Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) is urging senators to vote against Patrick Shanahan's nomination as defense secretary, claiming Shanahan has mishandled an investigation into a 2017 ambush in Niger that left four U.S. soldiers dead.

"He should be worried about what lessons we could have learned from this Niger ambush and also who were the general officers that were responsible for making these big mistakes that cost these men's lives," Gallego told Task & Purpose on Thursday. "We as a public have a right to know that and he is part of the problem and not the solution."

Read More Show Less

The Pentagon said on Thursday it has started a new, "narrowly-scoped" review of a deadly 2017 ambush in Niger, in which four U.S. soldiers were killed, to see whether additional punishments were needed.

The ambush, carried out by a local Islamic State affiliate, brought increased scrutiny of the U.S. counter-terrorism mission in the West African country.

A Pentagon report released late last year found that a series of individual and organizational failures, including a lack of training and situational awareness, contributed to the ambush. While no punishments were made public, lawmakers have expressed concern that junior officers could be blamed for the incident.

"Acting Secretary (Patrick) Shanahan has initiated a new, narrowly-scoped review into the Niger incident," Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Candice Tresch said. She said a four-star flag officer would lead the review.

Some current and former officials have expressed surprise at the decision to take a fresh look at the incident, particularly after the amount of public scrutiny the previous report received.

President Donald Trump's handling of condolence messages to the families of the dead U.S. soldiers was criticized by lawmakers in Washington and raised the profile of the deadly incident.

SEE ALSO: Shanahan Says New Niger Review Will Be Completed Quickly But Won't Say When It Will Be Finished

WATCH NEXT: Rep. Ruben Gallego Demands Answers On Niger Ambush

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has ordered a new review into who should be punished for failures leading up to the Oct. 4, 2017 ambush in Niger, in which four U.S. soldiers were killed.

On Tuesday, Shanahan faced pointed questions from Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) about when he will decide which service members should be reprimanded for the ambush and which troops should receive awards for their heroism during the battle.

"When I came into this role … [former Defense Secretary James Mattis] had convened a review and that recommendation was brought to me," Shanahan said. "I did not find that sufficient, so I convened my own review so I can ensure from top to bottom there is the appropriate accountability."

Read More Show Less

The Department of Defense last month did an about-face on the punishments handed down to members of the Green Beret team deemed responsible for the deadly Oct. 4, 2017, ambush in Niger that left four Army Special Forces personnel dead, the New York Times reports, shifting blame from junior officers to more senior commanders following a furious intervention from Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

Read More Show Less

One of the four Army Special Forces soldiers killed in the Oct. 4, 2017 ambush in Niger may potentially be under consideration for the Medal of Honor, according to a new report.

Read More Show Less

Major General Marcus Hicks, the senior officer reprimanded in connection with last year’s ambush in which four Army soldiers were killed in Niger, was not set up for success. The way this has been handled sends a clear message, but it is not a good one for building trust, accountability, and underwriting mistakes.

Read More Show Less
© 2018 Hirepurpose. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service.