Abrahms told IBTimes, “I think it’s very smart for the U.S. not to get too involved. It’s very, very hard to wage effec­tive coun­terin­sur­gency and effec­tive coun­tert­er­rorism, and it’s par­tic­u­larly hard to do so in a for­eign country, because the suc­cess of coun­terin­sur­gency cam­paigns really depends on win­ning over the pop­u­la­tion, so if you’re a for­eign power, you know, basi­cally occu­pying a for­eign country will breed resent­ment and ulti­mately be counter– productive.”

It’s more likely, Abrahms said, that drones could be used, although he con­ceded they have had a mixed suc­cess rate against guerilla groups like Boko Haram. “Drones are more effec­tive against very cen­tral­ized groups, very hier­ar­chical groups,” he said. Boko Haram is very decen­tral­ized, with no real leadership.

Any on-​​the-​​ground involve­ment from the U.S. mil­i­tary could actu­ally strengthen Boko Haram’s stran­gle­hold on the region and gain them more sup­port, Abrahms said. The reason, he said, is the residue of Nigeria’s colo­nial past. Amer­ican involve­ment could gal­va­nize oppo­si­tion among those who see the super­power as sym­bolic of colo­nial exploitation.

Abrahms also noted that the U.S. public appears to be entering an “iso­la­tionist period” after fighting two wars during the last 14 years. Amer­i­cans did widely sup­port get­ting involved in Syria or Libya, and inter­vening in a West African country “feels even fur­ther removed from U.S. national secu­rity,” he said. “So really, there wouldn’t be stomach among Amer­i­cans for a more proac­tive intervention.”

 

 

Read the article at International Business Times →