Boko Haram: Africa’s new JV team?
Oboho, Kitefre K.
Artis, Andrew J.
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This thesis examines the threat Boko Haram poses to Nigeria and its neighbors in West Africa, and determines the extent to which ensuing regional instability may or may not threaten United States (U.S.) national interests in the region. Among our conclusions, from the examination of U.S.-Nigerian relations over time, is that the United States generally acts in response to the media’s ability to incite a public outcry and less in regard to threats to perceived national interests. Boko Haram, initially viewed as a problem internal to Nigeria given its Nigeria- focused agenda, has since developed relations with influential transnational and international terrorist organizations, such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS). It is our position that sponsorship from other terror organizations will make Boko Haram more dangerous and capable of threatening regional stability, ergo impacting U.S. security interests. On the basis of whether a terrorist group seeks state-level sovereignty or inclusion into an existing state, we propose several stop-gaps that, if applied effectively, could serve as countermeasures to hinder Boko Haram’s ability to move from being a peripheral to an important or even vital threat to United States interests in West Africa.
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