>> An ambush in the West African nation of Niger that left four American soldiers dead. Was due to a series of widespread failures on the, quote, individual, organizational, and institutional levels. That's according to a long awaited Department of Defense report released Thursday, investigating the lethal attack. While the US military's narrative on what went wrong has changed several times since the deadly incident last October.
Pentagon officials told reporters on Thursday, the special forces teams set out on a mission they hadn't trained for. And did not notify higher level commanders of the objective. The investigation determined that two junior officers in the unit had filed false documents. Mischaracterizing the true nature of the mission, which was hunting down a key Islamic State operative.
>> And it wasn't a deliberate intent to deceive, it was a lack of attention to detail.>> The report added that, due to high personnel turnover in the region. The 11 man team had not undergone key training as a unit before deployment.>> The integration and training with partnered forces in Niger was inadequate.
Thursday's report still does not address why there was a significant delay in calling for support. And who will be held accountable for what went wrong.>> All of our soldiers fought valiantly that day. And there were a series of contributing factors to what occurred in Tongo Tongo. But none of those contributing factors are the direct cause of the enemy attack in Tongo Tongo.
The direct cause of the enemy attack in Tongo Tongo is that the enemy achieved tactical surprise there. And our forces were outnumbered approximately three to one.>> The full 6,000 page report of the investigation remains classified. Washington has around 800 soldiers currently deployed in Niger, and runs a drone base in the capital.