Boko Haram, Reaching the Nadir
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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Since 2009, Boko Haram violence claimed the lives of nearly a thousand civilians and government personnel in northern Nigeria. They illustrated their ability to target Western interests in 2011 when a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device VBIED at the United Nations UN headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria. This group poses a threat to Nigerian stability and US strategic interests, especially amid fears of collaboration with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb AQIM and Al Shabaab. Yet despite Congressman Patrick Meehans recent attempt to persuade Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to add the group to the Foreign Terrorist Organization FTO list, she denied the request on the grounds that Boko Haram is a loosely constructed organization with a local focus. DoS did however, designate three of their senior leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists SDGT under section 1b of Executive Order 13224.5 This positive step should empower the Nigerian government and bring about the demise of Boko Haram by curtailing regional expansion and drying up their support lifeline. Since Nigeria plays such a dominant role in the security of Africa, the United States cannot let them fail. In the event Boko Haram choses a more dangerous path, the United States will be forced to commit more resources to ensure their destruction.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics