While it’s still unclear why so many U.S. troops are in Niger and what led to the recent attack in the region, Rachel Maddow laid out a list of damning Trump administration failures that could have contributed to the deadly ambush in West Africa.
According to Maddow, the reasons for American soldiers being stationed in Niger could stretch back several presidents, but a series of concerning steps taken (or not taken) by the Trump administration could have made the recent attack on U.S. troops more likely.
— Sean Colarossi (@SeanColarossi) October 24, 2017
Maddow laid out the facts:
So there’s a lot that has nothing to do with the Trump administration, that is hard to get your head around, around this deployment and this attack and this grievous, grievous loss. But then you add on top of that the particularities of this administration – which hasn’t bothered to appoint a director at the National Security Council with responsibility for Africa, which hasn’t bothered to appoint an Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, which just inexplicably last month angered and infuriated the neighboring nation of Chad by adding them to the president’s travel ban despite Chad being our most experienced, battle-hardened military ally in the region. … Of course, at the apex of responsibility here, we still have a commander-in-chief who will not discuss this incident, even today, will not talk about it.
As Maddow said on Monday, it’s unclear what exactly led to the deadly ambush in Niger, but we can say with increased certainty that the president’s own actions since taking office only increased the possibility of such an attack – whether it’s failing to fill key positions in charge of overseeing the region or implementing reckless policies just to please his uninformed base of supporters.
It certainly doesn’t help the administration’s cause that, weeks later, they still refuse to shed light on what went wrong and what led to the tragic death of four Green Berets – and, of course, how we can prevent future attacks from happening.
Instead, the only time the president chooses to talk about this is when he is smearing the grieving widow of one of the four soldiers lost in Niger, Sgt. La David Johnson.