Tuesday, March 09, 2004

The Nigerian Civil War - A Military Perspective

I've just had the good fortune to come across this 1984 report on the military aspect of the Nigerian Civil War that raged from 1967 to 1970. I find this report interesting for two reasons; the first is that I'd like to know what an American military officer, being a member of the world's best-trained fighting force*, would make of the conduct of the war by both sides. The second reason for my interest is that it's virtually impossible to get an objective account of what went on from Nigerian officers of any extraction, for obvious reasons of career/ethnic pride, which in a way makes the Nigerian Civil War similar to the (much less deadly) Yom Kippur War - there's a Rashomon like quality to the starkly contrasting views of what occurred depending on who one chooses to listen to.

*Yes, I really do think this is true. Bring up all the conventional historical examples you like and I think today's US armed forces would stand up well by comparison. Not even the Wehrmacht comes close in terms of quality at any level, from what I know about the German military's organization - which is a fair bit.