October 23, 2017 5:05 pm
Updated: October 25, 2017 12:17 pm

Republican senator calls GOP colleague ‘warmonger’ over number of U.S. military missions

WATCH ABOVE: New details are emerging about how a U.S. military mission in Niger that left four Americans dead.

A A

WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is calling GOP colleague Lindsey Graham a “warmonger” in a tweet that goes beyond a mere difference in worldviews.

Paul tweeted Monday “you know you are in too many wars in too many places when even warmonger Lindsay Graham can’t keep track anymore.”

Paul misspelled Graham’s first name.

Story continues below

The remark stems from Graham’s comments Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press when the South Carolina senator said he didn’t know the U.S. had 1,000 troops in Niger.

Paul repeatedly has insisted Congress have a greater say on military action. He recently complained Congress has effectively allowed the president to commit the nation to “basically unlimited war anywhere, anytime, anyplace upon the globe.”

Graham’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

TOP U.S. GENERAL SAYS FAMILIES, AMERICANS DESERVE ANSWERS ON NIGER

The American people and the fallen soldiers’ families deserve answers about a deadly ambush in the African nation of Niger, the top U.S. general said Monday, without being able to provide many himself.

Three weeks after the attack by presumed Islamic State forces, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, said several matters must still be resolved. They include whether the U.S. had adequate intelligence and equipment for its operation, whether there a planning failure and why it took so long to recover one the bodies.

WATCH: Joint Chiefs chairman provides timeline on Niger ambush

 

Dunford said the four U.S. soldiers died after a battle that started on Oct. 4 in a “complex situation,” leading to a “difficult firefight.” At a Pentagon news conference, he tried to outline what the military knows.

He said a group of 12 American forces accompanied 30 Nigerien forces to an area about 85 kilometres north of the capital on Oct. 3. When they sought the next day to return, they encountered about 50 enemy fighters travelling by vehicle, carrying small arms and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

READ MORE: U.S. senators question why U.S. military is in Niger after ambush

Within an hour of taking fire, the team requested support. Within another hour, a remote plane flew above. Later, French jets arrived and ferried wounded Americans to safety. The bodies of three American killed in the fighting were transported out of the battle scene, but one – Sgt. La David Johnson – wasn’t recovered until Oct. 6.

Independent of the military’s investigation, the Johnson’s ordeal has become a major political dispute in the United States after President Donald Trump credited himself with doing more to honour the dead and console families than any of his predecessors.

WATCH: Joint Chiefs chair asks for patience on release of Niger ambush info

 

Then, Johnson’s aunt said Trump showed “disrespect” to his family as he telephoned to extend condolences. In an extraordinary White House briefing, John Kelly, the former Marine general who is Trump’s chief of staff, shot back at Trump’s critics, and the president continued the criticism over the weekend.

Members of Congress are demanding answers almost three weeks after the ambush in a remote corner of Niger, where few Americans travel. Last week, Sen. John McCain, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, even threatened a subpoena to accelerate the flow of information from the administration.

Dunford defended the broader American mission in Niger. He said U.S. forces have been in the country intermittently for more than two decades. Currently, some 800 U.S. service members are supporting a French-led mission to defeat the Islamic State, al-Qaida and Boko Haram in West Africa.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

Report an error

Comments

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.

Global News