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Rep. Ruben Gallego Demands Answers From Pentagon Regarding Niger Ambush

March 26, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Ruben Gallego again demanded answers regarding the fatal ambush in Niger in October 2017 during which four U.S. soldiers and four Nigerien soldiers were killed. The final report is still tied up in the offices of the Secretary of Defense.

Video of Rep. Gallego’s questioning of Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan and General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during todays House Armed Services Committee hearing can be found here.

Rep. Gallego issued the following statement:

“It is unreasonable for a review of the Niger ambush – a catastrophe now two years old – to still be pending, let alone for a new review to be started at this late date.

“The Pentagon’s unwillingness or inability to comply with a mandate to provide Congress with a comprehensive list of lessons learned, provide families to the Soldiers killed on the raid with appropriately redacted mission reports, reprimand those senior officers responsible for the systematic failings that led to this disaster, and award those who showed heroism despite a hopeless tactical situation is an indictment of the level of competence, professionalism, and deference to Congressional authority that seems to accurately describe leadership at DoD at present.

“I will continue to push for overdue reports and for details on this apparently ‘new’ review of the issues surrounding the Niger ambush. The Pentagon should not be allowed to sweep the details of the issue under the rug, especially not to protect the careers of senior officials who screwed up and got people killed. Our duty to the Soldiers who were killed and to their surviving comrades and families demands no less.”

Rep. Gallego has long been pushing for answers regarding the raid, including at a hearing earlier this month and a March 2018 hearing during which testimony was heard from Marine Corps Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, Commander of the United States Africa Command.

Rep. Gallego is a Marine Corps combat veteran and serves on the House Armed Services Committee.