Report on Niger ambush cites multiple failures

Top military leaders acknowledge that multiple failures led up to the deadly Niger attack last October that killed four American service members and sent others fighting and running for their lives.

Still, the military says more important factors were “that the enemy achieved tactical surprise there and our forces were outnumbered approximately three-to-one.”

Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier Jr. of U.S. Africa Command spoke to reporters during a Pentagon press conference Thursday.

He described a brutal, chaotic firefight, as 46 U.S. and Nigerien forces battled more than 100 enemy fighters.

Amid the chaos, he says, there were repeated acts of bravery as the outnumbered and outgunned soldiers made split-second decisions under heavy fire, struggling to protect and rescue each other during the more than hourlong assault.