Nightmare in Niger: US to Pull Troops amidst Water and Medicine Shortages

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(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The Washington Post reported Friday night that the Pentagon will remove U.S. troops from Niger—a move that follows shocking whistleblower revelations that the Biden administration abandoned troops there, leaving them with water and medicine shortages.

“The prime minister has asked us to withdraw U.S. troops, and we have agreed to do that,” an anonymous senior State Department official told the Post.

The Pentagon must now remove than 1,000 U.S. troops from Niger. The U.S. will also have to close a six-year-old, $110 million U.S. air base that was used for drone warfare. Rep. Matt Gaetz, whose office investigated the whistleblower complaints, expressed concern about how the Biden administration will handle with withdrawal.

“I fear the administration will handle this withdrawal similarly to the withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Gaetz said Friday on Twitter. “The safety and security of all service members must be our top priority in this time of transition.”

 

The situation in Niger stems from the country’s government declaring last month that the U.S. military presence there is “illegal.” In a letter published last Wednesday by the Washington Post, an Army whistleblower accused Biden of endangering the troops’ lives by leaving them there against the wishes of the country’s new government.

“Americans deployed here have not been able to perform their primary mission and have been told to ‘sit and hold.’ It is clear that the country of Niger does not want a permanent military presence in the country and they have informed us that we need to leave,” the whistleblower said.

“At the same time, there are approximately 1,100 US Military Service Members in the country who are essentially being held hostage from returning home to their families while the State Department continues with failed diplomacy by not communicating with the country of Niger on what their withdrawal plans will look like.”

According to the whistleblower, the troops in Niger can’t leave because the government isn’t approving visas for the new troops that would replace them.

Rep. Gaetz further revealed that the troops in Niger now are experiencing shortages of water, medicine and other supplies. Gaetz grilled Army Secretary Christine Wormuth and Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George about the matter Wednesday during a budget hearing.

Perhaps just as shocking as the situation in Niger is the fact that the senior Army officials said they didn’t know about what’s going on there.

“Army soldiers right now in Niger who aren’t getting their troop rotations, who aren’t getting their medicine, who aren’t getting their supplies, who aren’t getting their mail,” Gaetz said. “And the two senior people in the United States Army are sitting before me, and it’s like ‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.’”

Gaetz said the top Army officials must be ignorant about Niger because the U.S. embassy there is blocking intelligence from reaching them. Gaetz said this must be because Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Niger a “model democracy” last year—months before a coup took place—and is now suppressing intel to avoid embarrassment.
Gaetz said he fears this coverup will lead to another Bengazi.

“U.S. embassy Niger has been blocking the intelligence. I fear that as we speak, the conditions are forming for another Bengazi-style attack,” he said on the House floor this week.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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