McCain: Obama should use military in Nigeria

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Thursday said President Obama should use military assets, including special forces, to rescue the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram.

“I would use every tool that we have to rescue these young girls,” McCain said. “That means it would be done surgically, it could be done in a way that is very efficient. But for us not to do that, in my view, would be an abrogation of our responsibilities.”

“There’s hundreds of young girls who are being kept in what must be horrific” conditions and “we are worried about the opinion of [Nigerian President] Goodluck Jonathan?” McCain asked.

The senator said the administration does not need the permission of the Nigerian government to deploy forces inside the country, and cited the use of special forces to recapture cargo ships and personnel seized off the coasts of Africa.

“We have no reservations about going and trying to take that ship back. We have no compunctions about that,” he said.

The White House has stepped up its involvement in the search for the nearly 300 young girls being held hostage by the Islamic extremist group, including dispatching an interdisciplinary team of law enforcement and intelligence experts to the U.S. embassy in Abuja.

However, administration officials including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have ruled out putting military boots on the ground.

McCain labeled the mass kidnapping a “crime against humanity.”

“Where there are crimes against humanity, as we have now judged in the case of Auschwitz and other places ... then the international community must act,” he told reporters.