Hey there, hero, with your AR-15 and your morale patches and your weekend warrior bullshit terrorizing your local park so you can make some damn point about your 2nd Amendment Rights? If you can hit “pause” on your World of Warcraft long enough, while your mom changes the sheets on your futon, give this a read.
It’s a deep, troubling dive into what went wrong in Niger a while back.
If you’re not sure how badly things can go in a place where a war isn’t actually happening, and people can still get killed? Give this a read. Because a whole lot of people failed the soldiers that died that day, and the ripples are probably going to affect all of AFRICOM.
One of Trump’s main selling points as to how he does business is letting his generals and commanders on the ground make decisions about what missions to run and how to run them. Most of the time, this approach works just fine, so long as commanders make good decisions based on good information/intel.
That is it works just fine until it doesn’t. And at that point the usual reaction is to hand out permission slips at ever higher levels. Until those in contact with enemy forces end up crippled by the bureaucracy they have to hurdle just to shoot someone in the face.
Africa’s the center of gravity for the next round of the war on terror. Training and advisory missions for national forces are key to whatever success the US hopes to have on the continent. But ever-expanding missions in places like Niger mean that people are going to die. And the answer to that isn’t to make it harder for the survivors to do their job.