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Report: Multiple failures in Niger ambush

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 5/10/18, 01:58 pm

A Pentagon report summary released Thursday blamed multiple failures for an ambush that killed four U.S. Army soldiers in Niger last October. The team of U.S. and Nigerien forces was approved to meet with tribal leaders but had the scope of its mission changed to go after an Islamic State (ISIS) leader believed to be in the area. The report summary said though the troops demonstrated bravery and heroism when they fell under attack by ISIS-affiliated militants, they had insufficient training and preparation. Those killed in the attack included Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, Sgt. La David T. Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright. La David Johnson’s body was not recovered until two days after the firefight, but the Pentagon said he was not captured alive. Four Nigerien troops were also killed, and two American soldiers and eight members of the Nigerien forces were wounded.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital's managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kansas. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 05/11/2018 02:56 pm

    Many people have never stopped to think about it, but “infantry” is a trained specialty in the military just like intelligence, transport, food preparation/nutrition, or management (officers).  

    In the past it may have been so, but nowadays you absolutely do not become an infantryman because you are too dumb to learn a more complicated skillset. Unfortunately even military leaders may forget this. I suspect this might be rather common following the general denigration of the military during the Obama administration. 

    My view on this incident in Nigeria is that several of the Americans may not have been trained infantry, but possibly intelligence specialists. The unexpected opportunity to capture ISIS leaders arose, the nearest troops were assigned, but no one carefully examined whether these men had the right skills to successful execute.

    I might add, a little bit of “attitude” is also somewhat helpful to an infantryman...

    and yes, I suppose I should become woke and say infantrymen AND infantry women.  But I’ve found myself unable to accept that as a good thing.