Small Wars Journal

An Operation in Niger Went Fatally Awry. Who Is the Army Punishing?

An Operation in Niger Went Fatally Awry. Who Is the Army Punishing? By Thomas Gibbons-Neff – New York Times

The Army has punished two members of the Special Forces team ambushed in Niger last October for their decisions before the mission and for insufficient training alongside their Nigerien allies in advance, according to military officials. Four others in their chain of command were also disciplined.

Some of those punished in recent weeks included the Green Beret team leader, Capt. Mike Perozeni, and his second in command, a master sergeant. Those absent from the six letters of reprimand include the two senior officers who approved the mission and who then oversaw the operation as it went fatally awry.

The punishments appear to run counter to another narrative the Army has pushed in past months: the heroism displayed by the troops under fire. Almost all of the soldiers on the 11-man team, including those who were killed, have been nominated for valor awards, though they have yet to be approved. According to one official, senior officers at Special Operations Command believe that members of the team can be held responsible for failures before the mission and still be awarded commendations for their actions during the ambush…

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