This was not the first time Boko Haram has attacked a military base. According to The Long War Journal, the jihadist group attacked two military bases in northeastern Nigeria in Dec. 2013. In one attack on a Nigerian Air Force base, they were able to destroy two helicopters. They were able to amass hundreds of fighters for that operation.
Abba Hassan, the district head of Baga, stated that the majority of casualties from the attack were women, children, and the elderly. Violence in Nigeria has displaced roughly 1.5 million people since the conflict Boko Haram began, while over 10,000 were killed by the insurgency last year alone. Moreover, there are signs that Boko Haram plans to regionalize their threat. Earlier this week, a video warning of attacks in Cameroon was released by the group.
The events of this week should illustrate to regional and global leaders that Boko Haram remains a ferocious entity capable of enormous destruction. These are not small attacks, but coordinated operations involving a substantial amount of resources. Evidently, ongoing efforts to erode their capabilities have not been successful. Perhaps a reevaluation of current strategies is in order.