Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in National Security


National Security


Howard Stoffer, Ph.D.


Terrorism, Africa, U.S. Policymakers


Terrorism--Africa, West--Prevention, Terrorism--Government policy--United States


This thesis utilizes three case studies to measure the rise of terrorism in Africa. This qualitative data leads the reader to one ultimate question: what does the rise in terrorism in Africa mean for the United States (U.S.) and U.S. policymakers, National Security academia, students in National Security, if anything at all? The answer is: if civilian and military compounds are being targeted by these violent extremists, as these three case studies demonstrate, it is my recommendation that U.S. policymakers cease sending troops to the African theater and, instead, allocate funding to the citizens and nonprofits of the countries whom are already there so that they themselves and their country are less likely to fall into the traps of these caliphates that promise jobs and the hopes of a better life. This has the potential to stop the cycle of recruitment or, at the very least, slow and weaken it.

The first case study takes place in Nigeria, studying Boko Haram. The method of data analysis is qualitative analysis as it is developed through case study. Throughout history, the United States has attempted to aid countries experiencing terrorism by sending American troops there to settle unrest. However, history has shown this often simply creates war, and creates political unrest here in the United States. So, sending soldiers overseas is not the answer. But that does not mean the U.S. cannot allocate resources. So, the bottom-line up front is two-fold: one: education is key to preventing terrorism from manifesting further. And two: what this means for U.S. policymakers is that we must pivot to Africa with our funds in terms of allocating resources for leaders there to pour their resources into education from an early age, so citizens in their communities have an in depth understanding of the world and they do not turn to idle hands.

Available for download on Monday, December 23, 2024