Eight months after the death of four US and five Nigerians soldiers in Niger in October 2017, the US Defence Minister announces that the Pentagon investigation is over.
Before the Congress, Jim Mattis, US Secretary of Defence, said that these conclusions will be made public in the coming days, but the Wall Street Journal already reveals them in part.
In their report, the investigators question the US sub-command of this anti-jihadist operation, accused of errors, eagerness and excessive risk-taking.
According to RFI correspondent in California, Eric de Salve
“We found the crux of the problems that led us there,” says Jim Mattis before Congress. “No, but problems,” says the US Defense Minister on the faith of the report on the deadly attack of October 2017 in Niger.
According to the Wall Street Journal the 6,300 pages of this Pentagon survey point to the arrogance and excessive risk-taking culture of the US sub-command. He also pinpoints insufficient training and flouted military procedures.
A senior official implicated in the jihadist ambush of Niger went, according to the report, to falsify official documents for the mission to be validated by his superiors by copying and pasting a previous mission order.
However, the investigation does not advocate a sanction nor does it question the recent decision of Donald Trump to offer more autonomy to the officers on the ground to act faster, without systematic agreement of Washington.
Pentagon investigators also point to the weakness of the US intelligence which considered unlikely the possibility of an enemy presence in the Tongo Tongo area.
Instead, the patrol faced about 50 jihadists from the ISIS sub-Saharan branch. After several hours of fighting four American Green Berets and five Nigerian soldiers were killed.