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The U.S. Must Remain In Africa’s Fight Against Boko Haram

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National Review

The U.S. Must Remain In Africa’s Fight Against Boko Haram

by Kaj Larsen

On Thursday, August 15, the international terrorist group Boko Haram attacked a military base and community in Nigeria, killing three soldiers. This comes on the heels of an even deadlier attack three weeks ago, when armed members of the group rode motorcycles into a funeral in northern Nigeria and opened fire on the procession, killing 65 mourners.

For many, these are just forgettable attacks by Boko Haram. But for me, this story hit close to home. A few years ago, I was an investigative journalist reporting from where the carnage occurred. And years before that, I served as a Navy SEAL in Africa trying to prevent such carnage from taking place at all.

In today’s era of trade war with China and potential hot wars with Iran and North Korea, it’s easy to overlook the threat posed by Boko Haram, and conflicts in Africa more broadly. But I believe we ignore the continent and terrorist groups such as Boko Haram at our peril — and we’d better pay attention now before events force us to pay attention later.

Boko Haram is most famous, of course, for its 2014 kidnapping of roughly 300 young girls, an event that shocked the world and even led First Lady Michelle Obama to post a photo with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. I deployed to Africa two years after these kidnappings, and I encountered a Boko Haram emboldened by the success of the kidnapping and the attention it garnered. It was a powerful insurgency, driven by an ideology hostile to all things Western and modern.

Read more: https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/08/boko-haram-us-must-remain-in-africas-fight-against-terror-group/