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The Crossroads of Special Operations

Friday, April 16, 2021

In Niger attack, risk-taking culture and complacency led to deadly ambush | Military Times

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Poor training and a culture of risk-taking led to the deadly Oct. 4 ambush near Tongo Tongo, Niger, according to officials familiar with a Pentagon report compiled in the wake of the ambush that left four U.S. and four Nigerien soldiers dead.

Military officials familiar with the 6,000-page report described its findings to the Wall Street Journal. The report included recommendations from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to improve training and the chain of command for future operations.

Prior to the mission, military commanders displayed failures at multiple levels, according to the Journal. The report reveals that low-level commanders “took liberties to get operations approved through the chain of command.” In one instance, an officer copied and pasted orders for a different mission into the concept of operations to gain approval for the Oct. 4 mission.

Mattis gave Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, and Africa Command, known as AFRICOM, 10 “primary directives” with a timeline of four months to address problems found in the report, one of which is to “reinforce normal protocols within the chain of command,” according to the Journal’s sources.

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White House won’t say whether special operations troops will remain in Afghanistan after Sept. 11 | Washington Examiner

After President Joe Biden's promise of a full military withdrawal by Sept. 11, the White House remains silent whether...

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