Tags: james mattis | green berets | killed | niger | train and advise role | title 10

Mattis: Soldiers Killed in Niger Were on 'Train-and-Advise Mission'

Mattis: Soldiers Killed in Niger Were on 'Train-and-Advise Mission'
Defense Sec. James Mattis (Jonathan Ernst/Pool/Getty Images)

Monday, 30 October 2017 09:39 PM

Four Green Berets killed by ISIS-affiliated militants Oct. 3 in Niger were serving as trainers and advisers — not as anti-terror combatants, Defense Secretary James Mattis testified on Capitol Hill Monday.

Under the so-called Title 10 authority in a U.S. Code outlining the roles of the Armed Forces, train-and-advise missions are authorized around the world, Mattis explained, The Hill reported.

“The troops are there under Title 10 in a train-and-advise role,” Mattis told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where both he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were testifying about authorization for the use of military force, or AUMF.

“The mission of those troops on that patrol was a combined patrol, which means they were with Niger troops, and they were on a patrol where they’re teaching them to do — what’s called key-leader engagement.”

Mattis warned the panel against prematurely repealing the 2001 war authorization for combat operations.

"Though a statement of continued congressional support would be welcome, a new [war authorization] is not legally required to address the continuing threat posed by al-Qaida, the Taliban and ISIS," Mattis said.

But doing away with existing laws prematurely "could only signal to our enemies and our friends that we are backing away from this fight."

The United States has about 1,000 troops in Niger and surrounding countries, and about 6,000 troops in all of Africa. Mattis testified American troops are trying to prepare Nigerien forces for when ISIS moves into their area as the caliphate in Iraq and Syria falls, The Hill reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Four Green Berets killed by ISIS-affiliated militants Oct. 3 in Niger were serving as trainers and advisers - not as anti-terror combatants, Defense Secretary James Mattis testified on Capitol Hill Monday.Under the so-called Title 10 authority in a U.S. Code outlining the...
james mattis, green berets, killed, niger, train and advise role, title 10
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2017-39-30
Monday, 30 October 2017 09:39 PM
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