News / USA

US Embassy Security Beefed Up Despite Diplomatic Cost

US Embassy Security Beefed Up Despite Diplomatic Costi
X
December 26, 2012 9:17 PM
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised to beef up security at U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions after a panel investigating the killing of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens criticized what it called "systemic failures." VOA's Jerome Socolovsky spoke to a former American diplomat who warns that more security may damage America's oreign relations.
US Embassy Security Beefed Up Despite Diplomatic Cost
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised to beef up security at U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions after a panel investigating the killing of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens criticized what it called "systemic failures." But a former American diplomat warns that more security may damage America's foreign relations.
 
After the September 11 attack in Benghazi, Clinton convened an Accountability Review Board to investigate.  The panel's vice chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen, presented the findings on December 18.  
 
"The board found that the security posture at the special mission compound was inadequate for the threat environment in Benghazi and in fact grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place that night," he said.
 
Clinton has accepted all 29 of the report's recommendations. Senator John Kerry, Clinton's nominated successor, praised her decisions at a congressional hearing. 
 
"In fact, she’s gone above and beyond the board’s recommendation by taking immediate steps to strengthen security at high-threat posts and request from Congress the authority to reprogram funds to increase diplomatic security spending by $1.3 billion," he said. 
 
U.S. embassies attract not only protests like this one last year in Bangkok, but also terrorist attacks. 
 
Daniel Serwer has worked at several U.S. posts including Baghdad and is now a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
 
He says embassies that look like fortresses often become symbols of resentment.  "I really think that diplomacy cannot be done from behind 20-foot high walls," he said. 
 
Serwer acknowledges that Ambassador Stevens had good reason for staying inside the Benghazi compound. 
 
"But in terms just of risk, he would have been a lot safer on the street, where 99 out of 100 Libyans would welcome him with open arms, than he was in that safe haven," he said. 
 
But even Serwer concedes that his argument is difficult to make after the ambassador's killing. And with the Obama administration on the defensive over the attack, U.S. embassies will most likely continue being the fortress-like structures they already are.

Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs