Military Victories Over Boko Haram Mean Little to Nigerians

Though government forces have killed many insurgents and retaken some territory, a relentless wave of attacks has left many Nigerians living in a perpetual state of fear.

Comments: 19

  1. Terrorism, properly defined, is using fear as a tool of power. If most Nigerians are fearful, then terrorists are winning, since they have control over masses of people. The number of dead people on either side is beside the point. Those who think body counts and victory go hand in hand should revisit the Vietnam War. Ultimately wars are about breaking the will to fight -- and that's almost impossible to know until one's enemy crumbles and runs.

  2. I guess Ms. Bulama must suffer from "Islamophobia"! I am so sorry for this poor woman. She is a victim of a religion and a culture that grants her little value and views death as preferable to life. She is justifiably afraid.
    Unfortunately, there is little we can do to help her and although it breaks my heart there is nothing we should do. The West can do nothing.

    If a white European women in Köln or NYC would voice the same fears she would be attacked as a racist, bigot and Islamophobe. She would be lectured on the need to accept the "cultural confusion" and told to modify her behavior and accept that she must accomadate the threats in the name of multiculturalism.

    There are real threats to humans when religions and their adherents take up arms to enforce their religious views on others whether those fanatics are Muslims, Jews, Christians or others. Pretending these threats don't exist or labeling those who are justifiably afraid as bigots or racists won't make those threats go away. Rather excusing these violent fanatics, civil society must make it clear that the behavior will not be tolerated and punish those or engage or encourage such behavior. Those who cannot or refuse live in a civil secular society should be asked to leave. Neither Religion nor "culture" is an excuse for the intimidation of others.

  3. My direct experience with the senior Nigerian military is that it can be difficult to get them to admit they need help, even when it's patently obvious. They are perfectly willing to accept equipment and funds, but wish to employ it as they wish - "Just give us the equipment" - yet with little attention to the logistics required to maintain, sustain, and employ it. I hope those 24 MRAPs - two are in the photo - have a sustainment package coming with them - or in 6 months they'll be chicken coops. Providing excess defense articles - especially in Africa - can be chancy. But we have hundreds of excess MRAPs from OIF and OEF operations and it's probably better than simply cutting them up.

  4. Jews do not proselytize, and thus have never taken "up arms to enforce their religious views on others."

  5. In reference to my post above, I see now from a July 7 NYT article that the U.S. Is providing a variety of support, including logistics. So it appears that things have somewhat changed in the Nigerian military's attitude, a welcome development.

  6. It would be more accurate to attest that most NORTHERN Nigerians are fearful. Most Nigerians see Boko Haram as a Northern problem, one compounded by Northerners adherence to a Caliphate system, reluctance to educate their women, general distance from the rest of the country and other 'differences.'
    It, quite obviously, is a problem when Nigerians are only concerned about Northern Nigerians when the world starts to highlight them (as in the #Bringbackourgirls movement).
    But many Nigerians are not scared of Boko Haram, they view it as an isolated Northern Nigerian problem.

  7. Good point. Those in the south have their own set of problems.

  8. Sounds to me like there still needs to be significant overhauls made to the military so that it can operate effectively and professionally; something it has yet to fully demonstrate to the rest of the world and subsequently it's own people.

    Local engagement is the true key, in my opinion, to bringing about a shift in both public perception and cultural consciousness. The need to awaken a binding nationalist feeling of cohesion and strength would do a long way in helping to extinguish this awful stain on humanity.

    Barring that, time to send in our international operators. Nigeria is too big and too important to allow to fall into chaos; they can't do this alone.

  9. Barack Obama is great at taking down straw men. No one I know thinks the fight against Islamic terror is "World War Three." The reality, as far as I can tell, is that he does not even see this "war" as a battle against adherents of a particular interpretation of Islam. He perceives the threat as simply a bunch of misbegotten souls motivated by genuine grievances that often stem from Western nefariousness. How many times has he asserted or implied that Palestinian terror is a result of humiliation and oppression by the Israelis rather than the other way around?

    In conjunction with the rest of the Western world, and in collaboration with our Islamic partners, we have to build a longterm strategy that cuts across administrations and thus party lines, for first containing, then destroying terror organizations, and then delegitimizing their precepts, precepts which have stretched from one end of the earth to the other, from the Gaza Strip to Jakarta, from Philadelphia to Istanbul, from the Sahara and the Sahel to the Karakoram.

    These Islamists movements in Africa, as Netanyahu loves to point out, are today very weak. In time, without a multifaceted, sustained effort to defeat them, they will grow. We have an obligation, to ourselves and to the future, to destroy these Islamists before they metastasize. I've read elsewhere, as well, that Nigerian military tactics are at times savage; we must be careful about how this is done.

  10. the Nigerian military is full of thieves, as is most of the bureacracy of Nigeria (and most sub-saharan nations). Most money sent for assistance will find its way to tax haven nations. Aid should be straight to population via NGOs, even including firearms for villages to protect themselves. They would probably do a far better job than the Nigerian so-called army.

  11. She worries that suicide bombers might be lurking at the vegetable stand where she shops for her six children. They could turn up at the hospital where she takes her relatives. Any woman in a hijab could have a suicide belt under her clothes, she fears.
    Obama would tell her she has nothing to fear. Terrorists disrupt things and cause a great deal of collateral damage that goes beyond the physical. But yeah no point in actually vetting the refugees Obama wants to bring here.

  12. Refugees coming to the United States ARE vetted. What in the world would make you think they are not?

  13. You have your facts wrong. The US government has a very extensive vetting process for refugees. It takes 18-24 months from them to be cleared for entry. No other foreigners entering the U.S. are so closely vetted.

  14. Oh by all means, let's bring them to the US. Let's transport the entire world population here. I mean, if the agenda is to let Syrian refugees in, how can you morally exclude anyone?

  15. Boko Haram is just another version of ISIS, Taliban, al-Qaeda or other Saudi funded Wahhabi terrorists. In order to really defeat them one must chop the snakes head off and that is severing all ties with the fountain of this cancerous growth, Saudi Arabia.

  16. Remind me again why colonialism was a bad thing?

  17. What's your point? Even the former colonial powers are suffering from terrorist attacks.

  18. Because without it, terror groups like Boko Haram, ISIL, et al would not exist. The origins of Islamic fundamentalism lay in colonialism. The conditions for its spread in various parts of Africa and the Middle East derive from colonialism. IF you would study history you would know this.

  19. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    Come again?