. Even Joseph Borrell mentioned that the UN system was paralyzed by veto. If international organizations cannot stop the genocide, when will they be useful?

Ans. Yes, I think for once Mr. Borrell does make sense. He speaks to the views, opinions and principles of people around the world. I think it is extraordinary the way the United States has continued to give licence to Israel to do whatever it pleases. Even in the past you had situations where the United States in its position with the United Nations would give Israel certain limits. Now, that has gone out of the window, and it really is imperilling the credibility of the United Nations as an institution. I think that when you have a deadlock for a serious issue like genocide you cannot have more than one veto. I think there should be a position where the next vote should be (decided) on a majority basis, in which case Israel would be to a certain extent be held to account. So I wholeheartedly agree with Borrell's view or appraisal of the situation. I would add just one other thing. If the United Nations is not shaping up in the way that it should, I think it invites us to consider those other supra-national bodies, international organisations like the EU, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, these organisations - OPEC even - that they should put in as much economic and diplomatic pressure against Israel. These are international collectives, but unfortunately this has not happened. Turkey has made some inroads, but they could do more. If the oil from Azerbaijan could be stopped - I think that it goes to Israel under the auspices of Turkey- that would put Israel under enormous pressure to the extent that it may not be able to continue with this mass genocide.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2024).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer and lecturer in law who is based in London, England.

The interview can be viewed at:

Rumble

Thursday 16 May 2024

Israel-Palestine and British Nationalism

The Goulburn Evening Post, Tuesday, November 12th, 1946.

The following is a commentary on Israel-Palestine with an emphasis on a critique of the attitudes of self-described British nationalists, patriots and white identitarians to the conflict in Gaza; one which is shaped by an antipathy to Islam and Muslim migrants rather than by a rigorous application of the principles of the universal moral order.

1. Israel-Palestine is about land dispossession.

The Israel-Palestine conflict is fundamentally rooted in the land dispossession and population transfer insisted upon by Political Zionism and as Vladimir Jabotinsky, the formulator of "Zionist Revisionism" wrote in the "Iron Wall", Palestinians are a living people who like any other people will not voluntarily give up their land.

Zionist Israel lives by the sword NOT because Palestinians are Islamists but because as Lt. Gen. Moshe Dayan stated in his 1956 eulogy for Ro'i Rothberg, an Israeli settler killed near Gaza by Arabs, they, the Israelis, had taken their land by force and it was only natural that they would seek revenge for this. Dayan said that Rothberg's "mistake" was to take his eyes off his sword.

Meanwhile, Israel has conveniently never declared what its borders are in its constitution. Therefore its neighbours are justified in their suspicion and fear, given the power it has accumulated since its formation especially with the backing of the world's foremost superpower the United States.

Israelis and Diaspora Jewish Zionists believe in the concept of Eretz Yisrael, the "Land of Israel" which covers swathes of land outside of its 1967 borders. These people may be atheists or religious fundamentalists. They may be Ashkenazi or Mizrahi. They may believe in "Liberal Zionism" or "Zionist Revisionism,” but all have the same sense of entitlement to the "Land of Israel". They just differ in the means by which they will obtain it.

2. The Islam vs Judaism or Barbarism vs Western Values framing

As mentioned earlier, this conflict is fundamentally one about land dispossession. Israel is a colonial settler project. Each Zionist leader from Herzl to Ben Gurion to Jabotinsky wrote about "transfer". By this, it was meant that the indigenous Arab population had to be removed from Palestine in order to form a contiguous land mass which would become a Jewish-only state. "Transfer" was to be achieved by bribery, trickery or by force of arms.

The result has been the uprooting of Palestinian Muslims and Palestinian Christians were from their ancestral land.

The thesis that Israel was about democracy versus autocracy and Western values against Barbaric values in the Middle East, began to be propagated in earnest from the 1970s when Israel wanted the United States to directly intervene militarily on its behalf in the Middle East. Binyamin Netanyahu and his family were key to this by forming the Yonatan Institute (named for the commando killed in Entebbe) which held conferences like the Jerusalem Conference of 1979. Netanyahu also authored a series of books on this theme, claiming that if the West did not support Israel and fight for it, Arab terrorism would come to the West.

This was not true. It was a disingenous effort with the objective of camouflaging the central issue of the dispossession of Palestinians of their land.

And any form of Islamist terrorism which has come to the West (or affected the West in the Middle East) has been rooted in the US-led wars and US-sponsored insurgencies in the Middle East. Think about the US involvement in Lebanon in the early 1980s, the regime change wars promoted by the Israel lobby in Iraq, Syria and Libya, as well as the decades long attempt by Netanyahu to get the United States to attack Iran.

Any appraisal of terrorism emanating from the Middle East must acknowledge the role played by the United States and Israel in the cynical endeavour of covertly manipulating a range of Islamist movements and militias as the instrument of achieving certain geopolitical objectives. The Muslim Brotherhood was formed with the help of the British when they were dominant in the Middle East. British support was also crucial to the coming-to-power in Arabia of the Wahhabist House of Saud. Israel helped fund Hamas when it had a military government in Gaza. The idea was that the Muslim Brotherhood-influenced Hamas would function as a counter-weight to the secular Fatah, the body created by Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO). Israel aided ISIS, al-Qaeda and al-Nusra during the dirty war in Syria when it joined with NATO, Turkey, the Saudis and the Gulf Emirates in an attempt to overthrow the secular nationalist government of Syria. It supports terror groups in Iran including the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), which was removed from the State Department's "blacklist" of terrorist organisations after a concerted effort by the Israel lobby.

Given the aforementioned, it would be helpful to separate the "political Islam" of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Hamas from the head-chopping Sunni extremists of al-Qaeda and its offshoots ISIS and al-Nusra. The reasoning behind this is as follows:

. The ideology of the mainstream Muslim Brotherhood does not condone violence as a means to achieving power. 

. Hamas is a political party and a liberation movement that operates under occupation. It has the right under international law to violently resist occupation, but is of course not entitled to commit war crimes. 

. Hezbollah is a movement which germinated under the circumstances of Israel's illegal occupation of south Lebanon, much of which is coveted by Israel. It also has the responsibility of governing Lebanon in concert with other Lebanese political parties. The accusation that it is a "proxy" of Iran that exists only to menace Israel on its northern border is a gross distortion of reality. The leaders of Hezbollah are fully aware of Israel's longstanding claim to Lebanese territory up to the River Litani, one which predates Israel's formal establishment as a state. David Ben Gurion, who made these claims on Lebanese territory at the time of the Paris Peace Conference, laid the foundations for Israel's role in fomenting strife between Lebanon's different faiths and denominations in the 1950s with the then army chief of staff Lieutenant General Moshe Dayan. 

. The indictment by certain Western governments and the mainstream media of Hamas and Hezbollah as being "terrorist" entities while ignoring the enduring doctrine of the use of terror Israeli Defence Force (IDF) smacks of crass hypocrisy. Historically an amalgam of the Haganah and the terror groups Irgun and Lehi, the IDF has consistently struck at civilian targets since its inception. The tone for this "sacred terrorism", as early Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharrett referred to it, was set by Ben Gurion who wrote in his Independence War Diary that Israel must “strike mercilessly, women and children included. Otherwise the action is inefficient. At the place of action there is no need to distinguish between guilty and innocent.” This terroristic policy has been acknowledged by Israel's subsequent political and military leaders including Menachem Begin, Lieutenant General Mordechai Gur, Abba Eban and even Yitzhak Rabin. Today, the policy of collective punishment is applied to Lebanon in the form of the Dahiya doctrine and to the Palestinians of Gaza as "mowing the grass."

3. The marches.

Many find it an objectionable technique to conflate the protest as being "support" for Hamas when a large segment of the UK and global public are justifiably revolted by the massacres presently being perpetrated on Gaza by the Israeli armed forces.

There is an attempt to label it as a "Muslim cause", something which a number of Muslim activists are keen to do. But if certain Muslims are angered only because Palestinians are majoritively Muslim, then their conception of injustice is much too particularistic. It should not take an issue involving a majority Muslim people to wake Islam up to an injustice. The proponents of Gaza being a Muslim cause ought to know that a substantial percentage of Palestinians are Christians, and if Islam is imbued with universalistic precepts of justice, then Muslims should unite with concern and compassion for any cause regardless of the faith of the victims.

The marches have been generally peaceful - a remarkable thing given the huge numbers involved. Many "white" Britons, persons of Jewish heritage and "non-Muslims" have participated in such marches.

4. British nationalists and the marches.

The attempt by the so-called political right and white identitarians to link the marches with "the spread of Islam in Britain,” as one of the negative fruits of mass immigration and a manifestation of "antisemitism" is one which many find not to be founded on logic. Indeed, it can be strongly argued that the question of Palestine is the great moral issue of this age. Evidence of this can be found in the failed attempts to delegitimise those engaged in protest movements in each continent.

Those who remain impervious to the widespread global revulsion are identifiably those in politics and the media who are in the thrall of Israel lobbies, the believers in the heretical cult of "Christian Zionism", the historically unaware and nationalists who would rather tap into their instinctive prejudices against Muslims and darker-skinned people.

These categories of persons are not unknown in Britain. 

The financial connections to Zionist funded groups in the cases of persons such as the self-professed nationalist "Tommy Robinson" and the mainstream annointed "public intellectual" Douglas Murray have long been exposed. Robinson is of course a problematic personality such that while his supporters cried foul at his being banned from the so-called "March Against Antisemitism" in London, they were brought down to earth by the revelation that it was in fact the organisers who informed the police that Robinson was not welcome to join in their march.

Israel and its lobbies sponsor a range of nationalist groups in Europe and North America -even extreme ones, with the proviso that they focus on Islam and Muslim immigration. It is an extension the enduring Zionist policy of demonising Islam in order to camouflage the injustice behind the ideology and practice of Political Zionism.

But there is evidence that the facade behind the roles of Robinson and Murray is beginning to crack among some of their support base given that over the last seven months, they  have on occasion appeared to be more concerned about Israel than they are with Britain. They can see through Murray when he is at pains to stage IDF fundraisers in London, and through Robinson when he was pointedly dismissive about the gruesome fate of British ex-servicemen aid workers who were deliberately targeted and murdered by the IDF in Gaza

Some are now able to surmise that both Robinson and Murray do not work for Albion. They work for Zion.

5. Britain and Zionism.

One of the most astounding things of which I have personally become aware of since the intensification of the Israel-Palestine conflict in October 2023 has been the implacable, slavish support being given to Zionist Israel by certain self-described British patriots. These include a few ex-military officers who are active on social media.

Britain bears some responsibility for the conflict in Palestine because of the issuance of the Balfour Declaration and its role during the Mandate era in Palestine. Yet, none of the pro-Israel advocates have been willing to grapple with the history of Zionist terrorism and Zionist antipathy which was directed against British statesmen and British military leaders.

The Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht who supported the anti-British terror groups wrote the following in May 1947:

Every time you blow up a British arsenal, or wreck a British jail, or send a British railroad train sky high, or rob a British bank, or let go with your guns and bombs at the British betrayers and invaders of your homeland, the Jews of America make a little holiday in their hearts.

The largely pro-Israel media in Britain used Remembrance Day in November 2023 to rail against the "insensitivity" of protesters organising marches in response to the developing Gaza genocide, while conveniently forgetting that it commemorates all fallen servicemen in Britain's major wars and British-directed counterinsurgencies, the latter of which include the hundreds of British security officials killed while on active duty in Palestine. The likes of Murray and Robinson evidently do not appreciate the irony of supporting a state which honours Irgun and Lehi terrorists who murdered British officials of state, soldiers and policemen in Palestine.

Among the more notorious acts of terror were the murder by Lehi assasins of Lord Moyne, Britain's Middle East Envoy, in Cairo in 1944; the bombing of the King David Hotel by the Irgun in Jerusalem in 1946; and the hanging by Irgun of the British intelligence NCO Sergeants Clifford Martin and Mervyn Paice by Irgun in 1947. The last episode led to the last anti-Jewish riot in England.

The media failed to mention that 77 years previously, security had been bolstered at the state opening of Parliament because of threats made by the Zionist terror group Lehi to assassinate the British Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, War Minister, and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery who had resisted the calls from Zionists from Britain to remove General Evelyn Barker from his position as the General Officer Commanding British Forces in Palestine and Trans-Jordan because enraged by the King David Hotel atrocity, Barker had stated that Britain would punish the Jews by "striking at their pockets and showing our contempt of them."

Extra precautions were taken to protect King George VI. The headline of the Australian Goulburn Evening Post on Tuesday, November 12th, 1946 read as follows:

BIG PRECAUTIONS TAKEN TO

GUARD KING AND QUEEN

Threats of Jewish Violence

Prompt Security Measures

At various points during the Mandate, Lehi threatened to kill Ernest Bevin, Clement Attlee, Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden over British policy in Palestine. Letter bombs were earmarked to be sent to various figures and an attempt was made to blow up the Colonial Office in London. And an associate of the Stern Gang named Baruch Korff plotted to bomb London from an aircraft. 

This dark history is not remembered by two retired military figures who offer unquestioning support to Israel: Colonel Richard Kemp, a British Army infantry officer, and Rear Admiral Chris Parry, a naval warfare officer. Parry fought during the Falklands War but unsurprisingly has never acknowledged the fact that the State of Israel supplied Skyhawk fighter jets, weapons, spare parts and long range fuel tanks to Argentina during the Falklands War. The ex-Irgun Prime Minister Menachem Begin aimed to exact revenge for British clampdowns during the Mandate era in Palestine.

Kemp, whom many are unsurprised to find out is a Christian Zionist, serves as head of the UK Friends of the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers (UK-AWIS), an organisation that is managed by the IDF. He no doubt believes that he is doing the work of God as much as did Major General Orde Wingate who as a young British Army captain organised the counter-insugency strategy which quelled the revolt by Palestinian guerrillas between 1936 and 1939.

Both Kemp and Parry tweeted their disdain at the marches for Gaza and would no doubt have unhesitatingly appaluded the group of Israel sympathisers who gathered around the statue of Field Marshal Montgomery in a stunt designed to portray them as "protectors" of British heritage and as a gesture of the purported unity of culture and values between Israel and Britain without noting the irony that they support a state which honours the terrorists who threatened Montgomery with assassination. 

An irony which is further underlined by the fact that it cannot have been by accident that the late sovereign Queen Elizabeth II, the Commander-in-chief of the British armed forces when Kemp and Parry were servicemen, did not visit Israel for the entirety of her 70-year reign.

The overarching point is that concerns about Islam and Muslim migration to Britain must be separated from the abomination of a genocide being committed against a people, a gruesome episode which is the latest stanza of a longstanding project to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its indigenous inhabitants.

Those who merely see opposition to Israel's brutal onslaught as a "Muslim cause" are woefully short-sighted. And for this failing, they will be judged to be on the wrong side of history.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2024).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.

Friday 3 May 2024

The Udoji Deal: A Lesson From The Past On Government-Workers Relations in Nigeria

Article title from The Tennessean, Friday, March 21, 1975.

“Udoji means pay rise today, but tomorrow it will mean inflation.”

- Alan Rake, Editor of African Development, writing for The Ottawa Journal, March 7, 1975.

The present imbroglio surrounding negotiations between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the major labour unions of the country amid a cost-of-living-crisis bring to mind a key moment in the history of government-labour relations. This was the recommendation in 1974 by the Jerome Udoji-led Public Service Review Commission that civil servants be given a generous pay increase. However, the backdrop to the circumstances surrounding the Udoji pay rise of the mid-1970s and that which exists today could not be more different. Whereas in the first half of the 1970s, most Nigerians were optimistic about the increase of individual prosperity and wider national economic attainment, the present feeling is largely one of enveloping penury and pessimism about the future. In the Udoji era, the increasing national wealth owing to a boom in oil prices encouraged a confidence that workers would maximise their earnings while today the focus and the struggle is about obtaining a living wage. Yet, both eras have something in common; that is the signal failure of Nigeria’s political and economic leaders in presenting a comprehensive plan that will transform the country from a consumer-oriented, resource rental economy into a self-reliant, productive one.

The period leading up to the ill-famed report by the Public Service Review Commission headed by Chief Jerome Udoji was a largely positive one for Nigeria. Reunited after a bloody civil war and its confidence in national reconstruction bolstered by the burgeoning profits from the oil industry, Nigeria appeared to be on the cusp of great things. There were of course a great number of negative phenomena blighting the country, one of which had been the post-war upsurge in armed robberies. Thus, the words “Bar Beach Show” simultaneously referred on the one hand to the macabre episodes where convicted robbers were publicly executed at a location on the Lagos seafront, and on the other to a light entertainment television show hosted by the musician Art Alade.

Other marked social and economic problems included the congestion of ships at Lagos wharf including the money-draining “Cement Armada” scandal during which queues of ships waited months to offload their cargo; uncontrolled urban expansion in the Lagos metropolis which led to an unclean environment; and the hugely oppressive daily grind of traffic gridlock. The public also had to contend with a notable expansion in corrupt practices.

Perhaps the greatest stimulus which led to the idea of providing workers with a pay increase was the hike in oil prices which was a consequence of the oil embargo instituted by Arab nations following the Arab-Israeli War of October 1973.

By the start of 1974, Nigeria was producing two million barrels of oil a day with more than 900 wells producing crude which was low in sulphur content. It was taking 12.5% in cash on all oil extracted by foreign-owned companies. However, the government sensed a greater opportunity in directly entering the petroleum export business by taking the nation’s royalty in the form of oil barrels and selling it through the Nigerian National Oil Corporation (NNOC).

By the standards of the time, the regime led by General Yakubu Gowon had shrewdly boosted oil income by striking participation agreements with new entrants to the oil extracting field. This began with Elf and Phillips/ENI in 1971. When Arab Gulf states obtained a 25% share in participation, Nigeria went on to negotiate a 35% stake in Shell-BP. Later, the terms of contract changed to 100% controlled concessions in which foreign operators would be offered a share of the output. By now the world’s seventh largest oil producing country in 1974, Nigeria’s total oil revenues were projected to amount to $8 billion, compared to $1 billion three years before.

The Udoji Commission was set up in 1972 at a time when a government-imposed pay freeze was in effect after the pay increase of 1971. It was focused on the civil service and its terms of reference required that the commission make recommendations regarding the training of civil servants, personnel policies and remuneration. It was also widely expected to propose pay increases and the establishment of a minimum wage.

Udoji submitted the eight-volume report to the Federal Military Government in September 1974, and its recommendations were studied by the Supreme Military Council and the Federal Executive Council before a decision was announced just before the new year.

While awaiting the government’s verdict a dispatch from the New York Times published on Boxing Day stated that it was “generally felt that the government would not grant civil servants pay rises without recommending similar increases for those who were employed in the private sector.” But this would not be the case. The commission awarded pay increases only to public sector employees. Lower tier civil servants received a pay increase of 130%, those in the intermediate ranks 30% and the higher echelon 100%. All increases were backdated to April 1st, 1974, and paid in one lump sum in January 1975. This cost the Civil Service N466 million ($583 million).

Among the aims of this extraordinary decision was to put the civil service in a position to play a dynamic role in the fast developing economy, as well as to assure the public that the people would have a direct share in the growing national wealth.

But the rise proved to be a recipe for disaster.

The government had not learned from Nigeria’s history. The review of 1971 and earlier reviews dating back to the colonial era demonstrated that substantive pay awards made to the civil service inevitably brought a cascade of pay demands from the private sector including industrial labourers.

However, unlike in previous periods, Nigerian trade unions were now much better organised and united. Thus, the backlash came in the form of wildcat strikes and the imposition of work-to-rule regimes. “Udoji” entered into the lexicon of language, denoting a “pay rise” and workers outside of the public sector demanded their own “Udoji.” Port workers were quick to withdraw their labour and they were followed by bank workers. The closure of banks exacerbated the situation because other workers could not be paid. Workers at Kainji Dam, the hydro-electric power project, downed their tools and plunged the nation into two nights of darkness. Workers providing medical services and other private sector employees also went on strike. The unrest worsened by a strike called by drivers in the transport industry who claimed to be suffering harassment from police after the government’s decision to set up mobile courts in order to try on-the-spot traffic offences.

It was under these circumstances that the military government, which had positioned troops around the Central Bank, called a meeting with business leaders. Major General Hassan Katsina, the deputy Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters, met with members of the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce. The military government acknowledged that it had no choice other than to extend the pay rise to the private sector and suggested that it meet a minimum 30% increase.

However, there was a problem here. Although the pay increase given in 1971 had been followed by a pay freeze, the private sector found a way around this, so much so that some corporate executives were earning twice the salaries of Nigeria’s “super” permanent secretaries. They have improved their workers' conditions and could not afford paying them nine months back pay. Moreover, many small firms, at least half of around 600, that had recently completed takeovers of European-owned businesses under an indigenisation decree, were still paying off the arrears to the foreigners they had bought out and were in no position to afford Udoji-type pay rises.

At one point the government seriously considered meeting the cost of a retrospective pay rise to the private sector. It is worth bearing in mind that the public sector in Nigeria accounted for only 20% of the working population. Yet, with almost 3,000 petro-nairas earned since the October War of 1973, the government was in a position to be generous.

By March 1975, the increases were having an effect on inflation, the highest that it had been since the civil war. Although officially running at 13% - the same as that of the United States- the Associated Press reported that the true figure was believed to have been approximately 30% and was expected to hit 40% by the year’s end. A tin of milk at this time had doubled from 15 cents per can to 30 cents. A 2.2 pound bag of sugar which had previously cost 32 cents was now 78 cents.

A snapshot of how inflation was blighting ordinary Nigerians was provided by one Fola Adu, the owner of an open-front shop in Lagos, who had four children with her husband, also a small trader. She said the following:

Before Udoji we managed on housekeeping of about $50 per month. But now it averages out at about $160 for us to eat a balanced meal three times a day. Neither my husband nor I qualified for Udoji. I have had to compensate by raising prices to the levels they are elsewhere in town. Even so, I can hardly afford any clothes for the kids this Easter or even replace torn ones.

To underline the fact that the government had not learned from the past, Dr. Michael Omolayole, the then Chairman of the National Institute of Management, enlightened the Ottawa Journal about the burdens typically imposed on the ordinary Nigerian by awards granted in the past by Udoji-style commissions:

Before the announcements of these awards were made there were increases in the price of commodities. When they are announced there are further increases. As soon as they are paid, there are more increases. That is triple increases before the workers actually come round to spend the money.

Farmers were also affected. In the former Western State farmers set up roadblocks to prevent other farmers from transporting crops to market until they received guarantees that the price of cash crops would be substantially increased in order to meet the rocketing cost of living.

Among the solutions proffered at the time was one by the Governor of the Central Bank, Clement Isong, who suggested that the government tackle inflation from the supply side rather than the demand side because there was no means to prevent the government from spending the huge revenues it was earning from oil and also no mechanism for preventing workers from spending their enhanced salaries. Thus, he advocated a massive capital investment programme to boost agricultural production, increased imports, more bank loans to encourage production and more effective distribution of food by the state-owned National Supply Company, all of which he felt would help stabilise prices.

But the Gowon regime failed to redress the situation and by April 1976, the economy had begun to contract, and its international balance-of-payments position was deteriorating while inflation was riding at 40%.

Gowon, who would be overthrown by a bloodless coup in July of 1975, had prior to his removal had announced a massive $44,000 million five-year development plan which was described as “the biggest, boldest and most promising in Black Africa”. If it was an attempt at a distraction from the immediate issues that his government faced on the economic front, then it was a futile one.

Half a century later, the present civilian administration led by President Bola Tinubu is contending with Nigeria’s trade unions over the question of a minimum wage. The backdrop is one of economic malaise characterised by the rapid depreciation of the Naira, high food inflation and long petrol queues. These have flowed from Tinubu’s policy of deregulation which was spearheaded by the removal of the longstanding petrol subsidy and the unification of the foreign exchange windows through which the Naira was floated.

The mechanisms which have succeeded the Udoji-style review process, namely the Minimum Wage Act of 2019 and the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage are presently not functional because the Act has expired, and the recommendations of the committee have not been implemented. While the country awaits an agreement on the minimum wage, the government has introduced palliative measures designed to ease the immediate burdens on the vulnerable such as the distribution of essential foods.

Yet, while the present crisis may ease at some point in the future the long-term economic prospects will remain dim if Nigeria, as has been the case throughout its 63-year old existence as an independent nation, continues to fail to map out a long-term plan which will position itself to develop an industrial base.

As was the case during the Udoji-era of the 1970s, it is an import-dependent economy. It consumes more than it produces. The development plan unveiled in 1975 by the military regime of General Gowon was a missed opportunity because it failed to lay down the foundational basis of transforming the country into a fully industrialised country. This should have encompassed the development of chemical, manufacturing, and technological industries alongside a mechanised agricultural sector. A comprehensive development plan would necessarily have aimed to implement a complementary project to educate the population to a level beyond basic literacy.

The revenues accrued from strengthening industrial capacity, including the maximising of steel production and electrical generation, would be used to pay for the aforementioned policy of mass education. This enterprise in training would encompass basic, vocational and university education so as to produce the requisite level of professional and technical expertise to sustain an industrial economy and society.

Unfortunately, Nigeria’s contemporary leaders including President Tinubu do not have this vision. His ascertainable goals do not provide a clear pathway to developing Nigeria to the point of self-sufficiency. The Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund which he established as a means of facilitating the development of infrastructure in areas such as agriculture, education and transportation does not go far enough since it is dependent on collaborations with foreign actors. His overtures to the leaders of the Samsung corporation bear this out. Attracting investment only serves to consolidate the dependency syndrome typical of African economies, one which is replete with the harmful practice of selling exploitation rights to Western and Chinese corporations.

Instead of relying on corporations such as Samsung, Nigeria should be aiming to raise capital internally and invest in locally conceived projects that will generate foreign exchange earnings. The proceeds would then be spent on building up indigenously operated capital equipment that would enable Nigeria to manufacture its own capital goods from raw materials to finished product within its local currency regime. It is only through this model of economic development that Nigeria will ultimately begin to produce globally competitive goods and services.

It is important for Nigeria’s leaders and its population to keep this in mind while the country deals with yet another cost of living crisis.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2024).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.



Wednesday 24 April 2024

Naval War College Lecture: Fulfilling Outcome 5 by "Drawing lessons for the conduct of future amphibious operations by the Nigerian Navy"

While technologies change the logic remains the same.” 

- Dr. Toshi Yoshihara

Reflecting on the Bonny Operation.

Preparation & Operational issues. 

Primacy of the mission

. Everything including casualties is secondary to achieving the goals of the mission.

Intelligence

. Gaining effective intelligence on the enemy remains a paramount task. It is always important to assess the strength of the opposition.

. Also obtaining accurate information on the physical format of the selected landing site along with tidal information is extremely crucial.

Determining the appropriate level of force to use

. Prior to the Bonny operation the Navy needed to calibrate the amount of firepower which would need to be brought to bear on the enemy from the sea while in support of advancing Nigerian troops.

Getting logistics right

. It is no good having the cleverest plan in the world and well-trained personnel if they lack adequate fuel, ammunition and food. These issues serve as constraints on planning. Logistics drives the tactical plans.

Assessing vulnerabilities

. Don’t risk your big ships as you will not get an equivalent amount of military value from it. NNS Nigeria was not risked but provided effective support. Commander James Rawe noted that Nigeria had a high freeboard which made it difficult for it to depress its guns low enough to engage in close up fighting. Its size also meant that it could not navigate shallower or more confined waters in a way that NNS Ogoga, a corvette, and NNS Benin and NNS Enugu, SDBs could.

Train as you expect to fight

. The old mantra of “train like you fight, fight like you train” was evident in the pre-landing preparations undertaken by the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Army. 

. Tarkwa Bay provided a good training location. It could be easily sealed from the public to achieve secrecy.

Battle

Learn and adjust during operations

. For instance, during the Bonny Operation, the Nigerian Navy learned from experience that it was best for ships patrolling Bonny River to operate in pairs in order to counter helicopter attacks. 

Commander Rawe and his crew were caught unawares by a bomb dropped by a Biafran helicopter piloted by French mercenaries while investigating the wreck of BNS Ibadan. When they got to NNS Penelope, the helicopter pursued them while dropping bombs. The helicopter nestled itself directly above Penelope so that the vessel's guns were unable to target it. Penelope zig-zagged its way out of trouble while Rawe fired at it with his FN FAL rifle to keep it at a higher distance.

Patrolling

. The importance of patrolling to maintain gains i.e. maintain control of the Bonny theatre. The Navy needed to have been more aggressive in its patrolling of the Bonny River after the taking of Bonny Island. This flaw gave confidence to the Biafran side which launched raids on Bonny (mainly at night) and which almost overwhelmed the admittedly understaffed and under resourced Nigerian Army battalion at Bonny and the company-sized deployment at Peterside.

Communication between Navy and Army

. Interpersonal relations between officers of the same armed force and other forces. There was a good relationship between Commander Rawe and Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Adekunle but not between Captain Nelson Soroh and Adekunle. 

. Needless to say, the inter-service and intra-service relations between officers embarked upon combined missions is a crucial factor in achieving success.

Technical co-ordination 

. Navy and Army co-operation also encompasses the technical.

. The use of pyrotechnic flares were used as signals to signify the beginning or ending of specific manoeuvres, as well as to indicate the position of troops so as to prevent deaths and injuries from friendly fire.

For instance, NNS Lokoja was expected to fire skywards what was described in naval jargon as "one red Very light in the final stage of her beaching run, while the troops of the Third Infantry Division engaging the enemy in Bonny were expected to indicate their position to naval vessels by firing "one green Very light" in order to indicate their most southerly position so as to permit relevant naval vessels to fire ahead of them. It would in effect indicate the dividing line between "friendly troops" and "enemy troops."

Today, senior officers in a situation room and even soldiers or marines on the battlefield will be able to construct digital maps which increase situational awareness. Ascertaining the location of friendly and hostile forces can also be aided by the use of drones and communication can be facilitated by utilising military encrypted phones.

. Difficulties can arise even within the most established armed forces. For instance, it is interesting to note that during the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina in the early 1980s, it was discovered that the Royal Navy and the British Army did not have compatible (integrated) joint communications systems. According to Rear Admiral Chris Parry, if the navy needed to talk to the army, they had to “send a helicopter up with an army radio set in the back to talk to them.”

Psychological issues

. Be prepared for death. Field medical assistance was non-existent at Bonny. Commander Rawe recalled that Lieutenant Colonel Adekunle went around dying Nigerian soldiers laid across a deck lifting them by the heads and giving them a tot of brandy saying, "there is nothing that we can do for you” but inviting them to have a drink before they left.

. Also, some corpses of Federal soldiers who died during the landing floated around Bonny River with vultures sitting on their heads because their life jackets kept them afloat.

Both issues did not help morale.

Adherence to the Laws of War

. Evidence of this can be garnered from the Bonny operation order in which ship commanders were instructed not to fire from north of their position in “Area Tango” unless necessary to prevent stray shells from landing in the high-density part of Bonny Town designated as “Sector Foxtrot.”

Some wider issues

Operating armed forces in a nation lacking an industrial base

. Nigeria lacked an industrial base in 1967 and still lacks an industrial base. Operational planning will be constricted when a nation lacks an indigenous "military industrial complex".

The need for established military-orientated institutions of higher education

. In other words, the necessity of Nigeria possessing an indigenous "military intellectual complex" through the efforts of maritime specialist academics and naval officers in laying down and developing the theoretical foundations of Nigerian sea power.

Are amphibious operations obsolete?

Some military figures believe that large scale amphibious assaults are now an obsolete aspect of warfare because shore-based missile technology is able to knock out warships (carriers, battleships and landing craft) from a great distance and that a relatively modest expenditure of ordnance would destroy a formidable amphibious landing force approaching a hostile littoral.

As General David Berger, a U.S. Marine Commandant argued in the Marine Corps Gazette edition of June 2020:

“a maritime power and a nuclear power eliminates entirely the salience of large-scale forcible entry operations followed by sustained operations ashore.” 

See: The Case For Change: Meeting the Physical Challenges Facing the Corps

BUT the following book disputes this:

On Contested Shores: The Evolving Role of Amphibious Operations in the History of Warfare (VOLUME 2) edited by Timothy Heck, B. A. Friedman, and Walker D. Mills. 

See: Warfighting from Ship to Shore and Beyond: Why Amphibious Operations Still Matter - Modern War Institute.

Application of amphibious landings by the Nigerian Navy today

The old principles would remain the same for an Amphibious Support Operation

. Staging a landing to help another country in regard to disaster relief.

For amphibious assault

. The Nigeria Navy ships would need to be protected by a missile shield so as to protect vessels from shore based missiles and drones. Important to note that ships would be extremely vulnerable to hypersonic missiles.

. Secret preparations of a type such as undertaken prior to the Bonny Landing would need, in this day, to be accompanied by elaborate deception tactics i.e. a Nigerian form of Russian Maskirovka.

. Using modern technology in place of pyrotechnic flares to keep abreast of the location of friendly and hostile troops while the navy supports landed troops by providing covering fire.

. Accurate information in regard to the physical geography of the landing site and of tidal information remains a crucial component in planning an amphibious operation.

(c) Adeyinka Makinde (2024).