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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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May 15th, 2014
05:55 PM ET

U.S. Special Forces could take out Boko Haram, but ...

(CNN) – A U.S. military team has been sent to advise the Nigerian government on how to handle the kidnapping, by terrorist group Boko Haram, of hundreds of schoolgirls.

Several U.S. lawmakers, like Sens. Susan Collins and John McCain are calling for the U.S. to do more, to send, for example, Special Forces to rescue the girls.

"The United States has an extraordinarily accomplished special operations forces that can accomplish, and have demonstrated obviously that they can accomplish these very sensitive missions," says Gen. Carter Ham, former commander of U.S. Africa Command.

"This one is significantly complicated by the lack of infrastructure in the region, by what I suspect is the dispersing of these girls into multiple locations," said Ham.

Meanwhile, there is resistance to sending more U.S. aid, because, as some argue, there does not appear to be any national security reason to do so.

Ham disagrees.

As they have become increasingly violent, they have become "a destabilizing influence in an important region of Nigeria, and increasingly more broadly across West and Central Africa," said Ham.

"If left un-addressed, the problem just gets larger," said Ham.

Boko Haram leaders say they "aspire to attack the United States," said Ham. "I don't believe they have capability to strike the homeland, but they certainly are destabilizing the region and that's not in our best interests."

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