Embassy Security Three Years After Benghazi

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On the night of September 11, 2012, four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed in terrorist attacks at U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. These attacks highlighted the highly volatile environments in which U.S. diplomatic personnel sometimes operate, and led to a period of sustained scrutiny of the measures in place to protect them.

The State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security organizes security for U.S. diplomats and the facilities they work in. In addition to the first layer of defense – the protective assets provided by host nations (under their Vienna Convention commitments) – U.S. diplomatic facilities are usually guarded by some mix of elements including locally-hired guards, Diplomatic Security agents, and sometimes U.S. Marine Corps Security Guard detachments.  

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