Rescuing the kidnapped girls should be only a first step for Nigeria to counter Boko Haram

The attention the kidnapped schoolgirls has brought Nigeria has shed a light on the flawed way the Nigerian government deals with Boko Haram. 

The larger aim of this campaign, however, should be to alter Nigeria’s self-defeating response to Boko Haram. The government has mixed heavy-handed repression with a prickly refusal to accept advice or more than small-scale assistance from the United States and other governments. In response to vicious attacks on schools and civilians, Mr. Jonathan’s government has dispatched poorly trained and equipped military forces that have too often conducted their own rampages.





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