Trump won't give troops in Niger imminent-danger pay after deadly ambush


Withholding danger pay from troops in Niger makes it painfully clear that Trump doesn't care about the well-being of the nation's service members.

It has been five months since the deadly terrorist ambush in Niger that killed four Army Special Forces troops. And Trump continues to thumb his nose at their memories.

The New York Times reports that Trump officials have refused to approve imminent-danger pay for U.S. forces stationed in the region. Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, who heads the United States Africa Command, "had some time ago 'submitted a packet for Niger to qualify' for the additional pay in combat zones."

"He said the decision rested with the White House Office of Management and Budget, adding that 'it’s at the national level now for final approval,'" the Times notes.

But the White House has yet to approve the request, adding further insult to grievous injury.

Everything about the events before and after the ISIS attack that killed Staff Sgts. Bryan Black, Jeremiah Johnson, Dustin Wright, and Sgt. La David Johnson seemed to be an error with horrible consequences.

On Trump's watch, these men were sent on a doomed mission despite military warnings that they needed more support.

Trump has blamed the "generals" for authorizing the mission. But no one actually seems to know how it was ordered.

Johnson was apparently captured, bound, and brutally executed. After weeks of ignoring the tragedy, Trump proceeded to disrespect the deceased sergeant to his pregnant widow. And members of his administration picked a fight with a congresswoman who stood up for her.

Stalling on danger pay for troops who are potentially in the same lethal situation is a slap in the face.

And all of this is occurring while Trump toys with the idea of forcing the military to put on a $30 million parade for his satisfaction.

The men and women of the armed forces deserve far better from their ostensible commander in chief.

Instead, Trump is treating them like jingoistic props to bolster his brand when it suits him. He should recognize what our service members have given to the country, which is far more than he ever did.