Small Wars Journal

Shanahan: New Review of 2017 Niger Attack Underway

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 2:20am

Shanahan: New Review of 2017 Niger Attack Underway by Claudia Grisales - Stars & Stripes

Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan told House lawmakers Tuesday that a new review into the deadly October 2017 ambush in Niger that left four American soldiers dead is underway.

Shanahan said he learned in January after taking over as acting Pentagon chief that a review of the initial investigation was already in place, ordered by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Now, Shanahan’s new probe should reach conclusions on reprimands and awards related to the ambush “soon,” he told Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., during questioning.

“When I came into this role, the recommendation was brought to me that Secretary Mattis, he had convened a review… I did not find that sufficient,” he said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing. “So, I convened my own review so I can ensure from top to bottom as to the appropriate accountability. I don’t know when that will be complete, but I have to assume that much of the work that’s been done to date can be used.”

The four soldiers killed in the ambush were Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah W. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright and Sgt. La David Johnson.

Gallego, a Marine veteran, said concerns remain that blame could be placed on junior officers alone for the ambush, when others could be involved in the mistakes that led to the deadly attack…

Read on.