WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the Marine Corps yesterday effectively fired two US generals over their failure to defend a major base in Afghanistan from a deadly Taliban attack last year, in an extraordinary and rare public censure.
Two Marines were killed and eight personnel were wounded when Taliban insurgents breached what a military investigation determined was inadequate security at Camp Bastion, in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
A four-month investigation concluded that Major General Charles Gurganus, the top Marine commander in the region at the time, and Major General Gregg Sturdevant “did not take adequate force protection measures within the range of responses proportionate to the threat,” the Marine Corps said.
Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos asked both men to retire on Monday, speaking personally with Gurganus at the Pentagon and by video-conference with Sturdevant, who was abroad, one Marine Corps official told Reuters.
Both men accepted that request, the official said. US officials could not recall any similar top-level firings in the 12-year-old Afghan war over failure to properly defend a base.