Gaetz Demands Blinken Testify After Niger Coverup Scandal

Gaetz Demands Blinken Testify After Niger Coverup Scandal

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
April 26, 2024

Last week, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) released an explosive report detailing the coverup of the apparent abandonment of American troops in the West African country of Niger. Subsequently, the United States announced they would withdraw their presence from the country as negotiations with the new Nigerien government deteriorated. As a result, the Florida Congressman is calling for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to testify in a hearing about the viability of the Security Assistance Review (SAR).

As Rep. Gaetz detailed in his letter to House Armed Services Committee Chair Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), the Security Assistance Review program is a joint effort by the Department of State and Department of Defense to develop strategies for advancing stabilization efforts abroad, first established in 2018.

Additionally, SAR provided the framework for the Global Fragility Strategy (GFS), which Rep. Gaetz explained as the mechanism through which SAR efforts were coordinated between the DOS, DOD, USAID, and the House Armed Services Committee.

"The intended purpose of this investigative hearing is to ensure the GFS isn’t negatively impacted by DoS’ recent failures in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso that have led to a loss of security access for U.S. forces," Gaetz continued, adding that the U.S. has spent roughly $30 billion in helping stabilize 15 of the most fragile countries in the world, including those in Africa such as those mentioned, along with Chad, Gabon, and Guinea, where U.S.-trained troops were involved in uprisings or successful coups against the governments there.

Moreover, Gaetz added, "It is incumbent upon HASC to review and discuss these plans with the principal stakeholders to ensure we are not creating a potential second Benghazi incident or a second Afghanistan withdrawal as the joint agency moves forward."

The Florida Congressman announced his demands for a hearing with Sec. Blinken on X (formerly Twitter), saying, "The American people, and our brave men and women serving in the Armed Forces, deserve answers on why these failures keep happening and what the Biden administration’s plan is to fix it."

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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