Post for the Quincy Institute’s Responsible Statecraft Blog on U.S. Attack Helicopter Sale to Nigeria

At the Quincy Institute’s Responsible Statecraft blog, I had a post yesterday about the recent approval of a $997 million sale of American-made attack helicopters to Nigeria.

An excerpt:

The Nigerian military’s appetite for more airpower fits with its penchant for flashy, high-casualty operations against both jihadists and bandits. Such operations produce high body counts but do little to break a long-running stalemate in the northeast or to stabilize the increasingly unstable northwest. Selling Nigeria attack aircraft feeds a dangerously exterminationist mentality within the military, whose press releases now constantly trumpet the number of jihadists and bandits who have been “neutralized” or “eliminated,” including from the air.

[…]

More broadly, Nigeria’s inability to contain either jihadism or banditry has much to do with politics: a wealthy and disconnected political and business elite sits atop a growing population suffering from widespread poverty. Even in the face of multiple severe security crises, politicians at both the federal and state levels are often more consumed with intra-elite power struggles than with meeting citizens’ basic needs.

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