Boko Haram, which translates to “Western education is forbidden,” is an Islamic extremist organization based in northeastern Nigeria that pledged allegiance to ISIS in March 2015. In August 2016, ISIS unilaterally announced that Abu Musab al-Barnawi would replace Abubakar Shekau as the leader of Boko Haram. Shekau refused to cede authority, and Boko Haram militants remain factionalized in their loyalties.
In September, the United States pledged $45 million to a Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Benin to combat Nigeria-based terrorist group Boko Haram. Using a scenarios based analysis, we evaluated three potential ways in which Boko Haram will respond to increased US military assistance to the MJTF over the next year. Scenarios analysis identifies multiple ways in which a situation may evolve, and is most useful when a situation is complex or when the outcome is too uncertain to trust a single prediction.