Transcript for 'This Week': The Search for Kidnapped Nigerian Girls
Now, to that desperate search in Nigeria, where the 200 young girls taken from their school have now been held by the boko harm terror group for more on a month. A new military offensive is under way right now with help from the U.S. Hamish Macdonald has the latest. Reporter: The search for the kidnapped Nigerian girls is stepping up. The 7th division of Nigeria's army is leading the way. With surveillance support from the U.S. Overhead. They're scouring the forest where they believe smaller groups of girls are held. Some possibly in caves. But Nigeria's military is facing criticism about its effectiveness. We're now looking at a military force that's, quite frankly, becoming afraid to even engage. Reporter: International partners, including the U.S. And U.K., have been reluctant so far to share all intelligence, fearing leaks inside Nigeria's military may be tipping off boko harm. The military is defending its deployment and its resourcing. Nobody ever have enough. I think we're trying our best. And we're improving regularly. Reporter: The Nigerian president promised to visit chibok, where the girls were taken. But changed plans at the last minute, citing security fears. In the volatile northeast, we met families of the missing. These fathers feel nervous, abandoned and frustrated. There's no policemen. No soldier. Nor any civil servant at all. Reporter: Are you angry? Yes. Reporter: At this weekend's summit in Paris, boko harm was labeled west Africa's Al Qaeda. And leaders promised to wage total war on the group. For all this rhetoric about war on boko harm, there's serious doubts about the capacity of Nigeria's military. The state department's view seems to be, even if the girls can be located, Nigerian soldiers might lack the skills to carry out a successful rescue mission. George? Hamish, thanks. Let's get more from ABC's chief global affairs correspondent, Martha Raddatz. And retired Navy S.E.A.L. Robert Harward, now an ABC news contributor. Mr. Harward, let me begin with you. You heard the doubts that hammish expressed that the United States has about the capability of the Nigerian military. What kind of resources do we have in place there? And what can we do? Well, George, as the state department acknowledged yesterday, we have a full range of assets to assist the government of Nigeria. Not only advisers. But also those air and satellite assets that can search over a broad area of northern Nigeria, to isolate those individuals. We're going to track, to listen and hear and see what they're doing over these wide areas. And then isolate them. And thereby allow the government of Nigeria to take that information and pursue courses of action to solve this problem. Martha, underscore this will not be an American operation? It will not. You heard the president say there will be no U.S. Boots on the ground. What he means by that is combat troops. The U.S. Is not going to carry out a rescue by itself of any kind of Nigeria is a sovereign nation. They don't want to ask the U.S. To go in and rescue. But there are other things that can be done to look for those girls and help. So, if these girls are identified, what comes next? Next is isolating the location. Not only of them, but the bad guys. And then, providing assistance to move those troops or resources into place to solve the problem. Martha, before we go, I do want to ask you about this veteran affairs controversy. Saw secretary shinseki, up before congress, taking some heat. At the end of the week, announced the firing of his undersecretary of health, Robert pencil. But that seems to have backfired. It certainly did. There was a press release on Friday, saying he had accepted his resignation. And we later learn, he was set to retire anyway. They didn't put that in the press release. They didn't put that out. We all found out he was set to retire anyway. So, this is not exactly a sweeping statement by the V.A. This is long from being over. Martha Raddatz, Robert Harward, thank you very much.
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