John McCain Never Learns

The Arizona senator has advocated using U.S. troops to rescue the 200 or so girls kidnapped by the Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram, without regard to whether or not Nigeria allows it.  This jingoism is over the top, even for McCain, who relishes every opportunity to put U.S. troops in harm's way.  It is amazingly irresponsible for a high-level member of government to unilaterally saber-rattle over the fate of 200 people.

The downside to invading a country in Africa is enormous.  Nigeria is part Christian and part Muslim.  Much of the country is densely forested; tropical disease abounds.  How much per girl would McCain's proposed rescue cost, not to mention the toll in American lives and international goodwill?  That is truly the billion-dollar question for a nation drowning in debt.  Such a move, even if it resulted in the successful release of all of the girls and not their summary execution, is unlikely to gain us any favor in the region.  It is unlikely to weaken Boko Haram, and doing battle with Americans might even strengthen their stature.

This rational caution is mostly born of studying history – our nation's meddling from, the early 20th century in Latin America to the modern Middle East, has mostly been costly and ineffective.  McCain has clearly not learned a thing from all the blood spilled and dollars wasted in these foreign boondoggles.

It is deliciously ironic, then, that the name Boko Haram roughly translates to "learning is bad."

Brae Jaeger blogs at