The Wall Street Journal quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on the stalled search for the more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the terrorist organization Boko Haram:
Nigeria’s military says that it has the manpower and will to push back Boko Haram—and that it mainly lacks intelligence the drones can deliver. But such intelligence gathering can take months, even years, before yielding actionable leads, said Col. Leighton and this adviser. America’s limited experience in Nigeria’s countryside, where hundreds of languages are spoken, also presents an obstacle, both said.
“The first hours are critical” in a kidnapping, said J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank. “Beyond that, trails go cold. And that’s where the reality is. By the time social media caught onto this, it was well too late.”