The worst military disaster of the Trump presidency has sadly but not unexpectedly been exposed as the result of “reckless behavior” by the U.S Special Forces – and the deaths of four American Green Berets were entirely preventable.
Buzzfeed News dropped a bombshell report on Saturday that revealed the mission that led to the deaths of Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, and four Nigerian soldiers was “poorly executed” by the U.S. military, which “rushed into a hornet’s nest of militants with insufficient intelligence, while a series of ‘negligent’ decisions during the operation handed an accidental victory to an ISIS offshoot.”
The mission was sold as a “routine patrol” by the Pentagon to the American public but actually was aimed at gathering intelligence on three militants from the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), a new offshoot of the terrorist group that has arisen to take advantage of power vacuums and rampant poverty in the remote regions of central Africa.
The U.S. soldiers were lightly armored and in pickup trucks even though there had been 46 militant attacks in the past 18 months. The troops crossed the Malian border on October 3rd and destroyed an empty militant camp in the village of Akabar.
For an inexplicable reason, they continued to search the surrounding villages for the three militants “without prior planning or any contingency plans.” The patrol then made camp and stayed the night in enemy territory.
The militants were likely tipped off by their own local informants. Once the patrol was on the move the next morning, 40 to 50 militants on motorbikes and in technicals with heavy weapons caught the patrol in a pincer.
The New York Times reported that following the chaotic firefight that erupted after militants ambushed the reconnaissance patrol of eleven Americans and thirty Nigeriens, French helicopters from Mali swooped in to evacuate the men – but only picked up seven of the eleven Americans.
“The four others were inexplicably left behind, no longer in radio contact and initially considered missing in action by the Pentagon, a status that officials say raises the possibility they were still alive when the helicopters took off without them.”
American commandos soon returned to retrieve the bodies of Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, but it took nearly two more days of searching by soldiers from three nations to find the body of Sgt. La David Johnson, whose grieving widow President Trump engaged in a very public and extremely distasteful feud with last month.
The reckless decision-making by the U.S. Special Forces is a disturbing sign of the new independence that the U.S. military is taking for itself under a new Commander-in-Chief who is utterly indifferent to what our armed forces do – as indicated by the 6,000 or so innocent civilians killed over the past ten months by American bombings – and a Congress which inevitably rubber-stamps every military decision with only quiet criticism from the left that is inevitably shoved aside in favor of superficial appeals to patriotism and the delusions of American exceptionalism.
Former State Department intelligence specialist Matthew Page told BuzzFeed that our military is, in essence, going rogue.
“Socafrica has, in recent years, become increasingly secretive, unaccountable, clientelistic, and — as recent episodes suggest — reckless. Odds are they didn’t have the granularity of intel to offset the risk of such a mission. I think the bigger issue at stake here is the degree to which Special Forces Africa is increasingly seen by US diplomats and defense officials as a ‘rogue element’ that is pushing the envelope on its missions and activities in the Sahel, and elsewhere in Africa, without explicit buy-in from US policymakers, diplomats, or even senior military commanders.”
The recent disclosure that we have four times as many soldiers deployed in Syria than previously believed and the declaration that we will stay deployed in Syria “indefinitely” is further evidence that the military-industrial complex has seized full control of American foreign policy.
They are making decisions for our nation without any input from Congressional leaders – the vast majority of whom are either shamelessly serving the defense industry for campaign cash or are simply morally bankrupt cowards too worried about their re-election chances to push against the status quo – or the President, who is a sociopathic monster too busy watching television and obsessing about the crowd size at his rally to take any responsibility for the thousands of murders and the colossal waste of public funds being carried out under his authority.
Stories like this make it clear that the Democratic Party desperately needs a new approach to foreign policy and the military. The endless wars must come to an end, and any morally principled progressive agenda inherently demands an end to the droning of civilians, the constant violation of the sovereignty of other nations, and to take the funds that we waste on our military and put it to use actually serving the American public.
This is a disgrace, and we all should have seen this coming.
h/t to Monica Mark @ BuzzFeed
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