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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Aberdeen, Scotland

    Exclamation Diplomatic security after terrorists kill US Ambassador in Benghazi, Libya

    CBS News video: WH declares consulate assault "a terrorist attack"

    CBS News webpage: Military-style tactics seen in US Consulate siege

    According to this report -

    Arutz Sheva, 9/16/2012,

    Col. Hunt: Libya Embassy Guards had No Bullets
    "The State Department just allowed our guys to get killed," says Fox News military analyst Col. David Hunt.

    Colonel Hunt said Thursday that the American mission at Benghazi "was like a cardboard building, there wasn't even bullet proof glass." In addition, Hunt said the security guards inside the mission were private security guards who were not allowed to have bullets n their guns.

    "What’s happened in Libya is the final straw of political correctness," he told Breitbart. "We allowed a contractor to hire local nationals as security guards, but said they can't have bullets. This was all part of the point of not having a high profile in Libya."

    "The policy of the Obama administration led to this," he said. "It was the policy of the Obama administration to have a low profile in Libya. That's why the rules of engagement were approved by the Secretary of State to have no Marines at Benghazi, and to have an American contractor hire Libyan nationals to provide security there. The rules were they couldn't have ammunition."

    "Obama may not have known the details of the State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya, but his Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor would have. The Secretary of State absolutely would have."

    "The Department of State Security are the people in charge of diplomatic security. They enforce the rules of engagement, which are set at Clinton’s level at State. The Department of Defense was told we’re not going to have Marines at Benghazi. Whether it goes higher than the Secretary of State to the President, I don't know."
    - shockingly, the Benghazi consulate on the night of the attack had -

    • No Marine Security Guards.
    • No bullets for the guns carried by the hired Libyan "security"
    • No fortifications.

    This incident confirms my concerns that diplomatic missions in "war-on-terror" countries are not being properly secured by being located in a properly secured and defended military bases.

    This reminds me of the storming of a UN base in Mazar-e-Sharif when 7 UN workers were killed in April 2011. The guy responsible at the time for UN security - Gregory B. Starr, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, is an American who used to be employed as the person responsible for the security of US diplomatic bases.

    My view is that it's not fair on diplomats to leave them vulnerable in peace-time-designed embassies and consulates when there's war on in countries which are host, however unwillingly, to armed enemy forces and it's not fair to expect them to put their lives in the hands of career State Department officials who are incompetent about security or unable and unwilling to take action to remove their juniors who are incompetent.

    I have further concerns that the US & NATO countries' military these days lack the military knowledge and competence even to able to secure our military bases. Bases can't be properly secured in or near an urban area. You need a security zone of cleared and controlled ground of at least 6 miles, but 10 miles is better, around a military base to keep enemy fire from rockets and mortars out of range.

    If you don't control the ground around a base this happens - 3 were killed at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

    Afghanistan Attacks: Insurgents Attack Bagram Air Base

    KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan insurgents bombarded a U.S. base and destroyed a NATO helicopter, killing three Afghan intelligence employees, officials said Tuesday. There were also NATO personnel aboard and wounded, the coalition said without providing further details.
    We've been at war in Afghanistan for nearly 11 years now and still the US and NATO military are operating out of insecure bases! Our supply routes in Afghanistan have never been secured and recently a decision by NATO-ISAF (commanded by a US general) was taken to close bases along the main highways in Afghanistan making the roads even more insecure.

    The military and security leaders we are depending on to keep our personnel safe during this war on terror are incompetent and our diplomats would be well advised to have no faith in them. If I was a diplomat in a country with security problems I would quit and come home until we get proper military and security people in charge.

    So there is a pattern here of incompetence at the very highest levels of leadership in the United States, NATO and the United Nations.

    The people in charge are incompetent and this is very serious folks. We need urgent action to get competent people in post. We need a shake up at the highest levels of government on the military and security side especially. This can't be allowed to go on.

    Obama response inadequate

    Obama has ordered "heightened security" and the story so far is that means 50 more marines are on the way to Libya. That's an inadequate response.

    It's not enough to "order heightened security" if by that you mean ordering the same incompetent fools currently in charge of security to continue in post but to try to do a proper job this time despite still having no idea what to do.

    50 Marine Security Guards would have helped had they been there on the night of the attack to defend Ambassador Stevens but from Colonel Hunt's description of the American consulate building at Benghazi - "was like a cardboard building, there wasn't even bullet proof glass" - it was not an appropriate strong building to choose to stand and fight against a terrorist attack with enemies using infantry weapons such as assault rifles, rocket propelled grenades and mortars.

    Had Ambassador Chris Steven's possible Marine Security Guard detail been blessed with leadership from a good military officer of the quality of Colonel Hunt they ought to have been able to assess that Benghazi building as unsuitable for use as a fort against attackers and would have recommended moving to somewhere more secure.

    At least with real marines with real bullets in their guns they could have provided a strong armed escort for the diplomatic team on the move.

    However, we need to be honest with ourselves folks and admit that really good military officers are a rare breed these days. Just sending in the soldiers to defend against an enemy does no good if the soldiers you send are not well led, properly deployed, able to do the job.

    In the worst cases of military incompetence, more soldiers, even more brave US Marines, setting up in a poorly defended building can just mean more targets for the enemy to attack and to kill.

    We need to remember the very painful lesson of -

    Wikipedia: 1983 Beirut barracks bombing

    The Beirut Barracks Bombing (October 23, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon) occurred during the Lebanese Civil War, when two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon—killing 299 American and French servicemen. The organization Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing.

    Suicide bombers detonated each of the truck bombs. In the attack on the American Marines barracks, the death toll was 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers, along with sixty Americans injured, representing the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima of World War II, the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States military since the first day of the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War, and the deadliest single attack on Americans overseas since World War II.
    So I think we ought to be more demanding than just welcoming any US president sending in some marines. We ought to demand a plan that will deploy the marines well so that they can defend themselves and the embassy or consulate and the ambassador very well indeed.

    The US and allied western countries ought to

    • Close all vulnerable diplomatic embassies and consulates in host countries with a war-on-terror connection, with an armed jihadi terrorist groups threat. So that would be not only Libya, but it could be a list of 10 or more dangerous countries, such as Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen - anywhere US embassies have come under fire from jihadi terrorists before.
    • Establish new secure embassies and consulates within new or existing military bases where the dangerous host country agrees. If the host country does not agree then withdraw our ambassadors from the country altogether.
    Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-24-2012 at 04:46 PM.

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