Report on October's Niger ambush cites multiple failures - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Report on October's Niger ambush cites multiple failures

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Latest on the investigation into a deadly ambush in Niger that killed four Americans (all times local):
11:45 a.m.
The Pentagon says multiple failures are to blame for the Niger ambush that killed four U.S. service members last October.
A final report released Thursday cites insufficient training and preparation. And it cites the team's deliberate decision to go after a high-level Islamic State group insurgent without proper command approval.
The report summary includes recommendations to improve mission planning and approval procedures, re-evaluate equipment and weapons requirements, and review training that U.S. commandos conduct with partner forces.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has told the head of U.S. Africa Command to take immediate steps to address shortfalls, and has given senior leaders four months to complete a review and lay out a plan for additional changes.
8:02 a.m.
The Pentagon is preparing to release the final report on the Niger attack that killed four Americans last October, concluding that the Army Special Forces team did not get required command approval for the initial risky mission to go after a high-level insurgent linked to the Islamic State group.
Defense officials said they will lay out Thursday how the mission unfolded and led to the gruesome ambush, and then explain what is being done to correct the problems brought to light by the incident. Families of the fallen troops have been briefed on the investigation, including details of their loved ones' final moments as they battled as many as 100 insurgents in a fierce firefight.
"The whole thing was a screwed-up mess," said Arnold Wright, father of Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright of Lyons, Georgia, who was killed in the attack. He said he's concerned the Army may be pinning blame on lower-ranking soldiers and not accepting responsibility high enough up the chain of command.
The briefing, he said, gave the impression "that the captain, the team leader, that he mischaracterized the mission" as one to reach out to local leaders rather than a mission to target the insurgent.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)