By: Steve Dellar | 05-11-2018 | News
Photo credit: twitter @TPM

Niger Ambush - Pentagon Finds Multiple Faults, Leaves Overall Mission Unchanged

In a somewhat bizarre twist, US military command at the Pentagon stated in a long-awaited report that “individual, organizational and institutional failures” were what mostly caused the deaths of the US special forces and local troops who were ambushed by an Isis-affiliated group in Niger last October.

The head of US Africa Command, Marine General Thomas Waldhauser informed reporters about the report’s findings and stated that “if you don’t have the people there at the appropriate time to conduct the training if they come late, it impacts the ability to have cohesion.”

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In fact, one of the first problems General Waldhauser pointed out was that due to “personnel turnover, only half the team had conducted any collective training together.”

The Pentagon claims therefore that the lack of basic drills with its Nigerien partner is one thing that would have allowed them to coordinate better in combat despite the obvious language barriers between the two groups of soldiers.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">&#39;The whole thing was a screwed-up mess,&#39; says the father of one of the Americans who was killed. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; AP Politics (@AP_Politics) <a href="">May 10, 2018</a></blockquote>

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“If you get to a situation when you’re under enemy contact, you need to be able to operate like clockwork without having to speak … and in this particular case, the team did not conduct those basic soldier-level skills.”

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Secondly, the US military command found that the patrol request which was handed in was a simple worded copy from a previous reconnaissance mission, rather than a description of what the men had really intended to do. Even though this misleading did not lead to the ambush directly, the Pentagon felt that these two factors led them to believe that the cohesion between the men on the ground was lost and that the overwhelming force that ambushed them (46 Niger and US forces against more than 100 terrorists).

Although the overall Niger mission will not be changed, as a result of the ambush and the report, the Pentagon will as from now make sure that more armored vehicles accompany the men on anti-terrorist operations.

General Waldhauser: “We have beefed up a lot of things posture-wise, with regards to these forces.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">A synopsis of the report on the deaths of four American soldiers in Niger last October blames no individuals, but it does leave many questions unanswered. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; NPR (@NPR) <a href="">May 9, 2018</a></blockquote>

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“Tactical operations are there to be carried out by the partner force, not by US forces.”

“We are now far more prudent in our missions, the missions we actually accompany have to have a strategic value in terms of the enemy we are going against – do they have a strategic threat to the United States.”


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