National Security Adviser Susan Rice today said that Israel is part of the international team “on the ground” in Nigeria that is trying to find the hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram. She said:
The United States is very actively involved. We have a team of now up to 30 people on the ground… Our team consists of diplomats, military advisers, intelligence experts, law enforcement experts and even development experts, all coordinating closely with the Nigerian government and now increasingly with representatives from the British government, the French government and the Israeli government, all of whom are there in search of the girls….
The good news is that the best efforts of the countries that can provide the most sophisticated support and surveillance are now on the job, on the team, the government is working very cooperatively with us and others on the ground.”
Rice made her comments during a conversation at the Women’s Foreign Policy Forum today (minute 3 in the video).
Color this one inevitable. The JPost reported Sunday that Israel had offered to go in:
Israel on Sunday offered assistance to Nigeria in locating 276 high-school girls still held after being abducted four weeks ago by the Boko Haram terrorist network.
The offer came as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke from Japan Sunday to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan….
“We are willing to help assist in locating the girls and fighting the terror that is afflicting you.”
For weeks Jonathan has refused international assistance to help locate and free the girls, and only agreed to accept help from the United States, France, Britain and China last week.
Nigeria is one of Israel’s closest friends in Africa, and Israel provided Nigerian authorities with medical supplies following a Boko Haram attack against three churches on Christmas Day in 2011 that killed dozens.
Gosh I hope they find those girls, but I’m cynical. Israeli rescue operations– with the most sophisticated methods– are a big part of its international self-promotion. In Haiti, the Philippines, wherever disaster strikes… And it gets stories like this one, on NBC. The country’s special relationship with the U.S., and its self-conception as a “western country,” entail this type of activity.