- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sen. Gary Peters said Tuesday that his trip to Nigeria this summer gave him insight into the situation in West Africa.

“It opened my eyes to the threat there, to the growing threat there, and it is a growing threat that we should be aware of. But members of Congress need to know that,” Mr. Peters, Michigan Democrat, said on CNN.

“We have to have a discussion about when we’re deploying U.S. service members overseas in dangerous missions,” he said.

Mr. Peters, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he was part of a U.S. congressional delegation to Nigeria in August and received a briefing about the situation in West Africa. He said that without that briefing, he would have been just as unaware as other members of Congress about the troop level there.

After an ambush that killed four U.S. soldiers in Niger on Oct. 4, members of Congress said they need to be more involved in the debate about deploying troops.

Sen. John McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, said Monday that the Authorization for Use of Military Force needs to be part of the discussion as well. Mr. McCain and other lawmakers have been pushing for a renewed AUMF for months without success.

The committee is expected to meet Thursday with Pentagon officials for a briefing on the attack.

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