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Idea of the Day: America’s Foreign Service Officers Need More Support

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The attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya is unfortunately not a unique event. More than 90 diplomats have died in the line of duty over the last 32 years. Libya is only one of many dangerous diplomatic duty stations among the more than 270 diplomatic missions we maintain around the world.

Congress has failed to recognize that threat. Under pressure from Republicans in the House of Representatives, Congress actually cut the Obama administration’s request for improving the physical security of our embassies by nearly $300 million in the past two fiscal years.

That figure gained a good deal of attention and a lot of requests for more detail and background on the State Department security budget. The picture that emerges from old General Accountability Office reports and State Department budget justifications adds significant perspective on the tragedy in Benghazi; the role Congress played in determining the current preparedness of the State Department to cope with such tragedies; and the continuing challenge we face in reducing the threat posed to our diplomats—particularly in those nations that are struggling to build stable, nonviolent societies.

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or ashoup@americanprogress.org

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or cpatterson@americanprogress.org

Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or mmeth@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or lhamilton@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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