US special forces deaths in Niger lift veil on shadow war against Islamists in Sahel | World news | The Guardian – more deaths for what end?

In this complex environment, western military units have to have significant autonomy in order to respond rapidly to local threats and conditions.Reuters has reported that the US special forces soldiers abandoned, or at least extended, their more limited mission in Tongo Tongo when they learned of a raid nearby, deciding to engage the attackers themselves.Former western special forces officers with firsthand knowledge of current operations in the Sahel said this account was “plausible”.“Since [President] Trump took power, US forces deployed around the world have had a lot more room to manoeuvre. Decisions about when and what to engage have been devolved right down to unit level,” the former officer said. “Any soldier knows that if you give guys on the ground more independence, then they will be that much more aggressive and will take more risks.”

Source: US special forces deaths in Niger lift veil on shadow war against Islamists in Sahel | World news | The Guardian