The hawkish Senator tells The Daily Beast that American forces should#BringBackOurGirls—even if the Nigerian government says no.
Of course, it’s not exactly a surprise that McCain holds this view. He’s been a long-time advocate for increased U.S. military activity in crises around the globe—from Syria to Ukraine.
McCain said that if he were the American president, he would already be doing several things to respond to the kidnapping of the over 200 girls by the Nigerian terrorist group that the Obama administration has so far declined to do. Those measures include prepositioning U.S. special forces to be ready to enter Nigeria and rescue the girls if the opportunity arose. He said that the United Nations charter authorized military intervention on behalf of the girls because their abduction rose to the level of “crimes against humanity.”
“The United Nations Charter recognized crimes against humanity, this fits into the category of crimes against humanity, and that gives any nation the license if they can to stop a crime against humanity, the same reason we should have if we could have freed the people at Dachau or Auschwitz,” McCain said.
The UN Charter does not explicitly mention crimes against humanity. But the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum does, stating that crimes against humanity “are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of human beings.”
McCain’s declaration Tuesday was an amplification of an interview he gave to CNN last week when he said, “as soon as we knew these young girls were kidnapped… we should have utilized every asset that we have, satellite, drones, any capabilities that we had to go after them.”
The State Department said Monday that the United States is now providing reconnaissance overflights and satellite imagery to the Nigerian government to aid the search for the missing girls. The U.S. has also deployed an about a dozen additional military advisors to Nigeria to aid in the search effort, bringing the size of the total U.S. team on the ground to 27.
The Obama administration has said repeatedly that their efforts to help the Nigerian government counter the threat of Boko Haram over the years have been hampered by that government’s refusal to accept various offers of U.S. assistance.
State Department officials also claim that Abuja’s opposition was a key factor in their decision to refuse to officially label Boko Haram as a terrorist organizationin 2011 and 2012.
McCain said that Washington should not worry if the Nigerian government wanted U.S. forces to enter Nigeria and rescue the girls because Abuja would be happy with the outcome.
Source: The Daily Beast | Josh Rogin