U.S. Troops Lack Support Despite Expanding Mission in Africa

U.S. Troops Lack Support Despite Expanding Mission in Africa by Shawn Snow - Military Times

A once shadowy mission in the Sahel region of western and north-central Africa has been illuminated since the attack that killed four U.S. soldiers in Niger.

What has been revealed is that U.S. troops operating in advisory roles across Africa lack the level of support they have received in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

The Pentagon is still investigating the Oct. 4 ambush of a joint U.S.-Nigerien patrol to determine what happened and why.

Although the mission in Africa is focused on training and advising the host nations’ partner forces, the incident in Niger has highlighted the considerable risk faced by participating U.S. troops.

Military officials suspect the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, or ISGS, as the culprit behind the deadly ambush, but West Africa is dotted with various terrorist groups, including Boko Haram, Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin, al-Shabab and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

Despite the influx of terror groups and instability in the Sahel over the past several years, Libya and Somalia remain the only two regions where U.S. warplanes and drones have authorities to launch deadly kinetic strikes.

There have been no U.S. airstrikes and drone strikes anywhere in Africa besides Libya and Somali, Samantha Reho, a spokeswoman for U.S. Africa Command, told Military Times…

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