The United States has moved closer to the Nigerian government, seeing common ground in the Nigerian governments struggle against Boko Haram.
Boko Haram is an Islamic terrorist organization that is seeking to replace Nigeria’s secular democracy with Islamic sharia government. Indeed Boko Haram means “Western Education is a sin.” The group has been disgustingly effective—staging more than two hundred attacks since the start of the year.
Although, the U.S. military has stepped up efforts to train African militaries in intelligence, counter-insurgency and joint exercises, these efforts do little to solve the institutional weakness of many African governments that often exacerbate terrorism in Africa.
I think there is a real danger in militarizing all problems of terrorism. Nigeria does not have the institutonal capabilities to fight a conventional counter-terrorist operations. Western governments have the luxary of stable governments with secure borders
So, Nigeria needs an institutional approach that endeavors to strengthen Nigeria’s institutions and wider African borders that will allow more traditional counter-terrorist operations to have effect. One cannot meaningfully fight terror if militants can just slip back across the border to attack again.