15 high-risk US diplomatic outposts still fall short of security requirements

posted at 2:41 pm on July 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

One might have assumed that after watching the Benghazi consulate fall to a terrorist attack that the State Department would have rushed to bring security in other high-risk installations up to standards.  That assumption would be incorrect, McClatchy reports.  Despite getting $2.2 billion in security funding, fifteen high-risk diplomatic installations fall short of Diplomatic Security requirements — in part because the money is going to low-risk outposts instead, and in part because the current locations simply can’t be fixed:

Fifteen diplomatic posts in high-threat areas fail to meet safety standards 10 months after the attacks that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, in Benghazi, Libya, State Department officials told Congress Tuesday.

Gregory Starr, the State Department’s director of diplomatic service, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that modifying many of those buildings in their current locations is not possible. He said some of the buildings are not far enough from the street or other public areas to be adequately protected.

“We cannot retrofit many of our buildings to withstand blasts or direct attacks without the ability to move to a new location . . . and build a new facility,” he said.

If that’s the case, though, State should be requesting specific funding for replacing those facilities, or closing them altogether.  Instead, the funding is going to bolster security in hotspots like, er … Oslo, Norway:

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he thought the State Department should be more careful about how it chose to spend the $2.2 billion it’s requested for embassy security. “A lot of money (is) being spent in places that, candidly, the security issues are not necessarily urgent,” he said, citing Oslo, Norway, and The Hague in the Netherlands as examples. Starr countered that global security trends are hard to predict and the department must address short- and long-term needs.

That’s certainly true, and some of these issues appear to need long-term investment if we choose to remain in those high-risk areas.  We don’t want to send signals about retreating in the face of aggression, and those hot spots are often where we need the most assertive diplomacy (and intelligence, which is not unrelated).  If that’s true, though, then we should be prioritizing investment in those locations in order to protect our personnel and discourage the kind of attack that our weakness encouraged in Benghazi.
That was Corker’s message after the hearing, too:

“Too often security issues seem to come down to more money when they are more the result of a failure to prioritize resources or a lack of leadership to respond appropriately when threats emerge,” Corker said in a statement released after the hearing.

We’ve changed leadership since Benghazi, but haven’t yet changed direction, apparently.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Leading from behind is glorious.

Schadenfreude on July 17, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Ahhhh, yes, the jihadi, sporting the Jordache jeans…

ToddPA on July 17, 2013 at 2:45 PM

2014/16 slogans for the Rs “Leading from the front”, or

“Just lead”

Schadenfreude on July 17, 2013 at 2:49 PM

“investment” talk has spread to the right.

kunegetikos on July 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

We’re apparently not making enough concessions to the jihadists.

mankai on July 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Instead, the funding is going to bolster security in hotspots like, er … Oslo, Norway

Well, you just can’t trust those Norwegian Lutherans. A nasty lot they are.

rbj on July 17, 2013 at 2:54 PM

What difference, at this point, does it make???

kim roy on July 17, 2013 at 2:54 PM

One might have assumed…

You know what they say about assumptions.

NotCoach on July 17, 2013 at 2:57 PM

A coordinated attack on 10 or 15 embassy’s might,I say might, wake them up.Too bad for the employees on the ground.

docflash on July 17, 2013 at 2:59 PM

A coordinated attack on 10 or 15 embassy’s might,I say might, wake them up.Too bad for the employees on the ground.

I’m sure they will just find another obscure You Tube video to blame…

Athos on July 17, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Perhaps Holder is still investigating whether racial or religious profiling was used by rogue workers to determine these 15 high-risk outposts.

Drained Brain on July 17, 2013 at 3:05 PM

All according to plan.

And no one in Washington even remotely has the balls to do anything about it.

Just bend over and take it, America. Because Obama and his buddies are “RIDIN’ DIRTY”!

Meople on July 17, 2013 at 3:06 PM

And some locations got TWO bullets.

Couldn’t do three because the other embassy’s would whine.

TerryW on July 17, 2013 at 3:07 PM

I’m finding it more and more difficult to care about donk operatives.

Blake on July 17, 2013 at 3:10 PM

“Too often security issues seem to come down to more money when they are more the result of a failure to prioritize resources or a lack of leadership to respond appropriately when threats emerge,”

Hey! Vienna has some neat all electric cars for their embassy personnel!

Besides, that Benghazi attack WAS A LONG TIME AGO.

So what difference does it make?

GarandFan on July 17, 2013 at 3:12 PM

As Hagary said: “what does it matter?”

paulsur on July 17, 2013 at 3:14 PM

15 high-risk US diplomatic outposts still fall short of security requirements

Is that optimal or do we have to wait for “bumps in the road” ?

burrata on July 17, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Still luv dem skinny jeans wid dat skeery gun.

Resist We Much on July 17, 2013 at 3:26 PM

We’ve changed leadership since Benghazi, but haven’t yet changed direction, apparently.

What, you expected better of John Kerry?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Bitter Clinger on July 17, 2013 at 3:38 PM

The State Dept. needs to find some more video directors to lay the blame on.

Rixon on July 17, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Because security policy at the State Department gets in the way of trolling for hookers & minors in parks…selling US visas for sex…promoting Gay Marriage overseas…and dealing drugs…

workingclass artist on July 17, 2013 at 3:43 PM

2014/16 slogans for the Rs “Leading from the front”, or

“Just lead”

Schadenfreude on July 17, 2013 at 2:49 PM

American Leadership…it worked until 2008

workingclass artist on July 17, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Well sillies, how will there be more violence, the YouTuber remains incarcerated.

Sincerely,
libiots

hillsoftx on July 17, 2013 at 3:59 PM

What—?? Another Rolling Stone cover?

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on July 17, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Ed, please remove the Trayvon Martin picture from the post

faraway on July 17, 2013 at 4:01 PM


15 high-risk US diplomatic outposts still fall short of security requirements


“What difference…at this point…Does.It.Make???

Sacramento on July 17, 2013 at 4:29 PM

“What difference…at this point…Does.It.Make???

Sacramento on July 17, 2013 at 4:29 PM

C’mon now. It only makes a difference at this point if another embassy is attacked. Liberals don’t believe in learning from mistakes.

hawksruleva on July 17, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Are any of them the ones where O is appointing his big donors as ambassadors? Oh, I hope so.

flataffect on July 17, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Is he doing a disco move?

Ward Cleaver on July 17, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Well, the new meme will be that the Republicans cut all the funding, and then insisted on that sequester that the Dems and Obama did not want…

If only the Republicans would stop messing around with the debt limit, there’d be plenty of money to go around…

I have seen posts similar to these already on various sites talking about this terrible Republican travesty…not caring about “our” people overseas.

Tell a lie big enough, often enough, and it becomes accepted truth.

Global warming…accepted truth.

Man-made climate change…accepted truth.

Obama is the smartest President evah…accepted truth.

Trayvon was murdered just walking home after buying Skittles for his step brother…accepted truth.

It is easy when at least half the intended audience is too stupid to read cursive…too new school, you know.

coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 4:46 PM

To be fair Ed, I am not against hardening the Norwegian Embassy, because terrorist will ALWAYS go after the easiest target and with the WOT, et al EVERY diplomatic outpost *should* be up to Israeli-Level protection.

But, there is no reason why every embassy, outpost, and guard shack that flies a US flag shouldn’t be protected to the best of the ability of the government, it’s damned criminal.

BlaxPac on July 17, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Perhaps Holder is still investigating whether racial or religious profiling was used by rogue workers to determine these 15 high-risk outposts.

Drained Brain on July 17, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Maybe if he set up an anonymous email tip line……

Solaratov on July 17, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Is he doing a disco move?

Ward Cleaver on July 17, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Oh, yeah. Dat Trayvon, he be a heckuva dancer.

Solaratov on July 17, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Is he doing a disco move?

Ward Cleaver on July 17, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Probably to “Stayin’ Alive.”

coldwarrior on July 17, 2013 at 8:59 PM