In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the U.S. Navy destroyer Cole (DDG-67), two U.S. investigations have been most critical of security lapses at several levels of command, including some 30 "force protection" measures that the crew of the Cole failed to implement. The reports present a damning picture of U.S. military security in the face of increasing threats of terrorism.
In Washington, the top-level commission looking into overall military activities to defend U.S. military forces from terrorist attacks concluded that there were significant security shortcomings in the region before the bombing of the Cole in Aden last October. The commission was cochaired by retired Navy Admiral Harold W. Gehman and retired Army General William W. Crouch. Admiral Gehman, a veteran surface warfare officer, recently retired as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Joint Forces Command (formerly U.S. Atlantic Command). General Crouch's last assignment was vice chief of staff of the Army; when he was the commander of U.S. Army forces in Europe he had special concerns with force protection of U.S. troops in Bosnia.