The jihadist group Boko Haram kidnapped twenty more women in a remote corner of northeastern Nigeria earlier this week. The group is still holding 270 girls it abducted from a primary school in early April.
This week’s abductions took place despite various forms of recent U.S. military assistance in the search for the kidnapped girls. The U.S. sent 80 troops to Chad last month, likely to help operate and maintain surveillance aircraft that could gather intelligence on Boko Haram’s structure and activities.
This week’s kidnapping shows just how far behind Nigeria and its allies are in countering the Boko Haram threat. The group can still kidnap and kill with impunity — even with the United States military increasingly involved in the region. And on June 3rd, Nigerian sources reported that ten generals had been court martialed for aiding the terrorist group.
The U.S. is coming into the region without much experience fighting Boko Haram, which it only listed as a terror organisation in 2013. Meanwhile, Nigeria believes its own security forces are compromised, and the country’s entire governing structure is riddled with corruption and general incompetence.
The international attention the #BringBackOurGirls campaign brought to Boko Haram hasn’t translated into a suddenly-greater U.S. or Nigerian ability to fight the group. As this week’s kidnappings demonstrate, two months in the global spotlight has done little to diminish the group’s frightening capabilities.
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