Senators split on whether Niger ambush could have been averted


Republican and Democratic senators emerged from a classified briefing about the deadly ambush in the African nation of Niger with different opinions about whether the attack that killed four U.S. soldiers could have been averted.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Thursday that “on the initial assessment there were not significant steps that could have been taken to prevent this assault.” But Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., pointed to a shortfall in intelligence and overhead reconnaissance support for U.S. forces in Africa as a potential factor in an attack that caught many lawmakers off guard.

“I could not look those families in the eye and say we’re doing everything we need to do to provide sufficient intelligence that will enable them to be successful in their missions and avoid the kind of catastrophe that we saw here,” Blumenthal said.

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