Combating Terrorism:

Efforts to Protect U.S. Forces in Turkey and the Middle East

T-NSIAD-98-44: Published: Oct 28, 1997. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 1997.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Mark E. Gebicke
(202) 512-5140
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO discussed the Department of Defense's (DOD) efforts to protect overseas forces from terrorist attack, focusing on Turkey and the Middle East and on: (1) the environment U.S. forces overseas are facing , including the terrorist threat and the relationship with the host nation governments; (2) the measures DOD has taken to enhance the security of personnel in the countries GAO visited; and (3) DOD initiatives to improve its overall force protection program.

GAO noted that: (1) DOD has a large presence in many countries around the world, offering a plethora of potential targets; (2) predictive intelligence on terrorist attacks is difficult to obtain, and commanders may not be in a position to prevent an attack from occurring and can only prepare to minimize the consequences from an attack; (3) DOD installations are often located on host nation installations and, as a result, there are limitations on the security measures DOD can undertake; (4) the U.S. Central Command and its service component commands had taken a number of steps to improve the protection of U.S. forces from terrorist attacks, including: (a) determining the range of specific terrorist threats it needed to counteract in its area of responsibility, including a 20,000-pound truck bomb, the estimated approximate size of the bomb that struck Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia; (b) devising threat-based standards, such as stand-off, to guide the design and construction of new facilities and modifications to existing structures; (c) establishing an office that coordinates antiterrorist activities in the region and reports directly to the Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command; and (d) identifying a need for and filling hundreds of additional security positions; (5) DOD had initiated a number of changes in its overall antiterrorism program in response to the Khobar Towers bombing, including: (a) the assignment of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be the Secretary of Defense's principal advisor on antiterrorism; (b) the direction of the five geographic combatant commanders to take on increased antiterrorism responsibilities; (c) vulnerability assessments at installations by the Defense Special Weapons Agency; (d) mandated, more robust antiterrorism training for personnel deployed to medium- and high-threat countries; (e) the establishment of a centrally controlled fund to support emergency high-priority antiterrorism requirements not funded by the services; and (f) changes in the services' approach to antiterrorism; and (6) despite these changes, GAO's work raised concerns that DOD's initiatives were falling short of establishing a comprehensive and consistent approach to antiterrorism.

Sep 22, 2016

Sep 21, 2016

Sep 15, 2016

Sep 14, 2016

Sep 13, 2016

Sep 12, 2016

Sep 7, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here