Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, challenged the American people to put up or shut up last week when he toldthe Wall Street Journal that he has repeatedly and fruitlessly requested the United States deploy troops to combat Boko Haram. “If Nigeria has a problem, then I expect the U.S. to come and assist us,” he said.
Jonathan is running for re-election. Cynical though they may be, suggestions of U.S. abandonment have political utility. After spending most of his tenure treating Boko Haram more like a nuisance than a referendum on his administration’s security chops, Jonathan is now claiming he has been doing the responsible thing and persistently asking for help. To this he added an assertion that Boko Haram is the West African affiliate of ISIS—an established American target. By his logic, failures to suppress the group are Washington’s, not Abuja’s.
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