Is there a way to defeat Boko Haram?
Joshua Hammer

Your article does not discuss or answer the question if and how Boko Haram could be defeated.

I guess this illustrates the whole dilemma from Afghanistan to Mali: Nobody dares to define the defeat sought and the way the world / the region should look like after.

This fear has probably two causes:

  • Boko Haram is partially a result of the factors governing the current societies and countries it operates within. So change in all those countries it operates in would be necessary to defeat it. Anybody profiting from the current status will oppose this with all their means.
  • Defeat in this case can only mean elimination since an unarmed / diplomatic solution on the terms of an uncompromising enemy is impossible as per definition. However calling for the elimination of a religious armed fraction is not what preachers of tolerant coexistence want, rightly so for it may draw them more finances and recruits, wrongfully where they do it in the name of religious harmony.

Boko Haram might prove to be “defeatable”. But this would require broad agreement how military defeat would ideally look like. And it would mean that the resources required to achieve this defeat are being provided. The lack of willingness by the US to provide people and material for as long as defeating the Taliban would take, has already caused the current disaster in that country.

As long as is deemed to be reasonable or logic to withdraw after a tactical success, then no strategic success against Boko Haram can ever be achieved!

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