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Since 2009, Boko Haram has waged a campaign of terror in Nigeria that has resulted in over 10,000 fatalities and threatens the security and stability of West Africa. Boko Haram has stated its objective as the creation of an Islamic State in Nigeria governed by a puritanical form of Salafist Islam. This research sought to discover whether Boko Haram could usurp the Nigerian Government's control over Northern Nigeria with their current strategy. By conducting a case study comparison between Boko Haram and a successful insurgency, the Algerian National Liberation Front, it was possible to answer the primary research question. Boko Haram can usurp the Nigerian Government's control over Northern Nigeria; however, it will only occur due to the Nigerian Government's lack of commitment to defeating Boko Haram. With their current strategy, Boko Haram is unable to generate the popular or external support needed to establish a legitimate source of power and influence in Northern Nigeria. Finally, this research identified how Boko Haram could improve their strategy and what the Nigerian Government should do to prevent Boko Haram from establishing control over Northern Nigeria.
The sources for data collection in both phases will consist of academic journals and books that provided details regarding the history and activities of both insurgent groups. In phase two, it will also be necessary to examine Boko Haram's online video postings to popular sites such as www.youtube.com. Video postings on www.youtube.com will be useful as a data source to examine Boko Haram's use of video propaganda. Since the Algerian War ended in 1962, there are unlikely any relevant videos online to examine.
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND * Nigeria: History, Demographics, and Significance * Primary Research Question * Secondary Questions * Assumptions * Definitions * CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW * Boko Haram Literature * Algerian War Literature * CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY * Primary Research Question * Secondary Questions * Research Method and Design * Data Collection, Limitations, Delimitations, and Scope * Threats to Validity * Control Measures * CHAPTER 4 ANALYSIS * Phase One: Algerian War Case Study * Background * How did the Insurgents Establish and Leverage Popular Support? * How did the Insurgents Establish and Leverage External Support? * How did the Insurgents Develop Unity? * How and Why was Propaganda and Terrorism Used, and Who was the Target Audience? * Lessons Learned from the Algerian War * Phase Two: Boko Haram Case Study * Background * How did the Insurgents Establish and Leverage Popular Support? * How did the Insurgents Establish and Leverage External Support? * How did the Insurgents Develop Unity? * How and Why was Propaganda and Terrorism Used, and Who was the Target Audience? * Lessons Learned from the Boko Haram Case Study * CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND FINDINGS * What Boko Haram could do to Improve their Strategy * Final Thoughts and Recommendations * Recommendations for Future Research * Recommendations for Improving the Nigerian Government's COIN Strategy * Developments in Nigeria Since the End of Data Collection