All conclusions and recommendations of the Commission from each substantive part of this report are presented below.
Appendix E:[The complete report is available online.]
Long Commission Conclusions and Recommendations
Part One -- The Military Mission
- Mission Development and Execution
- The Commission concludes that the "presence" mission was not interpreted the same by all levels of the chain of command and that perceptual differences regarding that mission, including the responsibility of the USMNF for the security of Beirut International Airport, should have been recognized and corrected by the chain of command.
- The Expanding Military Role
- The Commission concludes that U.S. decisions as regard Lebanon taken over the past fifteen months have been, to a large degree, characterized by an emphasis on military options and the expansion of the U.S. military role, notwithstanding the fact that the conditions upon which the security of the USMNF were based continued to deteriorate as progress toward a diplomatic solution slowed. The Commission further concludes that these decisions may have been taken without clear recognition that these initial conditions had dramatically changed and that the expansion of our military involvement in Lebanon greatly increased the risk to, and adversely impacted upon the security of, the USMNF. The Commission therefore concludes that there is an urgent need for reassessment of alternative means to achieve U.S. objectives in Lebanon and at the same time reduce the risk to the USMNF.
- The Commission recommends that the Secretary of Defense continue to urge that the National Security Council undertake a reexamination of alternative means of achieving U.S. objectives in Lebanon, to include a comprehensive assessment of the military security options being developed by the chain of command and a more vigorous and demanding approach to pursuing diplomatic alternatives.
Part Two -- Rules of Engagement (ROE)
- The Commission concludes that a single set of ROE providing specific guidance for countering the type of vehicular terrorist attacks that destroyed the U.S. Embassy on 18 April 1983 and the BLT Headquarters building on 23 October 1983 had not been provided to, nor implemented by, the Marine Amphibious Unit Commander.
- The Commission concludes that the mission statement, the
original ROE, and the implementation in May 1983 of dual "Blue Card - White Card" ROE contributed to a mind-set that detracted from the readiness of the USMNF to respond to the terrorist threat which materialized on 23 October 1983.
Part Three -- The Chain of Command
- Exercise of Command Responsibility by the Chain of Command Prior to 23 October 1983
- The Commission is fully aware that the entire chain of command was heavily involved in the planning for, and support of, the USMNF. The Commission concludes, however, that USCINCEUR, CINCUSNAVEUR, COMSIXTHFLT and CTF 61 did not initiate actions to ensure the security of the USMNF in light of the deteriorating political/military situation in Lebanon. The Commission found a lack of effective command supervision of MNF security posture prior to 23 October 1983.
- The Commission concludes that the failure of the operational chain of command to correct or amend the defensive posture of the USMNF constituted tacit approval of the security measures and procedures in force at the BLT Headquarters building on 23 October 1983.
- The Commission further concludes that although it finds the USCINCEUR operational chain of command at fault, it also finds that there was a series of circumstances beyond the control of these commands that influenced their judgement and their actions relating to the security of the USMNF.
- The Commission recommends that the Secretary of Defense take whatever administrative or disciplinary action he deems appropriate, citing the failure of the USCINCEUR operational chain of command to monitor and supervise effectively the security measures and procedures employed by USMNF on 23 October 1983.
Part Four -- Intelligence
- Intelligence Support
- The Commission concludes that although the USMNF Commander received a large volume of intelligence warnings concerning potential terrorist threats prior to 2 October 1983, he was not provided with the timely intelligence, tailored to his specific operational needs, that was necessary to defend against the broad spectrum of threats he faced.
- The Commission further concludes that the HUMINT support to the USMNF Commander was ineffective, being neither precise nor tailored to his needs. The Commission believes that the paucity of U.S. controlled HUMINT provided to the USMNF Commander is in large part due to policy decisions have resulted in a U.S. HUMINT capability commensurate with the resources and time that have been spent to acquire it.
- The Commission recommends that the Secretary of Defense
establish an all-source fusion center, which would tailor and focus all-source intelligence support to U.S. military commanders involved in military operations in areas of high threat, conflict or crisis.
- The Commission further recommends that the Secretary of Defense take steps to establish a joint CIA/DOD examination of policy and resource alternatives to immediately improve HUMINT support to the USMNF contingent in Lebanon and other areas of potential conflict which would involve U.S. military operating forces.
Part Five -- Pre-Attack Security
- Command Responsibility for the Security of the 24th MAU and BLT Prior to 23 October 1983
- The combination of a large volume of specific threat warnings that never materialized and the perceived and real pressure to accomplish a unique and difficult mission contributed significantly to the decisions of the MAU and BLT Commanders regarding the security of their force. Nevertheless, the Commission concludes that the security measures in effect in the MAU compound were neither commensurate with the increasing level of threat confronting the USMNF nor sufficient to preclude catastrophic losses such as those that were suffered on the morning of 23 October 1983. The Commission further concludes that while it may have appeared to be an appropriate response to the indirect fire being received, the decision to billet approximately one quarter of the BLT in a single structure contributed to the catastrophic loss of life.
- The Commission concludes that the BLT Commander must take responsibility for the concentration of approximately 350 members of his command in the BLT Headquarters building, thereby providing a lucrative target for attack. Further, the BLT Commander modified prescribed alert procedures, thereby degrading security of the compound.
- The Commission also concludes that the MAU Commander shares the responsibility for the catastrophic losses in that he condoned the concentration of personnel in the BLT Headquarters building, concurred in the modification of prescribed alert procedures, and emphasized safety over security in directing that sentries on Posts 4, 5, 6, and 7 would not load their weapons.
- The Commission further concludes that although it finds the BLT and MAU Commanders to be at fault, it also finds that there was a series of circumstances beyond their control that influenced their judgement and their actions relating to the security of the USMNF.
- The Commission recommends that the Secretary of Defense take whatever administrative or disciplinary action he deems appropriate, citing the failure of the BLT and MAU Commanders to take the security measures necessary to preclude the catastrophic loss of life in the attack on 23 October 1983.
Part Seven -- Post-Attack Security
- Redeployment, Dispersal and Physical Barriers
- The Commission concludes that the security measures taken since 23 October 1983 have reduced the vulnerability of the USMNF to catastrophic losses. The Commission also concludes, however, that the security measures implemented or planned for implementation for the USMNF as of 30 November 1983, were not adequate to prevent continuing significant attrition of the force.
- The Commission recognizes that the current disposition of USMNF forces may, after careful examination, prove to be the best available option. The Commission concludes, however, that a comprehensive set of alternatives should be immediately prepared and presented to the National Security Council.
- Recognizing that the Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff have been actively reassessing the increased vulnerability of the USMNF as the political/military environment in Lebanon has changed, the Commission recommends that the Secretary of Defense direct the operational chain of command to continue to develop alternative military options for accomplishing the mission of the USMNF while reducing the risk to the force.
Part Eight -- Casualty Handling
- On-Scene Medical Care
- The Commission concludes that the speed with which the on-scene U.S. military personnel reacted to rescue their comrades trapped in the devastated building and to render medical care was nothing short of heroic. The rapid response by Italian Lebanese medical personnel was invaluable.
- Aeromedical Evacuation/Casualty Distribution
- The Commission found no evidence that any of the wounded died or received improper medical care result of the evacuation or casualty distribution procedures. Nevertheless, the Commission concludes that overall medical support planning in the European theater was deficient and that there was an insufficient number of experienced medical planning staff officers in the USCINCEUR chain of command.
- The Commission found that the evacuation of the seriously wounded to U.S. hospitals in Germany, a transit of more than four hours, rather than to the British hospital in Akrotiri, Cyprus, a transit of one hour, appears to have increased the risk to those patients. Similarly, the Commission found that the subsequent decision to land the aircraft at Rhein Main rather than Ramstein, Germany, may have increased the risk to the most seriously wounded. In both instances, however, the Commission has no evidence that there was an adverse medical impact on the patients.
- The Commission recommends that the Secretary of Defense direct the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in coordination with the Services, to review medical plans and staffing of each echelon of the operational and administrative chains of command to ensure appropriate and adequate medical support for the USMNF.
- The Commission further recommends that the Secretary of Defense direct USCINCEUR to conduct an investigation of the decisions made regarding the destination of aeromedical evacuation aircraft and the distribution of casualties on 23 October 1983.
- Definitive Medical Care
- The Commission concludes that the definitive medical care provided the wounded at the various treatment facilities was excellent, and that as of 30 November 1983, there is no evidence of any mortality or morbidity resulting from inappropriate or insufficient medical care.
- Israeli Offer of Medical Assistance
- The Commission found no evidence that any factor other than the desire to provide immediate, professional treatment for the wounded influenced decision regarding the Israeli offer; all offers of assistance by Israel were promptly and properly referred to the theater and on-scene commanders. At the time the initial Israeli offer was received by CTF 61, it was deemed not necessary because the medical capabilities organic to CTF 61 were operational and functioning adequately, the RAF hospital at Akrotiri was mobilized and ready, and sufficient U.S. and RAF medical evacuation aircraft were enroute.
- Identification of the Dead
- The Commission concludes that the process for identification of the dead following the 23 October 1983 catastrophe was conducted very efficiently and professionally, despite the complications caused by the destruction and/or absence of identification data.
- The Commission recommends that the Secretary of Defense direct the creation of duplicate medical/dental records, assure the availability of fingerprint files, for all military personnel. The Commission further recommends that the Secretary of Defense direct the Service Secretaries to develop jointly improved, state-of-the-art identification tags for all military personnel.
Part Nine -- Military Response to Terrorism
- A Terrorist Act
- The Commission concludes that the 23 October 1983 bombing of the BLT Headquarters building was a terrorist act sponsored by sovereign States or organized political entities for the purpose of defeating U.S. objectives in Lebanon.
- International Terrorism
- The Commission concludes that international terrorist acts endemic to the Middle East are indicative of an alarming world-wide phenomenon that poses an increasing threat to U.S. personnel and facilities.
- Terrorism as a Mode of Warfare
- The Commission concludes that state sponsored terrorism is an important part of the spectrum of warfare and that adequate response to this increasing threat requires an active national policy which seeks to deter attack or reduce its effectiveness. The Commission further concludes that this policy needs to be supported by political and diplomatic actions and by a wide range of timely military response capabilities.
- The Commission recommends that the Secretary of Defense direct the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop a broad range of appropriate military responses to terrorism for review, along with political and diplomatic actions, by the National Security Council.
- Military Preparedness
- The Commission concludes that the USMNF was not trained, organized, staffed, or supported to deal effectively with the terrorist threat in Lebanon. The Commission further concludes that much needs to be done to prepare U.S. military forces to defend against and counter terrorism.
- The Commission recommends that the Secretary of Defense direct the development of doctrine, planning, organization, force structure, education and training necessary to defend against and counter terrorism.
Table of Contents ** Previous Appendix (D) * Next Appendix (F)