The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Benghazi Investigation Update: House Armed Services Committee Reports Six Key Findings

Yesterday, FebrHouse Armed Services Committeeuary 10, 2014, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Armed Services Committee released the "Majority Interim Report: Benghazi Investigation Update." To view the committee's Press Release, click here.

Immediately after the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, the Committee on Armed Services began evaluating the response of the Department of Defense (DOD). The committee still seeks to determine what preparations the U.S. military had made for the possibility of an attack in Libya, and what precautions or extra security measures have been put into place now, to minimize the possibility of a future incident.

The report highlights six (6) major findings, paraphrased below:

  1. The military posture in Libya was insufficient for the deteriorating security in the region, and for the growing threat to U.S. interests in anticipation of the September 11th anniversary.
  2. U.S. personnel in Benghazi were vulnerable in September 2012 due to stagnant military security despite changing threat conditions, lack of intelligence reports of imminent threats to Libya, and the Department of State's order to reduce security personnel in Libya prior to the attack.
  3. DOD officials believed the Benghazi attacks to be terrorist-imposed, rather than a "protest gone awry," and the President permitted military intervention despite inadequate reporting from the scene.
  4. The U.S. military's response to the attack lacked coordination due to uncertainty and geography (troops were far away and not on adequate alert posture to respond to such a threat). Military commanders did not prepare for the contingencies of a prolonged operation in Benghazi- a result of the lack of communication.
  5. There was increased confusion within the U.S. military personnel already in Libya (Tripoli), whether they would be joining the fight in Benghazi. There was no clear delineation of responsibility.
  6. The DOD is working to correct many weaknesses revealed by the attack, but the military resources continue to decline in a volatile area.

Click here for President Obama's official statement of September 12, 2012, or read more about the Benghazi attacks here. For further congressional reports regarding the ongoing investigations, click here. You will also find additional information regarding the updated security measures now in place at U.S. Embassies. Note: HSDL login may be required to access certain documents.