Small Wars Journal

After Deadly Niger Ambush, U.S. Military in Africa Says Changes Made to Protect Troops

After Deadly Niger Ambush, U.S. Military in Africa Says Changes Made to Protect Troops by Carley Petesch – AP

The U.S. military in Africa has taken steps to increase the security of troops on the ground, adding armed drones and armored vehicles and taking a harder look at when American forces go out with local troops, the head of the U.S. Africa Command said Monday.

Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser told reporters the U.S. also has cut the response time needed for medical evacuations — the result of a broad review in the wake of last year's ambush in Niger that killed four U.S. soldiers and four of their Niger counterparts.

"Since that happened, there were significant things to change and learn," Waldhauser said. "We've done a thorough scrub really on every level, whether it's at a tactical level ... or how we conduct business at AFRICOM."

A report is due in mid-August on actions taken in response to the findings, Waldhauser said. He released a report in May on the ambush, which has been blamed on extremists linked to the Islamic State organization.

He said Africa's challenges remain vast, from Islamic State and al-Qaida-linked groups in the west to al-Shabab in the east…

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