New reports says the United States are ready to send dozens of Special Operations advisers to the front lines of Nigeria’s fight against the notorious terrorist group Boko Haram, says US military officials deployed to fight the Islamic states and its allies.
According to NYTIMES, their deployment would push American troops hundreds of miles closer to the battle that Nigerian forces are waging against an insurgency that has killed thousands of civilians in the country’s northeast as well as in neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon. By some measures, Boko Haram is the world’s deadliest terrorist group.
The deployment is a main recommendation of a recent confidential assessment by the top United States Special Operations commander for Africa, Brig. Gen. Donald C. Bolduc. If it is approved, as expected, by the Defense and State Departments, the Americans would serve only in noncombat advisory roles, military officials said.
According to President Obama, he has relied heavily on Special Operations forces to train and advise local troops fighting the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and to carry out clandestine counterterrorism missions
The report says the Pentagon has offered to send American advisers with Iraqi brigades on the battlefield instead of restricting them to bases inside Iraq. Dozens of American commandos are conducting surveillance missions in Libya and counterterrorism missions in Somalia.
The Africa director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Jennifer G. Cooke, who visited Nigeria last month said:
“Rather than entangle U.S. combat forces on the ground, help build the capacity of regional forces to tackle their countries’ security challenges.” “Training and advising and perhaps imparting the lessons we learned the hard way is a good thing.”
James R. Clapper, who is the director of national intelligence, told the House Intelligence Committee in Washington on Thursday:
“Despite losing territory in 2015, Boko Haram will probably remain a threat to Nigeria throughout 2016 and will continue its terror campaign within the country and in neighboring Cameroon, Niger and Chad.”
In the past war against Boko Haram, there has been a tense relations that sank to new lows in 2014 when the United States blocked the sale of American-made Cobra attack helicopters to Nigeria from Israel, amid concerns about Nigeria’s protection of civilians when conducting military operations.
However, the American service members have supported the Nigerian force since the present administration. According to a senior American Intelligent officer, last year amid Nigerian troops hunt for the insurgent, a US surveillance drones flying over northeaster, helped the Nigerian Army avoid a major Boko Haram ambush.
Among the team’s main recommendations was to position “small dozens” of Special Forces in Maiduguri, to help Nigerian military planners carry out a more effective counterterrorism campaign. British special forces are already assisting in the city. (The American military now maintains only a tiny intelligence cell in Abuja) Nigerian military officials have embraced the recommendations and are drawing up detailed requests, American officials said.