The Capitol Hill report or the Congress Report Service (CRS) who are making studies into wished subjects of the Congress, has recently dropped and made a report into the United States Armed Mission in Niger. Not that it says much and it is shown to be careful with dropping intelligence, as this is a continued mission against Islamist insurgents and militants together with allies of the American government. Therefore, dropping to much intelligence and to much information would spoil the mission themselves. That is why the CRS isn’t saying much new, but shows the state of affairs and the reasoning of United States to interfere on foreign soil. They are even proving the capacity of forces and planned army base in Niger. As they are clearly now cooperating with other armies and camps, where they are based. Since they are building one in the northern town of Agadez. Take a look!
“Following the October 4 attack, DOD officials have publicly cited a larger figure of 800 U.S. military personnel in Niger. 17 These figures presumably comprise personnel stationed in the capital, Niamey, as well as those deployed in more remote areas. Notably, a U.S. Air Force facility is under construction in the northern city of Agadez (Figure 1), which the Air Force has described as supporting U.S. logistical and intelligence capacities in the sub-region, and which U.S. diplomats have described as supporting the Niger government’s capacity to secure its borders” (…) “U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) describes the U.S. military presence in Niger, as in most places in Africa, as a “light footprint,” suggesting that a more extensive and/or conventional military mission could require more extensive airlift, close air support capacity, and contingency planning” (CRS, P: 4-5, 2017).
“Advisory activities in which U.S. personnel are embedded with local security forces, as was apparently the case in the mission that came under attack on October 4, according to DOD officials” (CRS, P: 7, 2017).
“The “golden hour” is described as the first 60 minutes following trauma or the onset of acute illness, where chances of a patient’s survival are considered greatest if advanced trauma life support can be provided. DOD notes that, “historically, wound data and casualty rates indicate that more than 90 percent of all casualties die within the first hour of severe wounding without advanced trauma life support.”58 U.S. military medical support is generally structured to meet this standard of one hour or less” (…) “In the case of the October 4 Niger ambush, at least one Special Forces medic (see below) was present, but he was killed during the ambush. DOD stated the two U.S. soldiers wounded during the ambush were medically evacuated by French air assets to Niamey during the firefight, and that this medical evacuation was “consistent with the casualty evacuation plan that was in place for this particular operation” (CRS, P: 12-13, 2017).
“Niger’s Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum stated in a media interview on October 19 that those who carried out the attack were “youths under the influence of Abu Walid al Sahrawi” who were based in the Niger/Mali border region. Possibly reflecting the extremely complex nature of militant allegiances in the sub-region, Bazoum also suggested that the assailants were loyal to Iyad ag Ghali, a Malian national who heads the Al Qaeda-aligned JNIM, although some analysts portray JNIM and IS-GS as rivals rather than allies. The Interior Minister indicated in his remarks that Niger’s government had yet to identify the precise assailants” (CRS, P: 16, 2017).
We clearly will not know everything now, but there is openings and questions to be asked. There have already been questions over how long it took to get the bodies of the fallen American soldiers from the place of fire. Also, the aftermath of the ambush opening a lot of questions.
That we will know more with time and hope this get investigated, as there are many leads and many more questions arising, as the Department of Defense should have own intelligence on the ambush and the days before. Since, they are there together with the Niger’s own military and French soldiers, these are all in the Sahel region to clear militant Islamist’s there. Clearly, there are some intelligence that is left our or clearly not studied. Since the CRS report are a stripped report. There has already been reported about the ambushes and local chiefs interfering on behalf Islamist’s in the area. This has been overshadowed in this report.
That this report also not look into the failure of human intelligence, because of this Niger ambushed could have been warned against and the troubles in Tongo Tongo close to the border of Mali. Together with the ambush of motorcycles and other reports, that has been neglected. Proves that the CRS are trying to stifle information or not investigate it at all. Just going by the information of different sources in the days after, you could get more intelligence of it, than by the CRS. Therefore, the report didn’t tell much, just showing what official sources within the DoD. Peace.
Congressional Research Service – ‘Niger: Frequently Asked Questions About the October 2017 Attack on U.S. Soldiers’ (27.10.2017)
Well, there is often now, when it comes to the assistance and the help from United States Army, it is less planned, but more erratic just like their President. The Commander-in-Chief, President Donald J. Trump is behind the mess created and the death, he is the last to order and sanction the violence. If the US Army is behind a mess in Yemen, it is on his hour, if its done bad in Niger, it is still on his watch.
Just like Hillary Clinton was in a mess in Libya, this is a story of how the United States might have inflicted much harm in Niger, without intelligence and backgrounds checks. Clearly, it must have been something gone wrong, when they are ambushed happen and there are conflicting reports of it. We cannot know everything now. Since the investigations of the different security organization will start. As well, as the Trump Administration are in high gear of deflections and trying to silence the story. Because, this is damaging reports. Not only his lack of compassion to the families of the lost soldiers in battle, but also the lack of collecting intelligence before striking at the enemies during conflict.
Here is some of the key aspects we can for now take from the Niger ambush. This is not the whole story, but some pieces of the puzzle, to make sense of the manner, the Special Forces operated and the AFRICOM Battalion that is stationed in Niger. Hope this gives you some sense of it all.
“News reports indicate that the attack occurred near the town of Tongo Tongo (see Figure 1), in a border region where a number of armed groups are active. These include locally-led factions affiliated Al Qaeda and the Islamic State organization, ethnic militias, separatist rebels, drug traffickers, smugglers, and bandits, with the lines between these categories often blurred. (See CRS In Focus IF10172, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Related Groups.) Islamist armed groups regularly conduct attacks against local targets—notably focusing on government officials, prisons, schools, and individuals accused of collaborating with the state or with French-led counterterrorism operations —and against U.N. peacekeepers in Mali. Some analysts assert that the often heavy-handed counterterrorism approach of local security forces has contributed to worsening instability” (Arieff, 2017)
First Official statement:
“On Oct. 4, three (3) U.S. service members and one partner nation member were killed while the U.S. was providing advice and assistance to Nigerien security force counter-terror operations, approximately 200 km north of Niamey, in southwest Niger. Additionally, two U.S. service members were injured and evacuated in stable condition to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany” (U.S. Embassy in Niger, 2017).
Niger Ministry of Defense Statement:
“On Tuesday, October 03, 2017, a patrol of the defense and security forces and US partners operating in the Mali-Niger border zone was ambushed by terrorist elements on board a dozen vehicles and twenty motorcycles. height of Tongo Tongo village located about 80 km northwest of Ouallam. After intense fighting during which the elements of the joint patrol showed courage and an exemplary combativeness, the balance is established as follows: FDS four (4) dead, eight (8) wounded, partners American three (3) dead, two (2) wounded. In this painful circumstance, the President of the Republic, Head of State, Supreme Chief of the Armed Forces and the Government offer their deepest condolences to the families of the disappeared and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. They welcome the commitment of the American partners alongside our defense and security forces, they reiterate their strong support and encouragement to the entire defense and security forces in their mission of defending the integrity of the national territory and strategic partners for their continued support for peace and stability in the region” (FAN, 2017).
Report in LA Times the day after:
“Officials hoped the missing U.S. Army Special Forces operative might still be hiding in the dense brush, rather than taken captive, and launched a massive search-and-rescue mission with aerial drones and other aircraft, as well as Nigerien ground forces. The death of four Green Berets in remote West Africa marks the worst single loss of U.S. forces under fire since President Trump took office. The president was briefed on the search and the discovery of the body, officials said. The casualties came as a heavy blow to the insular special operations community that increasingly shoulders the burden of America’s counter-terrorism operations overseas. The four fatalities, as well as two wounded Green Berets, were in the 3rd Special Forces Group based in Ft. Bragg, N.C” (Hennigan, 2017).
Chad Pulls out troops:
“The development comes after the US slammed a travel ban on its citizens. Chad defence officials have not given a reason for this action, but it is believed that it could weaken the fight against the insurgents. Residents say the withdrawal of the troops had already impacted on Niger’s Diffa region, which has seen a series of attacks by Boko Haram crossing over from their base in Nigeria” (NAN, 2017).
“Eventually, after talking to the village chief, the troops got into their vehicles to return to their base, a two-hour drive. But less than five minutes after they drove out of the village, the convoy was ambushed by a group that outnumbered them two to one. About 100 armed insurgents, many of whom were on motorbikes — two or three people a bike — as well as others in about 10 sport utility vehicles, surrounded the convoy. They were armed with heavy weapons, including anti aircraft weaponry as well as rocket-propelled grenades, according to a Nigerien official. Soldiers in the joint patrol were riding in military vehicles as well as civilian Land Cruisers from the American Embassy. The firefight lasted two to three hours, the Nigerien official said, until a response unit from the military base arrived for reinforcements. French helicopters arrived to evacuate the dead and wounded as well as other soldiers” (Searcey, Cooper & Schmitt, 2017).
Lack of Intelligence in West Africa:
“That very same evaluation additionally raised concern that solely 20-30 per cent of the US ISR’s intelligence, surveillance and recognition necessities have been met. UU. of the US (ISR). “This limits situational understanding, assist operations and presents no risk indications and warnings,” the command warned, including that the state of affairs is most severe in West Africa, the place the military of states United has roughly 1,000 individuals concerned in a dozen operations in a area of 9 nations. Nigerian officers have stated that the ambush on four October was on account of a “failure of human intelligence.” This useful resource hole “forces our workers to return to pricey and ineffective advert hoc options,” the command instructed lawmakers” (DrFeed, 2017)
I think these clips from different sources say a lot and shows that the neglect and the importance of collecting intelligence. As well, as knowing the intent of the locals and their loyalty towards the insurgents. Therefore, the joint-command brigade was ambushed. There will come more intelligence and more information, that will show the damaging information that is for now left out. Unless, the United States wants to hide their acts. The dead soldiers will not return, not matter what you do, but to see the causes and the reasons for their demise could be learning curve for the military and their operatives.
We cannot know everything now, but we will with time, as the investigations and the revealing intelligence will come to forward. Clearly, the White House wouldn’t touch this in the beginning, because they knew of the their misbehavior and has since tried to deflect it. Especially, since their own President has assaulted Clinton for her actions in Libya, this could be seen as similar and be alike. Therefore, the smear-campaign and questionable acts was taken to Congress in various committees, the same should appear in this case. But don’t expect it, because the Republican are still loyal to their President. However, if that turns and their show compassion and care for their Republic. They would have dozens of investigations and also look into the ambush. The reasons and the orders that was given, also why the people lost their lives in the village of Tongo Tongo close to the border of Mali, inside Niger. Peace.
Arieff, Alexis – ‘Attack on U.S. Soldiers in Niger: Context and Issues for Congress’ (05.10.2017) link:https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/IN10797.pdf
DrFeed – ‘Months Before Niger Attack, The US Military Warned Congress It Needed More Resources’ (20.10.2017) link: https://drfeed.com/months-before-niger-attack-the-us-military-warned-congress-it-needed-more-resources/
NAN – ‘Chad withdraws troops fighting Boko Haram in Niger’ (13.10.2017) link: https://www.google.no/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=16&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi0heD73YHXAhVFEpoKHTj5CMA4ChAWCEswBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thecable.ng%2Fchad-withdraws-troops-fighting-boko-haram-niger&usg=AOvVaw3ux55sdZINC2y_S7jgE1zH
Hennigan, W.J. -’Missing U.S. commando found dead in Niger desert two days after deadly ambush’ (06.10.2017) link: http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-missing-soldier-found-20171006-story.html
Searcey, Dionne, Cooper, Helene & Eric Schmitt – ‘Conflicting Accounts in Niger Ambush Are Subject of Pentagon Investigation’ (20.10.2017) link: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/20/world/africa/niger-ambush-conflicting-accounts.html
FAN – ‘Communiqué du Ministère de la Défense Nationale du Niger suite à l’attaque des FDS à Tongo tongo’ (05.10.2017) link: http://www.iciniger.com/communique-ministere-de-defense-nationale-niger-suite-a-lattaque-fds-a-tongo-tongo/
U.S. Embassy in Niger – ‘U.S. Africa Command Statement on Situation in Niger’ (05.10.2017) link: https://ne.usembassy.gov/u-s-africa-command-statement-situation-niger/
We live in a day and age where the content of information is accessible at any time of the day on all kind of formats. It isn’t only pamphlets, posters, newspapers and books. But there are blogs like this; it is digital videos, cable-TV, social-media and all the other ways of gaining information with or without membership pay-walls for the content. In that world of constant ability to gain this, it can either feed the hunger for knowledge or become tiring for the people as the constant newsflashes and breaking news can make your mind boggle and wonder what is really important. Therefore before I continue let see a main definitions of Indifference!
Definitions of the Word:
“lack of interest in or concern about something: an indifferent attitude or feeling” (…)” 1: the quality, state, or fact of being indifferent
2a archaic : lack of difference or distinction between two or more things b : absence of compulsion to or toward one thing or another” (Meriam Webster Dictionary).
As I tried to explain brief in this time and day, we’re all access to information and ability to download reports, getting brief headlines and watching reports on TV or tablets the clarity of what is important can sometimes not sink in. As we check the normal suspects for the commentary or the capability to get news and become reasonable updated on the matters at hand. Though there are stories lost and we can’t know what happens at every corner of the world, than we are stuck between all screens and behind every tweet dropped every hour of the day. We’ll live in a forever groundhog day and wish that we had comic talent of Bill Murray instead of trying to get up to date with current news.
The fear is with the level of information, the different formats and the ability of entertainment and tabloid news. The simplistic and breaking is taking over for the hardcore policy discussions as the direct terror threats and artists dismissals seems more important than the issues of trading and health care policies. The indifference towards the reasons behind the migrations and the reasons for the crisis in Syria for instance are lost in the battle against terror. The devastating idea for why Tunisia, Libya and other states who was has been under fire since the Arab spring have been lost in tales of Clinton and British death, instead of the iconic and important support to build state institutions for the citizens. In countries that before this we’re built around grand dictators like Ben Ali and Gaddafi. Therefore the indifference to the solutions and the real deal behind the fragile state is worrying.
The worrying indifference to the abysmal understanding of the financial structure of Greece and Italy, as the banks of Italy are in limbo; while the state sales and economic liberation while drowning a debt-burden Greece in more greasy debt as they trying to cope with the level of migrations. We should ask ourselves if the European Union forgot counting people or building swimming-pools for the new rich investor elites that got ability to buy state-resources and key installations like Piraeus port harbor for few cents on the dollar. Therefore the indifference for the swallowing the pride and the reactions this might have for the Greek state.
The indifference for rigging elections and supporting peacekeeping armies on the African continent, while the UN Peacekeepers in C.A.R. are using their power to rape and destroy, not only generate peace, as the UN Mission in Western Sahara is more a luxurious club for diplomates than generating mediation and justice for the people under siege from Morocco. But the world is silent. That the DRC are planning to exile more opposition or even detain them before the General Election for a third term for President Kabila and nobody flick their eyes. While the opposition is under siege in Rwanda, but President Kagame is hailed for the economic recovery as the totalitarian leader are oppressive and using forces in the Kivu’s to still steal resources from the Congo. The world doesn’t care or tries to forget. While the Burundi are still in crisis as the third term of President Nkurunziza is bloody, friends and foes of the President vanish and assassinated, while the Inclusive Dialogue by EAC and AU under former Tanzanian President Mpaka are at a standstill. So the state of affairs is far from beautiful. The indifference to matters is staggering as the knowledge of these actions shouldn’t be forgotten.
I wonder if I feel alone on it, like so many didn’t notice the skirmishes and the recent battles from the militias in Beni, in Democratic Republic of Congo. If it was just the Congolese diaspora who wore the yellow color clothes on Sunday’s to remember the dead and spread awareness of the continuing warfare in the region. As the world have forgotten the violence and want to be rest assure that the cobalt and other resources need in the smartphones are exported to factories far away.
The ignorance and indifference are so big as the cable-news and grand media-houses focus on the click-bait and easy journalism instead of digging deep and having questions to the matters. Only following the money, the money always says how the ethical principles a man or woman has; as a person will only spend money on the things and people that they care about. That is a forgotten one, at one point of time with the PanamaPapers, the big media-houses followed it, but when the leaks when silent the interest dwindled as quickly as the importance of Blackburn in British football, which division are they now in?
We can question if the world really want to care, as the violence, the single handily gun-men going on shooting spree and the endless bloodshed is sad to read about and would make your hard. The continuation of news on the freedom fighters or guerrilla of Niger Delta Avengers would be less interesting as long as they’re a giant force in Boko Haram that are steadily doing abductions, kidnaps and killings in Cameroon and Nigeria.
We can’t be able to be refreshed and know about all issues worldwide, but at least not care more about Pokemon Go, Donald Trump’s latest racist tweet or a Stephen Colbert skit. They might a moment of joy and laugh, but with the possible knowledge of destruction, lose forces and able information, we as people shouldn’t let this just go on without questioning the powers to be.
Because as long as the public is kept in the shadow and not knowing, the people will not be able to see what the government or civil society is doing. That gives leeway to do whatever. So with this in mind the people should be interested and question, wonder and check the resources and ability to gain information on the matters. Either if it by Youtube, library or on the newsstand; the government have it easier with ignorant public sphere and indifference to matters both domestic and international, as they don’t have to take a stand and change policy as long as the people doesn’t act upon the issue. Therefore the knowledge and questioning the businesses, government and NGO’s happens when the citizen’s acts upon what we know. Indifference is only earning the government and the ones that already are in power, the danger for them is if we already knows and can anticipate their moves. Because if so, then they can’t away with thieving, lying and deceit of public will. Indifference of this gives way and is a gift to political sphere. Peace.
Meriam Webster – ‘Indifference’ link: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indifference
Interesting, right? Enlightenment, right?
Nå er det bare å vente i spenning på hva det nye året bringer, utenom prøver, eksamner og alt annet. Helt sikkert ett par Blu-Ray filmer og CD’r. Ikke minst noen politikere som tabber seg ut eller skaper en genial skandale. FN klager ett midt-østlig regime for menneskerettighetsbrudd, IMF låner enda ett Europeisk land ut av økonomisk krise. Merkel blir mer sur på Cameron. Egil Olsen er usikker på landslagets sjanser før en landskamp. Blir masse gulekort under oppgjøret mellom Barcelona og Real Madrid. Sir Alex Fergusson kommer til å klage på en dommer etter uavgjort oppgjør mot enten Tottenham/Chelsea/Arsenal. Arnold Schwarzenegger spiller inn i en ny action film. Kenya kommer til å ha en liten hær forsatt være inni deler av Somalia. Boko Haram kommer til å eksplodere flere bomber i 2012. I ett eller annet land kommer valget til å være jukset med. Altså en langsittende president kommer til å vinne en gang til. The Avangers kommer på kino. Lil Wayne blir feature på en drøss av låter. Kommer forhåpentligvis mer smør i butikken, slik at VG slipper maset om Lav-Karbo hysteriet. Northug vinner ett av mange langrenn. Kathy Perry lager en singel som spilles på altfor mange ganger på P3.
Som du ser.. Så vil året vil bringe mye nytt. Masse likt ifjor. Uansett. Godt nyttår. Håper Charlie Sheen kommer med nye kommentater. Jeg vel mest sannsynlig være litt lik før. Så for å avslutte 2012 første blogg innlegg med stil. Så hør på denne singelen fra Nelly! 🙂