In a rare move, the top Marine on Monday forced two generals into retirement after concluding they should be held to account for failing to secure a base in Afghanistan on which two Marines were killed by Taliban attackers a year ago.
Gen. James Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, said in announcing his decision that Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus and Maj. Gen. Gregg A. Sturdevant “did not take adequate force protection measures” at Camp Bastion, an airfield in southwestern Afghanistan that was the Taliban target.
The Sept. 14, 2012 attack caught the Marines by surprise and resulted in the deaths of Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible and Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell. Six Marine Harrier fighter jets were destroyed by the attackers and others were badly damaged.
Gurganus, who was the top American commander in that region of Afghanistan, did not order a formal investigation after the attack. In June, Amos asked U.S. Central Command to investigate, and he said he decided to take action against the two generals after reviewing the results of that investigation.