World View: Nigeria's Army Sees a Turning Point as Boko Haram Fighters Surrender

World View: Nigeria's Army Sees a Turning Point as Boko Haram Fighters Surrender

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Nigeria’s army sees a turning point as Boko Haram fighters surrender
  • Nato reports a ‘significant’ Russian troop pullback from Ukraine

Nigeria’s army sees a turning point as Boko Haram fighters surrender

Schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in April
Schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in April

Nigeria’s military says that the the leader of Boko Haram has beenkilled, and that some 270 militants have surrendered to the army andare being questioned. It is hoped that this will be a turning pointthat will lead to the safe recovery of the almost 300 schoolgirls thatwere abducted in April.

When the girls were first abducted, weeks went by with no visibleactions by the government or the military to recover the girls. Somereports claimed various government and military officials supportedBoko Haram.

However, in the last two or three months, the military has become muchmore aggressive in pursuing and fighting the Boko Haram militants.Recently, the military reported that Nigerian troops conductedcoordinated air and land operations in furtherance of efforts atcontaining the terrorists in the North East part of the country. Thefighters who surrendered have promised to cooperate with securityofficials by providing information on the whereabouts of the abductedgirls. Guardian News (Nigeria) and Tribune (Nigeria) and Daily Post (Nigeria)

Nato reports a ‘significant’ Russian troop pullback from Ukraine

According to Nato’s Lt Col Jay Janzen on Wednesday:

There has been a significant pullback of Russianconventional forces from inside Ukraine, but many thousands arestill deployed in the vicinity of the border.

Some Russian troops remain inside Ukraine. It is difficult todetermine the number, as pro-Russian separatists control severalborder crossings and troops are routinely moving back and forthacross the border. Further, Russian special forces are operatingin Ukraine, and they are difficult to detect.

It’s been estimated that 20,000-40,000 Russian troops are near theborder with Ukraine, and they could be sent in for a re-invasion atany time.

It used to be that President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerrywould respond to obvious lies by Russia’s president Vladimir Putin anddefense minister Sergei Lavrov by thanking them for being so helpfuland cooperative. However, that strategyappears to have been abandoned. Obama was harshly critical of Russia in hisspeech on Wednesday to the United Nations General Assembly:

Recently, Russia’s actions in Ukraine challenge thispost-war order. Here are the facts. After the people of Ukrainemobilized popular protests and calls for reform, their corruptpresident fled. Against the will of the government in Kyiv,Crimea was annexed. Russia poured arms into eastern Ukraine,fueling violent separatists and a conflict that has killedthousands. When a civilian airliner was shot down from areas thatthese proxies controlled, they refused to allow access to thecrash for days. When Ukraine started to reassert control over itsterritory, Russia gave up the pretense of merely supporting theseparatists, and moved troops across the border.

This is a vision of the world in which might makes right — aworld in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, andcivilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of theirloved ones because of the truth that might be revealed. Americastands for something different. We believe that right makes might– that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones,and that people should be able to choose their own future. Andthese are simple truths, but they must be defended.

Russia has always claimed that any Russian soldiers in Ukraine werepurely “voluntary.” This has always been a laughable claim, as ifthousands of Russian citizens would leave their wives and families,travel to Ukraine at their own expense, and risk getting killed. It’salso contradicted by reports that Russian soldiers were ordered intoUkraine.

However, I may have found a way that the Russian claim might contain agrain of truth. Here’s a paragraph from an article from earlier this month:

About 190,000 members of the 760,000-strong Russian army arerubles ($500) per month, a huge sum by Russian standards. They can beordered into combat in Ukraine or anywhere else at any time, and thereisn’t even a contractual requirement that relatives be notified ifvolunteers are killed in the line of duty.

In other words, Russia’s army has 570,000 conscripts and 190,000volunteers, for a total of 760,000 soldiers. So perhaps the Russiansoldiers that were ordered into Ukraine were from the volunteer force.

The United States has an all-volunteer army, so according to theRussian reasoning, there are no American soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraqor Syria. Why? Because they’re all “volunteers.”

By the way, I don’t know if my readers can wrap their head around thisconcept, but I thought Obama’s speech was pretty good. He sounded anawful lot like President George W Bush. (See “12-Sep-14 World View — President George W. Obama pledges to ‘degrade, destroy’ ISIS”). The speech would havebeen better if he’d mentioned the threat from China. BBC and White House and Moscow Times (9/1)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Nigeria, Boko Haram,Nato, Jay Jansen, Ukraine, Russia, Vladimir Putin,Sergei Lavrov
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