3 Conclusion |
47. The attack on Camp Bastion on 14-15 September
2012 by a group of heavily armed Taliban insurgents was a carefully
planned and orchestrated assault which exploited serious weaknesses
in the base's perimeter security.
48. The MoD were wrong to refuse to share the
report on the attack prepared by Lieutenant General Bradshaw,
in his capacity as Deputy Commander ISAF. As this was the highest
level UK report into the attack, its status as an ISAF document
should not have prevented its release to us. The MoD has been
obstructive and unhelpful to us as we tried to establish the facts
surrounding the attack.
49. We are concerned that the perimeter security
and force protection measures in place at the time of the attack
were inadequate. We were told that the focus of ISAF commanders
had been on security incidents elsewhere in Helmand Province and
on threats from insider attack. Insufficient attention was given
to the fundamental requirement of defending Camp Bastion from
external assault. We believe that this was complacent. Given that
the attack took place in the British sector of the camp, British
commanders must bear a degree of responsibility for these systemic
failures and associated reputational damage.
50. We note the acknowledgement by the MoD that
errors were made which, collectively, created the vulnerabilities
which were so devastatingly exploited by the enemy. From the evidence
we have received, we are satisfied that as far as possible, these
vulnerabilities have now been addressed.
51. We recommend that the MoD capture the lessons
identified from this extraordinary attack as part of its wider
efforts to learn lessons from Afghanistan for future operations.
It should explain how it intends to do so in its response to our