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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
AdamG
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Default Four Special Forces personnel killed in Niger ambush

Initial stand-alone from the Niger thread for maximum visibility.

Quote:
(CNN)Three Green Berets were killed and two others were wounded in southwest Niger near the Mali-Niger border when a joint US-Nigerien patrol was attacked Wednesday, officials told CNN.
Two administration officials said the wounded US troops had been evacuated to the capital, Niamey, and would soon be moved to Germany. They were described by the officials as being in a "stable condition." The bodies of the three killed also were evacuated.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/04/politi...ger/index.html
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
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A curious incident near the Mali border and the NYT report suggests:
Quote:
American forces were rushing to the scene of the ambush, presumably to evacuate American and Nigerien casualties, and possibly to hunt down the attackers.
Link:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/04/w...ed-niger.html?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
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Default The United States is not at war in Africa, but our African partners are.

More background on the Niger mission:http://taskandpurpose.com/niger-army...l-forces-war/?

Two passages of note IMHO:
Quote:
Instead, Obama justified the intervention based on the 1973 War Powers Resolution that requires frequent updates to Congress on efforts in Niger, his most recent of which, in December 2016, indicated the United States had 575 military personnel in the country and a second drone base — although U.S. forces there were technically not authorized to use lethal force.
A President Trump update:
Quote:
In a June 2017 letter to the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, President Donald Trump mentioned there are 645 military personnel in Niger “to provide a wide variety of support to African partners conducting counterterrorism operations in the region.”
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Quote:
A U.S. soldier who was missing after an ambush by militants in Niger has been found dead, according to defense officials.
The attack killed three U.S. soldiers from the 3rd Special Forces Group and four soldiers from Niger, one of whom was serving as an interpreter. Two other American soldiers were wounded and evacuated to Landstuhl.
Quote:
A senior U.S. official said the missing soldier did activate his military beacon and the U.S. military was able to track him for a time before the signal faded.
One official said a 12-man team of U.S. soldiers from the Army's 3rd Special Forces Group was operating with approximately 30 Forces Armees Nigeriennes (FAN) on a train and advise mission near Tongo Tongo, Niger, just miles from the Mali border. Militants, both Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and ISIS, have been using a nearby route to travel back and forth into Mali and back to a base camp in Niger and traffic in black market merchandise, the official said. The partner forces were working to disrupt the so-called rat line and interdict the militants.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/africa/...d-dead-n808381
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Quote:
The Pentagon has identified the three Army Green Berets killed in action Wednesday night in Niger.
Staff Sgts. Bryan Black, 35, of Puyallup, Wash.; Jeremiah Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Dustin Wright, 29, of Lyons,#Ga., were killed after their patrol came under attack by Mali-based militants.
The three were assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group based at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Quote:
The U.S. special forces were on a joint patrol with Nigerien soldiers near Mali’s border when they “fell into an ambush set by terrorist elements aboard a dozen vehicles and about twenty motorcycles," Niger's army chief of staff said in a statement.
Four Nigerien soldiers were also killed, eight were wounded and two U.S. soldiers were wounded “after intense fighting, during which elements of the joint force showed exemplary courage,” according to the statement.
http://thehill.com/policy/defense/35...illed-in-niger
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Old 6 Days Ago   #6
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Default Silence as questions remain over deadly Niger ambush

A CNN report with some more details and more questions:
Quote:
Officials said the 12 man Green Beret-led team had just completed a meeting with local leaders and were walking back to their unarmored pick-up trucks when the unexpected ambush resulted in a firefight that lasted 30 minutes.
(Later) .....the unit in Niger "had actually done 29 patrols without contact over the previous six months," Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. told reporters.
Link:http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/13/po...nce/index.html

The film clip has a sentence akin to Niger has not given the USA permission to launch air strikes.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #7
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Default In the dust a HVT opportunity may explain their deaths

Jason Burke, in The Observer, is an accomplished journalist on terrorism; his article helps to provide the context and some pointers to why the four soldiers died in:
Quote:
That there are conflicting accounts of the clash is not surprising. It occurred in an environment where hard fact is rare, and rumours swirl as fiercely as the dust storms that sweep the scrub and desert.
Was this man the target?
Quote:
Al-Sahraoui’s background and allegiance is evidence of the extremely fractured nature of the conflict across the swath of northern Africa known as the Sahel. The 40-year-old is thought to have grown up in refugee camps in the south of Algeria, where he was committed to the nationalist cause of the Western Sahara. Little is known about how he became interested in Islamist extremism.....
Did the Niger-SOF team use their initiative?
Quote:
Any soldier knows that if you give guys on the ground more independence, then they will be that much more aggressive and will take more risks.
Link:https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...rces-islamists

I have changed the thread's title to four SOF dead, after the fourth soldier was found. RIP.
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Old 15 Hours Ago   #8
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Quote:
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, troubled by a lack of information two weeks after an ambush on a special operations patrol in Niger left four U.S. soldiers dead, is demanding a timeline of what is known about the attack, as a team of investigators sent to West Africa begins its work.

The growing list of unanswered questions and inability to construct a precise account of the Oct. 4 incident have exacerbated a public relations nightmare for the White House, which is embroiled in controversy over President Trump’s belated and seemingly clumsy response this week to console grieving military families.

“We need to find out what happened and why,” White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, whose son was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, told reporters at the White House on Thursday.
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-f...019-story.html
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Old 15 Hours Ago   #9
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SWJ Blog Death of U.S. Soldiers in Niger Sparks FBI Probe, Criticism
http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=26104
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Old 3 Hours Ago   #10
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Default What's Up With The Headgear?

what's up with the picture of the 4 dead service persons? Two have Green Berets? One has no beret? One has a maroon beret (of the 82nd Airborne)but has an SF flash and SF emblem?

It was originally reported they were all Green Berets. So what's up?
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Old 1 Hour Ago   #11
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Default Texan academic adds

Thanks to a "lurker" for the pointer to an exchange on Twitter between this lady as @texasinafrica (in a moment her bio) and others:
Quote:
Laura Seay is an assistant professor of government at Colby College, where she teaches African politics. Her research focuses on advocacy groups and U.S. policy in Africa.
Just found her article in 'Slate', which is of value, especially if you look at the issues from a US political scene perspective.

She refers to:
Quote:
American forces have been in Niger since 2012. Currently, there are about 800. Their primary mission is to advise and assist Niger’s armed forces in their fight against terrorist groups that attack their citizens.
So with the IISS Military Balance to hand, Niger has an army of 5,200 (with mainly French kit) and an air force with 100 (with fifteen aircraft and seven helicopters). So one US soldier for just over every six Niger soldiers. I exclude any wider, regional role and "teeth to tail" ratio.

It concludes with:
Quote:
Niger is unfamiliar to most Americans, and there’s a need for a long-overdue debate about why American forces are there and in other places around the world in the borderless and seemingly endless “Global War on Terror.” Are the threats to the United States from groups like ISGS really significant enough to spend billions of dollars deploying troops to fight them? Should lives be risked and lost in service of murky goals that often seem tangential to U.S. interests? These are questions worth asking.
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