Pentagon Ignores Law Calling for Report on How It Trained So Many African Coup Leaders

 Credit: Gage Skidmore

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., is demanding answers from the Pentagon about coups by U.S.-trained African military officers, according to a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin shared exclusively with The Intercept.

Under the bill that authorizes the 2024 defense budget, the Pentagon is mandated to provide a briefing on coups carried out by U.S.-trained African partners to the Senate and House Armed Services committees no later than 90 days after the bill’s December 2023 passage. The briefing is supposed to cover the number of coups, the vetting process employed by the United States for partners, and steps taken to strengthen trainees’ respect for civilian control of the military.

Last week, during a House Armed Services Committee hearing held a day before the deadline, Gaetz asked Gen. Michael Langley, the head of U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM, about the briefing. “You’ll get your answer, Congressman,” replied Langley.