The United States and Niger signed a status-of-forces agreement last month and the United States weighs a base for surveillance drones there, U.S. media reported. “Let me repeat it,” Waldhauser said at the beginning of his speech in Washington. “Neither the strategy nor the authorities who use U.S. forces to implement them foresee U.S. forces conducting combat operations in Niger.” In January 2013, a senior Nigerian official told Reuters that Bisa Williams, then U.S. ambassador to Niger, had asked permission to set up a drone base during a meeting with Nigerian President Mahamadou Issoufou.  On February 5, officials from Niger and the United States said that the two countries had signed a status-of-armed agreement authorizing the use of unarmed surveillance drones.   This month, President Barack Obama sent 150 military personnel to Niger to set up a surveillance drone operation to help France in its counterterrorism efforts in the northern Malian conflict.   In October 2015, Niger and the United States signed a military agreement obliging the two countries to “cooperate in the fight against terrorism.”  Members of the US Army Special Forces (commonly known as Green Berets) have been deployed to train the Nigerian Armed Forces (FAN) to help fight terrorists from neighboring countries.  Since October 2017, there have been about 800 US military personnel in Niger, most of whom are working to build a second drone base for US and French aircraft in Agadez.
   Construction of the base is expected to be completed in 2018, which will allow the UNITED States to conduct surveillance operations with General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper to monitor ISIL insurgents pouring south and other extremists pouring from the Sahel north.  On Oct. 3, 2017, the mixed unit of the Nigrian and AMERICAN special forces left its base in Ouallam for the village of Tiloa in search of Cheffou. When they did not find him in Tiloa, the Nigers of the unit told the Americans to return to Ouallam because night was approaching and they were in an enemy area, according to the Nigerian soldier. But the Americans insisted on continuing to search for Cheffou in a village called Akabar, on the border between Niger and Mali. Again, they didn`t find it. The soldiers then set up camp outside Tongo Tongo for the night, a decision that ultimately cost the lives of some of the troops. “We were confused as to why the Americans insisted that we spend the night in enemy territory,” the soldier said. “But because the Americans were in charge, there was nothing we could do.” “Let me repeat it,” Waldhauser said at the beginning of his speech in Washington. “Neither the strategy nor the U.S. authorities imagine U.S.
forces fighting in Niger.” The Pentagon has begun to intensify advisory and support missions as part of the “war on terror” launched after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2006 created two new military support authorities from other countries. Section 1206, now renamed 10 USC 333, was created to allow the U.S. to offer a “faster, more agile, terrorism-focused version” of traditional foreign military financing, said Lauren P. Blanchard, an analyst at the Congressional Research Service. Section 1208, now known as the 10 USC 127th, is a classified program that supports foreign forces that are used in operations with U.S. special forces, Blanchard said.