Politics

Retired Special Forces Officer: Politicians Are Turning Green Beret Tragedy Into A ‘Farce’

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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Retired Army special forces officer Steven Bucci thinks the politicians and press are turning the ambush in Niger, which led to the deaths of four Green Berets, into a total farce.

Bucci, who served in the Army as a Green Beret for 28 years, wrote an op-ed Monday in The Daily Signal decrying the outrage promoted by senators and “talking heads,” which unlike the special operations mission in Niger, don’t make Americans safer.

For Bucci, the routine foreign internal defense mission in Niger works by sending in teams of special operators to train local forces to battle terrorists like al-Qaida and the Islamic State. Such a mission is common for the U.S., and legislators were fully aware of the operation in Niger and other countries. For example, there about 6,000 U.S. troops spread out across Africa. As Bucci put it, these troops aren’t “kids,” and they unquestionably know what they’re getting themselves into.

“These missions have been extremely common since 9/11, so it is ludicrous that legislators now claim ignorance of both their existence and purpose,” Bucci wrote. “Were these legislators asleep during the last 10 years that they were briefed by the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command and the combatant commanders of U.S. Africa, Central, Pacific, or Southern Commands?”

Unfortunately, four Green Berets were killed in the Niger ambush on Oct. 4. Two others were wounded. The body of Army Sgt. La David Johnson was in the field for two days before it was recovered. An ISIS-affiliate comprised of about 50 militants orchestrated the attack using small arms and rockets.

Bucci stated that when military members die, the Pentagon always conducts an investigation. And this investigation would have taken place, even if Washington were totally silent on the topic.

“The media and politicians should stop the showmanship and game-playing,” Bucci argued. “Let Defense Secretary James Mattis do his job, and let the brave men and women of the U.S. military do theirs. Grandstanding senators and talking heads don’t help make America safe, but missions just like the one in Niger do.”

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