Failure to act against Boko Haram signals US surrender in War on Terror

Justin King | The Anti-Media

The Boko Haram, an insurgent group in Nigeria, has given the global community every reason for military action in Nigeria. The most recent act of kidnapping around 100 schoolgirls after an assault on a school is just the latest in a string of mass kidnappings, bombings, and assassinations. Image credit: DVIDSHUB

Currently the group is holed up in an isolated and sparsely populated section of northeastern Nigeria. The US could easily locate the heat signatures of the kidnappers and their teenaged victims by using satellites or the massive drone fleet it has acquired under the pretense of fighting terrorism. Even if the US was unwilling to commit ground forces to the conflict, simply passing on intelligence and advising the Nigerian military on the tactical use of the intelligence would save the victims from the fate of sexual abuse and eventual murder.

The Boko Haram, which is a Jihadist organization with ties to almost every single Islamic terrorist organization on the hit list of the United States, is led by a man named Abubakar Shekau, who incidentally has a $7 million US bounty on his head. The group’s main goal is the establishment of an Islamic state in Nigeria complete with Sharia law. Despite its local focus, the group has become an increasingly transnational threat to regional stability, committing acts of terror in Niger and Cameroon.

The group has waged a bloody five-year insurgency and in the process has bombed UN buildings, kidnapped and slit the throats of or beheaded dozens of school aged children, as well as engaged in more standard acts of insurgency.

In Nigeria, an actual threat to the lives and dignity of civilians exists and the Boko Haram presents a very real threat to the stability of the largest US trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. The reluctance of the administration to act can only be called a complete surrender in the War on Terror.

The reason US forces have not become involved is most likely the timidity of the administration to face the threat of US Embassies in Africa being attacked in retaliation. Anything that could remind Americans of the Benghazi attack is a toxic political situation for the current administration and Hilary Clinton, the most likely Democratic Presidential nominee.

The other possibility, and the one most Americans will be unwilling to face, is that the last ten years of stated US foreign policy have been a farce. Currently the administration is beating the drums of war for a Syrian intervention in support of an Al-Qaeda linked group and is escalating tensions with Russia over Ukraine. In both of those situations, the US and its media are trying to appeal to citizens by claiming that US intervention is necessary to protect the lives of civilians.

A hundred schoolgirls sit awaiting torture, rape, and execution in Nigeria. If the same scenario was being perpetrated by Assad’s government in Syria or by dissident Russians in Ukraine, drones would be en route and special operations teams would already be on the ground. The lack of a US response clearly demonstrates that concern for civilian deaths is not a high priority, regardless of media propaganda. To the contrary it demonstrates that the threat of terrorism has been used to justify overseas meddling and a solidification of the US hegemony in the Middle East. The War on Terror appears to have just been a ready excuse to act on an agenda devised years before the Twin Towers ever fell.

The US’s failure to act in the face of such cruelty and inhumane acts is a slap in the face to every soldier who served under the guise of fighting terrorism in the last decade. Whether the US government is crippled by fear or it is inadvertently admitting that terrorists are only the enemy when attacking them fits the US agenda, the War on Terror is over and the United States has lost.

This article is free and open source. You may republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author Justin King and

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