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Assessing Misaligned Counterinsurgency Practice in Niger and Nigeria


While representing a major military threat in Niger and Nigeria, the two branches of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP-Liptako Gourma and ISWAP-Lake Chad) have increasingly sought to win popular support (distinguishing themselves from other groups in the region, especially Boko Haram). Yet, despite some improvements in the recent past, both Niger’s and Nigeria’s different counterinsurgency practices have not been sufficiently adapted to (and therefore remain strategically misaligned vis-à-vis) ISWAP’s more population-centric approach. Strategic rethinking and realignment of the still predominantly enemy-centric approaches of both states are essential so that ISWAP strategy can be countered in the long term.
Keywords: insurgency, counterinsurgency, ISWAP, Nigeria, Niger