Pete Hoekstra: US Could Do More to Help Find Kidnapped Nigerians

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 04:02 PM

By Courtney Coren

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The surveillance help being offered by the United States to locate the more than 200 kidnapped girls in Nigeria should be able to help find some of those missing, but more could be done, says Pete Hoekstra, former House Intelligence Committee chairman.

"All of the other things are in place, and it's my estimation that with those kinds of capabilities, we ought to be able to locate at least some of the groups of girls, not necessarily all of them, when we apply this whole range of resources," Hoekstra told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV.

Hoekstra warns, however, that one element that seems to be missing from the search operation is human intelligence, which he argues is key for this type of search.

"The one thing that we probably don't have that would round out the mix would be actually humans — human intelligence on the ground, which is absolutely essentially if you're going to mount some kind of a rescue effort," the Michigan Republican explained Tuesday.

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So far, the U.S. has committed "manned assets" to help with the surveillance part of the operation, but Hoekstra contends that unmanned drones might be a better option.

"In certain environments you'd rather have drones because they can stay airborne for longer, they can provide more persistent eyes in the sky than what a manned aircraft can do," he added.

The U.S. military is currently considering whether to add drones to the search effort.

Hoekstra also said not to rule out the chance that Nigeria might be willing to do a hostage exchange for the girls.

"It's really how much pressure this government feels to get the girls back, whether they have any viable options," he explained. "There's going to be limited options, so there's a real possibility if they believe that they can trust this group that we will see a hostage exchange for the kidnapped girls and some of these people will be repatriated to their terrorist groups."

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