Yesterday John McCain suggested that the Trump administration is not being upfront about the attack in Niger that left four US soldiers dead.
John McCain, the Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, says he has not been given a briefing yet on the deaths of four US soldiers in Niger.— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 19, 2017
Reporter: Is the Trump administration being up front about what happened in Niger?— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 18, 2017
"No," McCain said, per @KilloughCNN
Now the Pentagon has launched an official investigation into the attack:
THE HILL – U.S. Africa Command has launched a formal investigation into an ambush in Niger that left four Army Green Berets dead and two injured, according to multiple reports.
The command sent a team to Niger to conduct a “review of the facts,” two U.S. defense officials told NBC News.
CNN reported that experts are trying to establish an hour-by-hour timeline of what happened. The investigation will include all U.S. military branches and agencies involved in the deadly mission.
The incident in question is the Oct. 4 ambush of a dozen U.S. soldiers from the 3rd Special Forces Group and 30 to 40 Nigerien troops during a routine train-and-assist mission. The group was attacked as they were leaving the village of Tongo Tongo along the border between Niger and Mali and about 120 miles north of the capital city of Niamey.
The U.S. soldiers were leaving in unarmored pickup trucks when roughly 50 Islamic State in Iraq and Syria-affiliated (ISIS) fighters fired on the group with small arms, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. The soldiers left the vehicles to run for cover and return fire.
The American and Nigerien forces were able to call in French air support 30 minutes into the attack, but the aircraft did not drop any munitions on the enemy fighters. Pentagon officials said last week they believe the air support was effective in ending the fight.
Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright died in the attack.
A fourth troop, Sgt. La David Johnson was first unaccounted for and a search-and-rescue operation with U.S., French and Nigerien troops was launched. Johnson’s body was later found and he was identified as the Green Beret killed in the attack.
Pentagon officials last week said they believe a self-radicalized, Islamic State-affiliated group was behind the ambush.
Numerous questions remain after the incident, which occurred on a routine patrol that had been carried out 29 times in the last six months without incident, Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told reporters at the Pentagon.
As the article suggests, these patrols were routine and apparently low-risk. That said, I’m glad the Pentagon is investigating this as we need to know all the details.
I know the left wants to make this Trump’s Benghazi – which is ironic considering they never really cared about the actual Benghazi – but their agenda still shouldn’t prevent us from knowing all the facts and getting to the bottom of what happened, if there’s anything nefarious going on.