There is no US National Security Justification
thanks stephen... the disturbing juxtaposition of nuland, directly involved in the pre coup d'etat in feb 2014 in ukraine, speaks of usa's keen desire to see the outcome in niger, different from its present set up... whether the usa will team up with its fellow colonialist - france - remains to be seen, but there can be no doubt both countries are seeking an alternative outcome to the one that the majority of ordinary niger people seek.. but colonial powers are like that.. they don't care about the people of the country - only that they conform to the grand international standards that these same colonial powers profess to adhere to.... i'd say the guise of going after terrorists is wearing thin.... time for a new wardrobe for these foreign interventionists..
This was certainly a timely article and very informative. After you posted this I saw a story about Niger: one of the men from the new coup government gave a statement on Niger's state TV channel. He stated that at 6:30 am (I'm assuming the morning of the 9th), French troops "attacked" the Niger National Guard, released jihadists from incarceration and violated Niger airspace with an "airlift". Probably due to translation the story is a bit murky (at least to me). I haven't seen anything further about it today (at least yet, anyway). On the 8th, while I was plane-geeking I saw an Italian Air Force C130-J leave Pisa and land in Niamey. I noticed it because I thought that Niger announced the airspace was "closed".
What worries me about US/western intervention is just how the decision makers in Washington define "national security". Yesterday the Economist ran a story about the coup in Niger, rather framing it as leading to a "global threat" of terrorism, even eluding to jihadists from the Sahel attacking the US proper. It would seem much more likely to me that the migration of jihadists from that area to Europe - just due to geography - would be more likely, IF it even took place.
As you explained about the amount and type of actual weapons belonging to the military in Niger, that may be enough to take the presidential structure/capital but if I was going to perform a coup & take over the country, I'd certainly want a much bigger arsenal to hold onto it!