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50

MARCH 2017

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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

happen quickly.”

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.

DEPARTMENTOFSTATE