Editorial: GAF, please this is a serious gaffe
The Ghana Armed Forces recently took delivery of forty armoured vehicles acquired by the government to argument its fleet. It is instructive to note that this is not the first time the army has been supplied with operational vehicles. Indeed all successive governments did their part and President Akufo-Addo has come to continue where they left off.
The West Africa region is gradually becoming one of the unstable places in the world. Whilst Bokom Haram and its allies are tormenting Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad, while IS and Al Qaeda are also slaughtering people like animals in Burkina Faso and Mali. In summary, we are living in a volatile region and must, therefore, prepare our army to defend the state should the unfortunate happen.
It is, therefore, in the right direction, the decision that has been taken by the government to equip the army. Because of the state of instability being experienced, almost every country in the sub region is equipping her army, and Ghana cannot be left out.
The Chronicle understands that plans are also underway to establish military bases in parts of the Upper East and West regions.
This is a step in the right direction, especially looking at what is happening in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, where terrorists have struck more than twice in the past four years. It is only an irresponsible government that will see all these warning signs and yet will not take any steps to prepare herself.
But whilst commending the government for equipping the military, The Chronicle is appalled at the information given out about the armoured vehicles by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF). Read what the Ghana Armed Forces told the public about the vehicles: “The vehicle is divided into 3 main compartments, namely, THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT, which houses the engine, THE CAP COMPARTMENT, which houses the Driver, Commander and their various controls, and THEFIGHTING COMPARTMENT which houses the main armament and theAssault Troopers. Access to these compartments is through doors and emergency hatches.
“A winch is also fitted on the vehicle to enable the vehicle to self-recover itself and others when stuck. The vehicle is equipped with cameras at the front and rear of the vehicle to enable the driver monitor what is happening around the vehicle. Gun ports and vision windows are fitted around the vehicle to enable the crew observe and return fire whiles in the vehicle. The vehicle is also equipped with a Fire Suppression System, which enables the vehicle to detect fire in the vehicle and to self-trigger the automated fire extinguishers to suppress or quench the fire.”
Apart from the personnel of GAF, the rest of the population do not know anything about how to fight in a war. The Chronicle is, therefore, at a loss as to why the military would be disclosing to the public the equipment in the vehicles and how they are used in war situations.
May God perish our thought, but should any country or group of people decide to attack Ghana, they already know our weaknesses and strengths and will develop a strategy to neutralise our fire power.
In our view, the disclosure is not in the interest of our national security and ought to have been avoided. Parliament always sits in cameral anytime they decide to discuss matters pertaining to the military. The MPs do so because they know the implication of letting certain vital information concerning the military into the public domain.
All over the world, countries try to study each other to know the sort of weapons their opponents or neighbours have. They do not gather this intelligence information for gathering sake, but use them to defend themselves when they are attacked. It was, therefore, wrong for the military to have disclosed all these vital information, including others we have not mentioned in this column, about the armoured vehicles.
Until the military high command comes out with elucidation that will sink well with us, there is no way The Chronicle, and we believe the larger population, will accept this serious gaffe. Issues concerning the military, especially the sort of weapons we have and how they are operated, in our view, should be known only to the military and not the larger population.
There is no way the United Sates will develop a weapon and disclose to the rest of the world how it functions. They would have blown their own cover if they did that, and this is the reason why we think our Armed Forces should have been careful when they were talking about the functions of the armoured vehicles. It is our prayer that this will never happen again if we are really serious about our national security.