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Vol 59 No 3

Published 9th February 2018


Flying blind

The US sale of ground-attack aircraft is hugely expensive and is of doubtful strategic value in the fight against Boko Haram

President Donald Trump's decision to unfreeze export approval for weapons for Nigeria, mainly combat aircraft, is under fire. Not only does the Nigerian air force (NAF) have a record of causing excessive civilian casualties, but guerrillas have never yet been defeated by air power alone and most think Boko Haram will be no exception. Getting the sale past United States objections about human rights abuses by the Nigerian military, as well as its competence in the field, has been a point of pride for Abuja, which regards the deal as a major victory.

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