AFRICOM

Special Forces Opacity: Dangers for the U.K.

Special Forces Opacity: Dangers for the U.K.

The U.K. government should look closely at the Niger incident report. The U.S. looks set to engage in a frank discussion about what went wrong, and more generally raise a number of concerns about the deployment of U.S. special forces to West Africa. It is indicative of a recognition within the U.S., as among many of the U.K.’s allies, that greater openness is not inherently incompatible with the operational security or utility of special forces. The U.K. government should consider its own options. Its no-comment policy is not risk free and presents a number of dangers to the effectiveness of U.K. military engagement abroad.