Page 13 - Foreign Service Journal - February 2013

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50 Years Ago
he world of watertight sovereign nations speaking to each other only
through ambassadors and foreign ministers has all but vanished in a
generation. Today’s major problems, the problems with which governments
are responsible for dealing—war or peace, national and individual survival,
prosperity, abundance, scarcity or glut—transcend the ability of any one
government to cope with alone.
Yet we are trying to cope with them with jerry-built adaptations of 19th-cen-
tury or earlier methods while groping for better ones, without fully realizing even
that we are groping, let alone what we are groping for.
From“Beyond Diplomacy” (part of a periodic series, “Is the Service
Ready for the Sixties?”) by Theodore C. Achilles;
, February 1963.
Te department should develop
minimum security standards for
occupancy of temporary facilities in
high-risk, high-threat environments,
and seek greater fexibility for the use of
Bureau of Overseas Buildings Opera-
tions sources of funding so that they can
be rapidly made available for security
upgrades at such facilities.
Before opening or reopening
critical-threat or high-risk, high-threat
posts, the department should establish
a multibureau support cell, residing
in the regional bureau. Te sup-
port cell should work to expedite the
approval and funding for establishing
and operating the post, implementing
physical security measures, stafng of
security and management personnel,
and providing equipment, continuing as
conditions at the post require.
Te Nairobi and Dar es Salaam
Accountabilty Review Boards’ report of
January 1999 called for collocation of
newly constructed State Department
and other government agencies’ facili-
ties. All State Department and other
government agencies’ facilities should
be collocated when they are in the same
metropolitan area, unless a waiver has
been approved.
Te Secretary should require an
action plan from DS, OBO and other
relevant ofces on the use of fre as a
weapon against diplomatic facilities,
including immediate steps to deal with
urgent issues. Te report should also
include reviews of fre safety and crisis
management training for all employees
and dependents, safe-haven standards
and fre safety equipment, and recom-
mendations to facilitate survival in
smoke and fre situations.
Tripwires are too often treated
only as indicators of threat rather than
an essential trigger mechanism for
serious risk management decisions
and actions. Te department should
revise its guidance to posts and require
key ofces to perform in-depth status
checks of post tripwires.
Recalling the recommendations
of the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam ARBs,
the State Department must work with
Congress to restore the Capital Security
Cost Sharing Program at its full capac-
ity, adjusted for infation to approxi-
mately $2.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2015,
including an up-to-10-year program
addressing that need, prioritized for
construction of new facilities in high
risk, high threat areas. It should also
work with Congress to expand utiliza-
tion of Overseas Contingency Opera-
tions funding to respond to emerging
security threats and vulnerabilities and
operational requirements in high-risk,
high-threat posts.
Te board supports the State
Department’s initiative to request
additional Marines and expand the
Marine Security Guard Program, as
well as corresponding requirements
for stafng and funding. Te board also
recommends that the State Department
and [Department of Defense] identify
additional fexible MSG structures
and request further resources for the
department and DOD to provide more
capabilities and capacities at higher risk
Te board strongly endorses the
department’s request for increased
DS personnel for high- and critical-
threat posts and for additional Mobile
Security Deployment teams, as well as
an increase in DS domestic stafng in
support of such action.
The war has been fought in a very incorrect manner.
It didn’t improve the situation, but it worsened it. …
The world needs us more than we need them.
—Abdul Karim Khurram, chief of staf to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, speaking about the U.S. presence in
Jan. 8
Washington Post