RealNews

For American Diplomats, a Sense That Nowhere Is Safe

With fears of possible terror attacks mounting, and resentment of American power roiling in many parts of the world, are American diplomatic outposts safe? Clearly, security has improved in recent years. But just as clearly, much remains to be done. In recent years — and particularly since the Aug. 7, 1998, terror bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 — spending to tighten security at 265 or so United States diplomatic outposts has risen sharply. In what one State Department security official called “a Herculean effort,” physical security improvements have been made to each of those missions. But at a time when, as another department official said, terrorists “target everything,” there is a sense that upgrades cannot wait, anywhere. Improvements have included the installation of concrete walls, shatter-resistant windows and video cameras as well as the purchase of adjoining properties. Thousands of additional local guards have been hired, and most embassies now have a federal Diplomatic Security agent to review security planning. Full Story

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