THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
completely suspended operations. Traditionally, we have had no
more than eight to 10 posts out of normal status at any one time.
The2015 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-
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.