The decision by two US House Members, Seth Moulton and Peter Meijer who flew without authorization into Afghanistan a couple of days ago, in search of raw materials that would enable them ‘provide oversight for the executive branch,’ has received commentary from many quarters. As was expected, some of these reactions came primarily because of the risky nature of the exercise, even though it was a secret mission. What if their mission was intercepted by the Taliban and they were abducted? What if some desperate persons intent on leaving Afghanistan, happened on the mission and swarmed the aircraft in the attempt by the House Members to leave the same way they flew in? Some commentators query the waste of resources spent on the exercise. Yet can anyone query the fact that both men, who happen to be veterans, sent a message to all veterans about the development in Afghanistan, and by extension, the rest of the world. There is no questioning the fact that the exercise must have yielded to both men, vital intelligence about the situation in the country. And the world may never know the impact this intelligence may play in the architecture of the unfolding scenario in Afghanistan.
During the 80th Birthday Celebration of former President Ibrahim Babangida some day ago, one of his long-time lieutenants, Brig Halilu Akilu, observed that retired officers can make significant contributions to the current struggle against agents of insecurity in Nigeria. As veterans of various military exercises, they have a vast storehouse of intelligence technique they can easily avail current managers of security. If they initiate, the kind of ‘surprise’ moves as the US House Members, there is no telling the amount of vital intelligence they could gather and share as appropriate.
The risks involved in such initiatives are many as can be imagined, even though the texture does not necessarily have to be grand, elaborate or comprehensive. Little packets of quality information here and there, like the veterans must have collected, would eventually become big and game-changing.
By their actions, US House Members Seth Moulton and Peter Meijer have sent a memo to veterans around the world to consider the different security situations around the world and how they may get themselves back in some kind of action.