THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
no,” he acknowledges. But that isn’t accurate; that kind of
thinking “doesn’t come from DS,” Rice says. He adds: “There
have been many times when we said ‘Yes, we can continue to
operate here’—but we’ve been stopped.” Rice’s statement is
echoed by other senior DS personnel who advocate the need
to assume reasonable, informed risk, but only with the under-
standing that the risk must be acknowledged, shared and
taken in the best interests of the U.S. government.
And risk is now everywhere. Instead of focusing their efforts
on a few regions around the world, DS now takes a global
perspective to battling terror. “Gone are the days of going to
Europe to serve in a sleepy post,” says Jim Eisenhut, currently
the assistant special agent in charge at the Miami Field Office.
“Anything can happen, and it can happen anywhere, and it can
Pete Dinoia, the regional security officer in Ankara, agrees.
“We’re not regionally focused anymore. In the past it was
thought that certain areas caused challenges, but we have
global challenges now,” he says. “And the department has a
presence in places where years ago they didn’t.” DS is unique,
Dinoia explains: “There are other law enforcement agencies
that do the same type of thing we do, but not in the same
places or under the same conditions.” As one agent has noted,
no other law enforcement agency would want DS’s mission,
which essentially amounts to protecting U.S. interests in an
environment where foreign governments and hostile actors
dictate the operating conditions.
Risk is now everywhere.
Instead of focusing their
efforts on a few regions
around the world, DS now
takes a global perspective
to battling terror.
Diplomatic couriers (second, fourth and fifth from left) work with other Department of State staff to load diplomatic pouches on to an
aircraft at Miami International Airport in 2015. The pouches contained material needed for the reopening of U.S. Embassy Havana.