Boko Haram, Nigeria & A Flailing West

AFRICOM is Stuttgart Germany has its hands full given the challenge of managing Boko Haram with insufficient political stability throughout Nigeria, not to mention falling oil prices threatening the entire Nigerian political class.  Entire nation states, especially those with un-diversified economies are finding themselves in positions of extraordinary weakness. Boko Haram’s success in tackling Baga in northeastern Nigeria spells disaster, for it was a town under federal government control.  Baga hosted the Multi-National Joint Task Force composed of troops from Chad, Niger, Nigeria tasked to control advancing Islamic militias throughout the lake Chad region.  This success speaks to the psychological strength Haram exhibits in that it felt confident to confront, engage an organized state sanctioned force. Hundreds of young girls continue to be kidnapped and sold off to slavery, namely fellow jihadi’s who seek to show social prestige in tribal regions. Given the weakness of the Nigerian state, intelligence will be difficult to develop, AFRICOM’s capacity to build C.O.I.N. will take months to field.  This is a challenge for our finest soldiers, let’s hope Washington’s political class is up to the fight.

About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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