Friday, October 20, 2017

[UPDATE]Niger ambush came after 'massive intelligence failure,' source says

WASHINGTON — A senior congressional aide who has been briefed on the deaths of four U.S. servicemen in Niger says the ambush by militants stemmed in part from a "massive intelligence failure."

The Pentagon has said that 40 to 50 militants ambushed a 12-man U.S. force in Niger on Oct. 4, killing four and wounding two. The U.S. patrol was seen as routine and had been carried out nearly 30 times in the six months before the attack, the Pentagon has reported.

The aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly, said the House and Senate armed services committees have questions about the scope of the U.S. mission in Niger, and whether the Pentagon is properly supporting the troops on the ground there.

There was no U.S. overhead surveillance of the mission, he said, and no American quick-reaction force available to rescue the troops if things went wrong. If it weren't for the arrival of French fighter jets, he said, things could have been much worse for the Americans.

Congress also has many unanswered questions about what happened, he said, including about the specifics of the mission that day and the accounts lawmakers have been given about the timeline of the attack and rescue.

The aide said questions are being asked about whether the U.S. soldiers were intentionally delayed in the village they were visiting. He said they began pursuing some men on motorcycles, who lured them into a complex ambush. The enemy force had "technical" vehicles — light, improvised military vehicles — and rocket-propelled grenades, the official said.

After the rescue when it became clear that one soldier was missing, "movements and actions to try and find him and bring him back were considered. They just were not postured properly [to get him]." The body of Sgt. La David Johnson was not recovered until nearly 48 hours after the Oct. 4 attack.

The Pentagon said that conclusions about an intelligence failure were premature.

On Friday afternoon, Defense Secretary James Mattis met with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to discuss the Niger raid.

Earlier this week, McCain said the committee had not been provided with the information about the Niger mission that it "deserves."

Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., said Congress will require more information from a Trump administration that is expanding counter terrorism operations across the globe.

Trump is loosening the rules of engagement when it comes to lethal action against terrorists, and expanding the counterterrorism fight to different parts of the world, including across Africa, Graham said.

"The war is morphing," he said. "You're going to see more actions in Africa, not less."

In that context, Graham said, "I will insist that Congress is informed more often and in more detail," about military operations.

He added, "As the war expands, as the military had more authority, Congress is going to require more information."

Pentagon officials say operations in the region have already "tightened up" and there's been an operational "pause" while the U.S. military's Africa Command (AFRICOM) assesses the situation. U.S. officials believe the attack was carried out by a local terror group that claims association with ISIS.

Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander of AFRICOM since 2016, told Congress in March that only 20 to 30 percent of AFRICOM's needs for "intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance" flights were being met. The Marine Corps general said there weren't enough helicopters to find wounded or dead soldiers, and that African partners weren't able to help with recovery missions.

"For personnel recovery," he said, "Africa Command relies heavily on contract search and rescue assets."
tRUMP  is to busy tweeting about the NFL ... he lives in his own fairy land world  ... if you ask him about whay's going on in the real world  , he will get that silly look on his face ... looks like he is sucking on a sour pickle .  tRUMP reminds me kids  playing follow the leader  and on the tail end .         HeHe


  1. You know Witchy, something stinks about that whole mission. Bad intel, bad monitoring and surveillance, no back-up, bad rescue. How could they leave one soldier behind when there were only 12 men on the mission. They walked blindly into an ambush of 50 massively armed militants. That just doesn't happen.
    Great story. I hope we find out more. And you are right, Trump has no idea what is going on in Africa. He lives in Never-Never Land.
    Love ya

    1. Something stinks all tRUMP's people act like mules pulling wagon with blinders on to keep them looking one way .
      tRUmp has no idea where Africa is located Hahahaha!
      John McCain said there is something not being told .
      Love you

      PS: I put the articles on for the cubs ... I told them you was not quite settle in your house yet and had a bad cold so it may take a couple of days , they understand .
      Thank you for being there for them .


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