08/29/2011 02:53 pm ET Updated Oct 29, 2011

Nigeria's Struggles With Sectarian Strife And Terrorism Could Send Country Spiraling Out Of Control

A remote country faces a home-grown Muslim terrorism threat. The terrorists appear linked to al-Qaeda. The victimized country, despite its hapless police force and porous borders, proposes cracking down on the terrorists. Will the strategy work? And what's America to do?

The scenario is familiar. What's new is the setting: Nigeria, Africa's most populous country and the largest African exporter of oil to the U.S. Seemingly worlds apart from the anti-American terrorist breeding grounds of Yemen and Pakistan, Nigeria counts among those countries who most admire the U.S. as well as among the top-ten oil exporters to America.