Is the militant group a self-styled Islamic insurgency, or part of a protracted civil war? The answer to that question matters.
New analysis suggests the shadowy insurgency benefited from the 2013 war in Mali, that its leader 'Abubakar Shekau' may be both a single person and the name for a collective leadership, and that the group's ability to destabilize remains strong.
The millions of tweets about the abducted Nigerian girls and now a killing rampage against women in California show the progress in global efforts to confront the issue of violence against women. Exposure of the problem is halfway to ending it.
A negotiated swap for the girls makes so much sense.