Thursday, May 08, 2014
Should the US swoop in and save the day in Nigeria?
There's been a huge ground-swell of international support for the 270 Nigerian students who were kidnapped by the Islamic militant gang Boko Haram, and who might be sold into sexual slavery for $12 a piece.
The world is looking at the US with indignant "what are you waiting for" expressions. But can the US just swoop into a sovereign nation with paramilitary SEAL/Delta Force teams, and kill a bunch of militants to rectify what would be a local police matter in any other country? Should we?
Logistically it would be a nightmare. Those jungles are dense, vast, and it's easy to hide almost 300 hostages below the canopy where the never-blinking eyes of drones cannot peer.
-So finding them is problem 1(they've had 3 weeks to hide and/or disperse).
-Delivering a strike force sizable enough to accomplish the mission is problem 2.
-Cobbling together other nations so it's not just another unilateral act by the US is problem 3(who commands the force, for instance and will the French, Canadians, and Brits be OK getting killed for a US rescue mission?)
-But the biggest problem of all is getting an invitation from Nigeria to do this. Nigeria is the largest African nation in population and economy. They are our friends. Doing anything without their invitation and cooperation would be internationally embarrassing for a country that is trying to emerge and develop economically and shed the reputation for primitive lawlessness.
I've read today where they've finally accepted US assistance, but only in logistics and in finding the Boko Haram camp or camps where the girls are being held. The problem with that is, in addition to the Simbisa jungle issues, is the proximity to Niger, Chad, and Cameroon where some think the girls are already being taken. Then it becomes a multi-national operation.
See how this thing mushrooms into a huge international incident when the Nigerian police force should have taken care of it in week one?
Without an unlimited invitation, I just don't see where we have a role in this. The US can't be the doting parent to the rescue to every country where something bad happens.