Donald Trump has spent the past two weeks doing his best to avoid addressing the four U.S. soldiers who died in Niger on October 4th. The headlines up to now have focused on Trump’s unwillingless to call the families of those soldiers or even publicly acknowledge their deaths. The real scandal, as it turns out, is why he’s been dodging it: he’s afraid to call any attention to the U.S. military action in Niger, because it was actually a Russian military op.
Follow the timeline: on August 10th, the governments of Niger and Russia signed a military cooperation deal. The press release from Russian news agency TASS described it as being a vaguely defined anti-terrorism partnership (link), but in real world terms, the deal was almost certainly about the exploding oil production in Niger. It’s roughly the same kind of arrangement which Russia has long had with the Syrian government: Russia provides military protection in order to help keep the current regime in power, and in return, the regime sells cheap oil back to Russia. Just seven weeks after the deal was signed, as Russia was moving in to set up shop in Niger, four U.S. soldiers were suddenly killed there.
Even setting aside Donald Trump’s personal allegiance to Russian President Vladimir Putin, from a purely tactical standpoint, there is zero chance that the United States would have been running its own military op inside Niger while Russia was moving in to set up shop. The only logically possible explanation is that the U.S. secretly sent troops to help the Russian military with its efforts in Niger. In other words, those four U.S. soldiers were participating in some kind of Russian military op – and it only became public once they died.
Rachel Maddow reported on-air on Wednesday night that Donald Trump nixed a prepared statement mourning the loss of the four U.S. soldiers. We also know that Trump didn’t call the families of those four soldiers until the media called him out on it. It’s become clear that Trump and his regime really didn’t want the public or the media to focus on the military op in Niger – which we know had to have been a Russian op – hence he refused to even mention it or make any calls. Trump got four U.S. soldiers killed by lending out the U.S. military to Vladimir Putin, and now he’s desperate to keep the details from coming out. We all know why.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report