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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

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MARCH 2017

29

completely suspended operations. Traditionally, we have had no

more than eight to 10 posts out of normal status at any one time.

The

2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review

stated that the goal vis-à-vis security is to “institutionalize policy

to encourage innovation while managing risk … risk is inevitable.

Guided by foreign policy objectives, we will encourage embassies

to err on the side of engagement and experimentation, rather than

risk avoidance.” In conjunction with the QDDR, inMarch 2015 the

State Department also published a new Risk Management Policy

(2 FAM 030)

with the message that department employees and

leaders cannot afford to avoid risk. Instead, we must proactively

manage risk in pursuit of U.S. foreign policy objectives.

Protecting embassy and consulate personnel under chief-

of-mission authority is a top priority for each ambassador, the

regional security office and every person at post. The balance is

to make reasonable choices on a daily basis to mitigate risk, while

facilitating essential mission engagement, especially in danger-

ous environments.

During the past two years, the State Department has made a

number of changes in security policy and programs to help U.S.

personnel overseas perform their jobs and remain safe. These

changes have contributed to an already-robust infrastructure

of security policies, programs and procedures centered on the

Emergency Action Committee at posts. The interagency approach

We are likely to see terrorism

and extremism directed

increasingly against both

“hard” and “soft” targets in

more and more locations,

affecting countries and regions

with high levels of instability.