aside Where Is That Pentagon’s Report On Niger’s 10/4/17 Tragedy, Due In January 2018

From left, Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Wash.; Sgt. La David Johnson of Miami Gardens, Fla.; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Ga. All 4 were killed in Niger, when a joint patrol of American and Niger forces was ambushed on Oct. 4, 2017, by militants linked to the Islamic State group.

There is a draft of a report resulting from the Pentagon’s investigation into the October 4, 2017 killings of US Army special forces and fellow local soldiers in Niger during a supposedly standard reconnaissance mission. Sen General Mattis said he and the AFRICOM  Commander have yet to review the report which is thousands of pages long. There will be a classified version and the one to be made public which will be finalized in a few weeks.

Here’s the rest of the story…

On February 12, 2018, John VanDiver of the Stars and Stripes penned the following report, Niger ambush probe to call for closer US mission scrutiny”

Excerpts:

“A military investigation into an ambush last year in Niger in which four U.S. soldiers were killed is expected to recommend tighter oversight of elite forces on the ground and higher command approval for dangerous patrols in the region.”

“A draft of the U.S. Africa Command report on the Oct. 4 attack by Islamic State-affiliated militants calls for reducing the number of U.S. ground missions in Niger and stripping field commanders of authority to dispatch troops on risky missions, The New York Times reported Saturday (2/10/18).”

1013_Niger_attack
COURTESY AARON J. JENNE/U.S. AIR FORCE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

“Operations will be subject to more scrutiny and may require approval from senior leaders at AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart and the Pentagon, the Times reported, citing unnamed military officials.”

Commanders in Niger currently have the authority to make decisions on when to launch reconnaissance patrols.”

“The report, which is expected to be released publicly in the coming weeks, also found a series of missteps on the ground, such as “a breakdown in communications that may have stemmed from a failure by members of the American and Nigerien team, and their superiors, to check their equipment before heading out on the Oct. 4 mission,” the Times reported.’

The Army Honor Guard, The 3rd Infantry Regiment Caisson Platoon and the Army band conduct the funeral of Staff Sgt. Bryan Black at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, on Oct. 30, 2017. Black died following an enemy ambush in Niger on Oct. 4, 2017. An investigation into the ambush will recommend tighter oversight and higher command approval for patrols in the area. ELIZABETH FRASER/ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

AFRICOM said to Stars and Stripes on Monday that the investigation remains ongoing.

“Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, speaking to reporters Sunday (2/11/18), said he still needed to review the final report. It is extensive. It is thousands of pages long.”

“For several years, U.S. forces have been operating outside the public eye in Niger, where troops have worked alongside indigenous forces to counter various extremist groups. Few outside military circles paid any attention to the U.S. mission there until the deaths of American troops.”

“Even before the Oct. 4 ambush, forces in Niger have come under occasional fire while conducting joint reconnaissance patrols with their Nigerien counterparts. However, the October ambush of a 12-person U.S. special operations team led to an outcry in Washington. Some lawmakers claimed they were largely unaware of military activities in the region, despite White House letters advising Congress of troop levels.”

“The Times reported that the AFRICOM investigation would produce three reports: one classified, one for the public and one for the families of the slain soldiers — Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright.”

A C-130 U.S. Air Force plane lands as Nigerien soldiers stand in formation during the Flintlock military exercise in Diffa, Niger March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney/File Photo

“U.S. military operations have intensified in Africa in the past several years, with Libya and Somalia being the focus. Scores of airstrikes have been conducted in both countries, where U.S. troops also conduct occasional raids. So far, there is no indication that events in Niger — and the possible scaling back of some operations on the ground there — will prompt similar calls for curtailment in Somalia.”

“In West Africa, al-Qaida-aligned militants, a small local Islamic State affiliate and Boko Haram are among the groups that have been a source of concern. Still, there has been little sign that any of those groups, which have a history of shifting alliances and affiliations, have the capacity to pose a threat beyond the region.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF AMERICAN SOLDIERS IN NIGER

“Many of the terrorist groups currently on the U.S. military’s watch list — for which the military is deploying additional special operations troops and building new installations — do not directly impact core U.S. interests,” wrote security expert Steven Feldstein on Friday, in an analysis of Africa terrorism trends for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.”

2/10/18 NY Times report: Inquiry of Soldiers’ Deaths Urges Curtailing West Africa Missions

11 comments

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I am thinking that this is the only ‘event’ of this kind that the public are aware of … can you imagine how many others we don’t know about?
    Shouldn’t it be time to get out … and let those countries be? I don’t buy the story about protecting the people there or national security!!
    They are there for other reasons … that’s the way this nation works!
    … I’m trying to be kind here!!

    • Dear Horty,

      There have to be lots of so-called incidents we don’t know about under this administration. I’m for figuring a way to get out of both Afghanistan and Syria. For me, Afghanistan is akin to the Vietnam War.

      Thanks a million times over for all of your gracious support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. Gronda, what should puzzle people is we had numerous Congressional committees on Benghazi, yet we cannot even muster one on this. And, it is related to including Chad in the travel ban and their refusing to offer military coverage for these guys. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      You are so right!

      The Benghazi hearings led by republican congress representatives were a farce and never about the search for the truth. If they cared about a search for the truth, there would be oversight hearings happening, as we speak over what happened in Niger.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. I bet the report still won’t explain why we have ground troops in Africa in the first place! Are we at war? Or are they there to squash discontent among the diamond miners and keep operations going? Reminds me of US soldiers in Afghanistan guarding poppy fields so that our heroin supply won’t get destroyed by the Taliban!

    • Dear 1EarthUnited,

      The sad truth is I don’t have a good handle on what we are doing there. I have been waiting on this report. This is what I am looking for to confirm the veracity of the report.

      Thr Nigeren man who discovered the body of Sgt. LaDavid Johnson stated in real time that the slain soldier’s hands were tied behind his back. Some news reports based on information from Pentagon sources, dispute this claim. I see no reason to doubt the Nigeren’s version.

      Hugs, Gronda

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      Thanks for this reference and this is a good point. It just so happens that NIGER and CHAD have oil reserves. Exxon used to operate out of CHAD and it still has a lease good until 2050. Exxon was under a suit by CHAD for unpaid royalties and past due taxes which was settled around June 2017.

      Nigeria and Libya are the biggest producers of oil.

      Hugs, Gronda

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