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Strategic Posture Review: Nigeria

Alex Thurston Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012

Nigeria is a diplomatic force within West Africa, a major participant in continental African politics and an important international actor. As the world’s seventh-most-populous country, its 14th-largest oil producer and home to Africa’s fifth-largest military, Nigeria possesses tremendous resources. Yet Nigeria’s internal security challenges and political dysfunction constrain its role on the regional, continental and world stages.

Cyclical violence undermines the rule of law and entrenches intercommunal enmities. Pervasive corruption drains funding from services and infrastructure and saps public confidence in government. Policy implementation often proceeds haphazardly and generates backlash. Finally, “do-or-die” electoral politics, as former President Olusegun Obasanjo characterized the country’s voting culture, heightens political violence and elevates political tensions. ...

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