Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Next strategic stop: Nigeria

Food for public thought as paid Defense strategists, State Department analysts, contracted and wishing-to-be-so “ think tankers” have Nigeria in their analytic sights. Oil and liquid natural gas (LNG) = vital national interests.

There is a serious brewing revolution in Nigeria, most complex. Tribal differences, class struggle, oil revenue that doesn’t seem to enrich the populace, an Islamic radicalization taking root colliding with Christian cultures.

The immense poverty in the immense mega-city of Lagos. Piracy, kidnappings lucrative. Oil-bunkering whereby people literally tap pipelines to siphon off a share of crude, crudely but effectively selling it on the black market. Port Harcourt, on the Niger Delta, a wild west town. Uncertain elections in April, violence today.

In the midst of this chaos, oil companies producing onshore and off-shore. Capacity potential is high while production levels are low due to obstacles and uncertainty enumerated above.

This region has been seething for quite some time…since 2004 if you wish a benchmark year…my opinion. Yet historians will note that the Biafra-era struggle continues.

Libya makes headlines while the rest of Africa’s narrative continues to receive scant public attention. Africa is a worry in Washington, London, Paris, and Rome, however. Perhaps you have too much on your citizen plate right now. Perhaps our exits from Afghanistan and Iraq have you hopeful. Not to dash your hopes but rather a nudge to encourage you to begin glancing south of Libya and Egypt. This rumble in the jungle may be a crisis by the end of the year. Nigeria, besides being rich in energy resources, is a beautiful country with wonderful people. They ache for our attention.

Best wishes to our talented strategists and planners. This campaign will be more complex than anything we’ve yet encountered. It will include resolve and commitment from the major European powers, a definite far-south stretch for an already stretched to the breaking point NATO.

Post Nigeria?…my suggestion for pro-active attention: Ethiopia.

photo is from http://morethanourvoices.blogspot.com/

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