The Challenges for a U.S. Military Rescue of Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

Posted June 24, 2014 at 7:32am

Stars and Stripes report that “in a trio of daring missions, Navy SEAL Team 6 freed an American ship captain held hostage by Somali pirates in 2009, killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011, and rescued two hostages in Somalia — an American and a Dane — in 2012.”  

“So why not send the SEALs or other special forces commandos, who this week captured one of the planners of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, to rescue the almost 300 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted on April 14 by the Islamist group Boko Haram?”  

“The group, responsible for slaughtering thousands of civilians in northeastern Nigeria over the last few years, caused worldwide outrage by kidnapping the girls. In response, the United States sent military and police advisers to Nigeria and some 80 Air Force personnel to operate Predator drones to search from neighboring Chad.”  

The piece continues: “Washington has been reluctant to organize a rescue for political, practical, logistical and organizational reasons. It also has to figure out how to deal with the explosive growth of much more dangerous, al-Qaida-related extremist groups that have conquered vast swathes of territory in eastern Syria and western Iraq and are establishing a joint fundamentalist state in the heart of the Middle East.”