Roughly two weeks after the four Green Berets were killed in an ambush, in the African nation of Niger, Senators are demanding the Trump Administration provide Congress with the full details of the mission.
On Tuesday, John McCain and Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee started to loudly complain that they were not getting the information about the mission that they required. Committee Chairman, John McCain, went so far as to suggest that the Obama Administration had a better relationship with both him, and the committee.
“We’ve been waiting for weeks and weeks,” he had said. “We will not sit by without having a complete understanding of what’s going on.”
McCain’s comments were also echoed by the Democrat, Senator Jack Reed “I think the administration has to be more clear about our role in Niger and our role in other areas in Africa and other parts of the globe. They have to connect it to a strategy. They should do that. I think that the inattention to this issue is not acceptable.”
McCain went on to brag to reporters, “I had a better working relationship, as far as information back and forth, with [President Obama’s Defense Secretary] Ash Carter than I do with an old friend of 20 years,” McCain said.
When asked whether, by his “old friend,” he meant Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, McCain agreed, and further clarified that he also doesn’t like Trump’s National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster, as well.
Many questions still surround the October 4th ambush of US troops in Nigeria. 12 soldiers were on a joint patrol with 40 Nigerians that they were training, when ISIS-affiliated terrorists attacked, killing four US soldiers, and wounding two others. French air support had to be called in to rescue the patrol.
This ambush represents the first time that US troops have been killed in counterterrorism operations in North Africa. The African nation of Niger holds about 800 soldiers at a drone base, with an additional 200 stationed elsewhere around the country.
The uncertain and unusual circumstances surrounding the Nigerian ambush have prompted questions about force protection for troops abroad.
Mattis has defended the response, but also said that the Pentagon is reviewing it to see what lessons can be learned for similar situations that could be avoided later.
“We will look at this and say, was there something we have to adapt to now?” Mattis said. “We’re not complacent. We’re going to be better.”