Charlatans Not Security Experts

 Air Marshal Michael Samson-Oje

The immediate past Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) could not have missed the bull’s eye with the shot he fired during a gathering of retired commissioned officers last week.

 Air Marshal Michael Samson-Oje spoke for concerned Ghanaians when he expressed worry about so-called security experts who speak about national security issues so gleefully yet so ignorantly the negative implications of some of the things they say are injurious to national security.  

Concerned Ghanaians ‒ many of them experienced persons ‒ have watched on helplessly as these charlatans parade the media with ‘security expert’ tags.  

Their toxic stuff are anything but expert interventions when there is no shortage of the appropriate persons to speak to such important issues as the national security of the country.

It is puzzling how in the face of their struggles to be regarded as experts in security matters retired commissioned officers many of who have seen action in theatres of conflict do not deem it necessary to counter the half-truths and outright mendacious remarks.

It is understandable for retired military officers and their police counterparts to be discreet in their public remarks. Not under the circumstances we are in today.

Restricted materials, of course, should be treated as such especially when disclosing them can impugn upon national security.

Retired commissioned officers by their training and experience, of course, know what not to deal with on the public space.

The many items which crop up in the media, especially radio, do not fall under such restricted areas. It behoves the retired commissioned officers not to allow the ignorance being exhibited on the airwaves regarding national security to continue.

Now that the former CDS has spoken, it is our expectation that media houses would reach out to these retired officers for interventions when it is necessary to do so.  

A compendium of such retired officers and their areas of specialization would be helpful. It is important to note that even in the sphere of defence, there are specialized areas besides the services.

Issues about explosives, bomb disposal or Bailey bridges fall on the bosom of retired engineer corp officers. Calling somebody who neither knows what a fuse on a grenade is nor what a safety catch on a rifle is to speak about the military is certainly out of place. 

Fighter jets and speed boats are best discussed by former mainstream air force fighter pilots as the latter is best dealt with by naval officers engaged in frontline operations.

When politicians discuss budgets for the foregone, it is only such retired persons who can contextualize the subject for better understanding.

Unfortunately, there is a plethora of young men who can hardly define war and its phases flaunting ‘security expert’ tags on their epaulettes as it were.  

Let the retired officers, security experts in their own right step out to share their experience and knowledge. Keeping these to themselves is selfishness.

Sharing these would go a long way in helping us douse conflicts when they rear their heads and generally help us manage our national security better.

Retired officers get on the terrain and help with appropriate interventions.