Geee Posted January 8, 2015 Share Posted January 8, 2015 American Spectator: Nigeria is not “lost,” and it is wildly premature to put the question of the threat faced by the government of Goodluck Jonathan in such stark terms. However, President Jonathan is up for re-election in February, and it is fair to ask: Is Nigeria at risk of seeing half its territory amputated and seized by a revolutionary movement like the Islamic State? Last week, federal troops under attack from a band of Jihadists reportedly cut and ran from the garrison town of Baga in the far northeast, next to Lake Chad. There is a reason this is a garrison town and there is a reason it was targeted by the Boko Haram insurgency that has plagued the northern tier of the west African powerhouse, at 180 million the most populous nation on the continent, one of the largest (900 square km), and by any measure an absolutely indispensable strategic ally of the U.S. How so? Well, just imagine the impact of Nigeria, a country with a half-trillion dollar GDP, disintegrating like, say, Somalia. This is not going to happen. But it is not inconceivable that the country will be, de facto, cut in two, the way Mali was for over a year when radical Islamists replaced government authority in a Texas-sized swathe of territory north of the Niger river, imposed sharia, and threatened to set up a caliphate in Bamako, Mali’s capital. Nigeria’s northern radicals are not substantially different in their aims and methods from Mali’s. There are differences in leadership, in the tribal and “ethnic” core bases (and in the core enemies), and in the whole historical backgrounds of these distinct regions of the continent. That is certain. But it is also certain, from the evidence of their own behavior, that there is a similarity in the ruthless, death-driven political motivations of these violent Islamic movements. Put another way, these groups are not substantially different in their aims and methods from the folks running al Qaeda and Islamic State and the Taliban. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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