The deterioration of the situation in Nigeria should be of grave concern for the United States. Since just before the holidays there has been a dramatic increase of attacks on the Christian South by the Islamic extremist sect Boko Haram. Over Christmas, the terrorist group fire bombed churches, NGO's and other secular targets. This follows on their bombing of the United Nations headquarter in the capital city of Abuja.
Hundreds have died and the south is calling for reprisals.
These attacks represent a bold escalation of the violence and fighting. Nigeria has been the "poster child' of the one major nation with significant resources that could disintegrate into civil war and even become a 'failed nation state'.
Nigeria has is one of the world's leading oil producers but is racked with corruption and poverty. The MEND insurgency in the Nigar River Delta has been another focus of serious problems for the central government. This region at one time attempted to create an Igbo lead state of Biafra beginning in 1967 that led to a civil war that killed over a million people. Because of MEND the unrest continues in the oil producing region.
Now the near dozen states in the northern sector of Nigeria are totally Muslim dominated and even are ruled by Sharia Law separate from the central authority of the nation. Increasingly the goal of Boko Haram has not just been the implementation of Sharia Law in the northern region but the creation of a new nation.
The odds are increasing dramatically that Nigeria could fall inward into chaos and the ramifications around the world will not be minor.