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Old 09-28-2012   #21
Dayuhan
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SratFor comments on the subject:

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/diplo...608fcc7da4867d

Quote:
Diplomatic Security in Light of Benghazi

It has been more than two weeks since the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, yet the attack remains front-page news. One reason is that it has become unusual for a U.S. ambassador to be killed. After the 1968 assassination of John Mein in Guatemala -- the first ever U.S. ambassador to be assassinated -- several others were killed in the 1970s: Cleo Noel Jr. in Sudan in 1973, Rodger Davies in Cyprus in 1974, Francis Meloy Jr. in Lebanon in 1976 and Adolph Dubs in Afghanistan in 1979. However, following improvements in diplomatic security during the 1980s, no U.S. ambassador has died as a result of a hostile action since Ambassador Arnold Raphel, who was killed in the plane crash used to assassinate Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in August 1988...
Obviously not the last word on the subject (nothing ever is), but a real-world look at the situation and potentially some fodder for discussion.

It's worth noting that even if the decision had been made to construct a fortress in the desert it would still be under construction, and there would still be a need to have diplomatic boots (well, ok, diplomatic Gucci shoes) on the ground...
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Old 09-28-2012   #22
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Peter, as Steve Metz has already said in another thread of yours:

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A wise strategy is one where the expected benefits--increased security--justify the expected strategic costs (blood, money, lost opportunities). This does not meet that standard.
I would offer that you have gone to great lengths to ignore the reality that one does not focus on the MOST DANGEROUS course of action that any enemy may employ, but the MOST LIKELY. It is a time-proven measure that allows one to apply the resources at hand; whether it be at 10 diplomatic mission or 100 does not matter.

I could button an ambassador up in a 70-ton main battle tank to reduce the risk from a wide range of threats as he moves about a host country, but there are a host of other reasons why that approach would be neither practical or prudent. As the saying goes, "just because you can does not mean you should."

I will give it to you that you've applied a great degree of thought to your position. Are you related to anyone with the last name of Sparks?
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Old 09-29-2012   #23
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Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
Are you related to anyone with the last name of Sparks?
You must admit that a few of these, mounted on strategically located pyramids, would be a huge deterrent to attack on any embassy...

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Old 09-29-2012   #24
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Come on, his idea is so 'weak'* that we really don't need any ad hominem or guilt by imaginary association tricks to fend it off.


(Says the guy who collects infractions for supposed ad hominem attacks, more often than not thinking skins are too damn thin in this place.)



*: I came up with this kind of ideas when I was 14.
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Old 09-29-2012   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
The lesson might just be to make your deals with, say, ChinaSatCom.
Well if European satellite companies confiscated NileSat satellites because of pressure from European governments then presumably Chinese government pressure could prevent Chinese companies replacing NileSat with Chinese satellites?

Whatever the countries of origin for the satellites, the same "or else" should apply if diplomacy and international agreement fails to confiscate improperly regulated satellites.

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Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
So we are to seize by military force/electronic warfare any satellite television station that broadcasts un-American/anti coalition material?
The issue is inciting, organising, sponsoring terrorism, acts of war against us which are killing our people.

Broadcasting peaceful, non-threatening material is not the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
Even if this is possible
It's physically possible OK.

Satellites can be
  • jammed by overloading the satellite receiver with a high intensity signal (possible, been done)
  • zapped with a laser (possible, not sure if been done)
  • robot wars in space - a killer satellite that hunts down prey satellites (possible, not sure if been done)
  • blasting with anti-satellites missiles (possible, been done but litters orbit with debris)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
how would you respond to people pointing out that the 'murica violated the sovereignty of states and seized the private property of numerous countries around the globe.
Well the general approach to defensive actions in the war on terror was outlined in the Bush Doctrine.

A state or a commercial company should not expect to have its wishes to use its state or private property to kill people respected. It should expect to be stopped, one way or another.

We should respond to those killers thus.
If you kill people using satellites and provide the lame excuse "Oh, it's state sovereignty", or "Oh, it's private property". It won't wash. It's not OK. It's never OK.

If you kill our people then it's our responsibility, it's our business to stop you by any means necessary.
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Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
what if the tv station was german? or british?
Well the NileSat satellites are provided for Egypt by European companies with German and British components, shareholders, facilities etc. but the French components are the biggest contributor country to those European satellite companies I believe.

European national and European Union governments should impose tighter regulation of our own satellite TV industry to stop incitement to terrorism on satellites they make, sell or hire out.

Europe, the USA and all responsible members of the international community ought to be looking to institute a global regulatory framework.

It raises the same kinds of issues as regulating the arms industry. There are big profits to be made so companies would rather not be regulated and to hell with the consequences for peace and security.

The big profits mean the companies can buy corrupt political influence to prevent responsible regulation.

From a British republican perspective I would say that it is unrealistic to expect the United Kingdom with a very incompetent head of state, Queen Elizabeth, to be the state which leads the way to a solution of these issues.

British republicans like myself with the internet can try to offer leadership in terms of education to the select few such as the members of this forum but the UK state in many ways is a viciously anti-British state so don't expect too much help from the kingdom.

The people of Britain are being brainwashed to accept the harmful monarchy by state control of broadcasting the same way the Arab people are being incited to support terrorism by state control of broadcasting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
I dont mean to derail the thread towards the satellite plan.
I don't think it is "derailing" the thread. Satellite TV is central to the issue of diplomatic security and the security of us all.

Humanity will simply be unable to deliver security for the people while irresponsible states are prosecuting their wars globally using satellite TV.

We need a blacklist of irresponsible states who simply are not allowed by the United Nations, by the international community, by the free world, to be states calling the shots with satellite TV.

Yes those countries with blacklisted states can still have some channels broadcast on satellite TV - but only channels which are supervised by other states, by multinational organisations to ensure responsible broadcasting.

Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-29-2012 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 09-29-2012   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dow View Post
Well if European satellite companies confiscated

The people of Britain are being brainwashed to accept the harmful monarchy by state control of broadcasting the same way the Arab people are being incited to support terrorism by state control of broadcasting.
state control really sounds great.

Id rather our strategy allow a market place of ideas to work rather than try to create some nebulous america borg that seeks to control everything. partially because if we did that our enemy would be proven right.
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Old 09-29-2012   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
SratFor comments on the subject:

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/diplo...608fcc7da4867d


Obviously not the last word on the subject (nothing ever is), but a real-world look at the situation and potentially some fodder for discussion.
I would use blunter words to highlight the basic problem of diplomatic security. For example,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Stuart, Stratfor
tensions with the Sandinista government in Nicaragua and its desire to keep the U.S. Embassy insecure.)
I might say "its desire to terrorise the U.S. Embassy".

In the war on terror we are dealing with states who do not wish our diplomats to be secure. They wish our diplomats and our people to be insecure so that they can terrorise or kill them for their political aims, such as to extort protection racket payments from us.

The author omits to mention that basic building security in U.S. Embassies is provided by U.S. Marine Security Guards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
A Marine Security Guard or Marine Embassy Guard is a member of the the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group,[3] (formerly Marine Security Guard Battalion), a battalion-sized organization of U.S. Marines whose detachments provide security at American Embassies, American Consulates and other official United States Government offices such as the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba, or the United States Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium.
While the author mentions that the U.S. State Department lacks enough Diplomatic Security Service special agents and doesn't have funds allocated to build a new secure embassy in Libya -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Stewart
the 100 new special agents the Diplomatic Security Service is slated to hire this year will not be enough to replace those leaving the service.
..
the construction of a new office building is nonetheless an expensive undertaking and something that the department cannot do under its current operating budget without the U.S. Congress allocating funds to pay for the construction project.
- he fails to mention that in the real world the U.S. gives away billions in military aid. The top recipients in 2010 were -

Quote:
Country_______$U.S. millions
Afghanistan ____6,800
Israel__________2,800
Egypt _________1,302
Iraq___________1,006
Pakistan_________914
The only reliable ally in that list is Israel. The other countries are not reliable allies. If you have to pay for loyalty, it's not true loyalty. It's a protection racket.

So if the U.S. quits giving military aid to those unreliable regimes that would save around $10 billion dollars a year and that's plenty to construct and run new fortress embassies wherever a threat of terrorism arises.

By reallocating those funds, the U.S. could increase by multiple factors the size of the U.S. Marine Corps Embassy Security Group from its current tiny battalion size (800 people) to say division size (20,000) which it could use to defend newly built fortress U.S. Embassies where terrorism is a threat and where the war on terror is yet to be won.

My plan calls for a battalion size of guard force to defend a new U.S. and allies embassy base for Libya.

Nor does the author mention that in the real world the State Department oversees billions of dollars of U.S. tax-payer development aid to countries where embassies and diplomats are terrorised.

Quote:
Nation Billions of Dollars
Afghanistan 2.75
Pakistan___ 1.35
Haiti______ 0.70
Israel_____ 0.59
Kenya_____0.50
Sudan_____0.46
West Bank/Gaza0.38
Jordan_____0.36
Ethiopia____0.35
South Africa0.34
Georgia____0.33
Egypt _____0.32
Tanzania___0.31
Nigeria_____0.29
Uganda____0.26
Indonesia__0.26
Mozambique0.23
Liberia_____0.22
Colombia___0.22
Iraq_______0.22
Only yesterday it was reported that the U.S. State Department is trying to pay another $450 million in aid to Egypt.

So that is the generous American people that the world loves but isn't it a bit stupid to try to pay for the country's development while embassies and diplomats in that country are under threat? You can't help people if you get yourself killed, right?

Instead, spend the military aid for war-on-terror, terrorism-effected countries on building, maintaining and guarding very secure fortress embassies and leave those states and political parties which are misled by incompetent leaders to go bankrupt, financially and politically, which would require those countries to under-go some process of regime-change either internally or externally led.

The military aid should be enough if re-allocated to diplomatic security to build new fortress embassies and secure diplomats but if for some reason the President and the Congress allowed the Pentagon to dig its heels in and refuse to pay for diplomatic security then it's better to take some money from the development aid budget for the country with a terrorist problem to provide security for the diplomats and embassies based there.

Better to stop propping up weak governments and use very secure embassies as a place for robust diplomacy to tell local politicians to stop wrecking their own economies as they tend to do by foolishly suppressing and oppressing their most enterprising individuals, tell them to stand aside if they are not up to the job of leadership.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
It's worth noting that even if the decision had been made to construct a fortress in the desert it would still be under construction, and there would still be a need to have diplomatic boots (well, ok, diplomatic Gucci shoes) on the ground...
Well the construction of a fortress embassy base would need military engineers' boots on the ground accompanied with marines' boots as security for the engineers totalling more military boots and equipment on the ground than the battalion of embassy security guards needed after completion.

If and when there is a construction site then presumably the U.S. embassy can set up temporary facilities somewhere within the security cordon established there?

But long before a construction site is in being there is the preliminary approval of the concept of a fortress embassy base to be given by both the U.S. and Libyan authorities.

Then comes the search for a possible site and then surveying of possible sites to be done before selecting a candidate site then allocation of the land and final approval to build is given the go ahead.

So yes there is a lot of diplomacy needed even now but most of that diplomacy can be done over the internet and telephone, or in the USA or Europe, Libyans visiting us, until such time as they are ready to send the marines in I would have thought.

Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-29-2012 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 09-29-2012   #28
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if the US wanted to do this, which it doesn't, what does the us do when libya says "no" to the plan?
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Old 09-29-2012   #29
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Question Russian roulette, anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
Peter, as Steve Metz has already said in another thread of yours:
If you have something to say about another thread of mine then I suggest you say it there in that other thread where it is appropriate for me to reply and I may do but only if your comment is worthy of my reply.

Certainly there is no value in quoting from another thread a comment which consists of a platitude and a non-specific, unjustified criticism.

If you parrot a meaningless comment it doesn't make the comment any more worthy for repetition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
I would offer that you have gone to great lengths to ignore the reality that one does not focus on the MOST DANGEROUS course of action that any enemy may employ, but the MOST LIKELY.
So was the reckless fool who thought Ambassador Stevens should gamble his life in a Benghazi death trap focusing on the "most likely" action of the enemy?

So was the thinking that it was most likely that the enemy would not kill Stevens in Benghazi? So just chance it?

Well before you go advising anyone about security I suggest that you spend your spare time playing a solo game of Russian roulette.

After all, there is only one bullet in the six chambers of the revolver so really it is "most likely" that each time that you pull the trigger that you won't shoot yourself in the head.


Russian roulette anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
It is a time-proven measure that allows one to apply the resources at hand; whether it be at 10 diplomatic mission or 100 does not matter.
Peace is a very forgiving environment for utterly incompetent security and military personnel who can get away with foolish recklessness because no enemy is trying to kill them or the VIPs they are tasked to protect.

So fools may well think themselves as applying peace-time-proven measures and so long as there is peace they may live and their VIPs may live too.

War provides a different standard of proof for security. Foolish recklessness which has stood the test of peace-time in war-time suddenly gets proven as the foolish recklessness it always was and the VIP gets killed.

Do you keep your house front door unlocked at each night because it is "most likely" you won't be robbed? I don't.

Do you drink and drive because it is "most likely" you won't get in an road accident and won't be stopped by the police and breathalysed? I don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
I could button an ambassador up in a 70-ton main battle tank to reduce the risk from a wide range of threats as he moves about a host country, but there are a host of other reasons why that approach would be neither practical or prudent. As the saying goes, "just because you can does not mean you should."
It doesn't mean you should assume an Ambassador will be OK in a Benghazi death-trap either.

Just because you can take reckless risks with your and someone else's personal security, it doesn't mean you should.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
I will give it to you that you've applied a great degree of thought to your position.
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
Are you related to anyone with the last name of Sparks?
No.

Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-29-2012 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 09-29-2012   #30
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Hmm...wonder about your embassy hypothesis...especially in a information based world where perception is often reality.

For the sake of argument let's presume you are correct and that the fortress embassy business model is the way to go. You advocate to coordinate with the Chinese, Russian, Iranian, etc embassies in order to help set them up fortress embassies in our country as we work on setting up fortress embassies in their countries. Fields of fire will need to be cleared and minefields emplaced within our country and theirs. Helipads will need to be setup or clearance gained throughout our country and theirs so that diplomats can fly to and from events and meetings. The job description of diplomat as someone who engages with civil society, in a diplomatic manner, to advocate and persuade through dialog will need to relooked. In summary your proposed business model will change the perception of diplomats as civilian members of civil society.

Let's review your model against the job description of Diplomat and the historical record of Diplomats who have served in wartime outside of fortress embassies:

Foreign Service Officer, http://careers.state.gov/officer

Quote:
The mission of a U.S. diplomat in the Foreign Service is to promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad.
Who We Look For, http://careers.state.gov/officer/who-we-look-for

Quote:
There are several areas that all career tracks have in common:
  • Each engages with host government officials, private sector leaders and international organization officials. In every career track, you will work closely with people from other countries.
  • Each fosters dialogue between the United States and the host country. In every career track, you will advocate U.S. policies, promote U.S. interests, and strengthen understanding between our country and other nations.
Foreign Service Officer Qualifications - 13 DIMENSIONS, http://careers.state.gov/uploads/1e/...dimensions.pdf

Quote:
• Composure. To stay calm, poised, and effective in stressful or difficult situations; to think on one's feet, adjusting quickly to changing situations; to maintain self-control.

• Cultural Adaptability. To work and communicate effectively and harmoniously with persons of other cultures, value systems, political beliefs, and economic circumstances; to recognize and respect differences in new and different cultural environments.

• Experience and Motivation. To demonstrate knowledge, skills or other attributes gained from previous experience of relevance to the Foreign Service; to articulate appropriate motivation for joining the Foreign Service.

• Information Integration and Analysis. To absorb and retain complex information drawn from a variety of sources; to draw reasoned conclusions from analysis and synthesis of available information; to evaluate the importance, reliability, and usefulness of information; to remember details of a meeting or event without the benefit of notes.

• Initiative and Leadership. To recognize and assume responsibility for work that needs to be done; to persist in the completion of a task; to influence significantly a group’s activity, direction, or opinion; to motivate others to participate in the activity one is leading.

• Judgment. To discern what is appropriate, practical, and realistic in a given situation; to weigh relative merits of competing demands.

• Objectivity and Integrity. To be fair and honest; to avoid deceit, favoritism, and discrimination; to present issues frankly and fully, without injecting subjective bias; to work without letting personal bias prejudice actions.

• Oral Communication. To speak fluently in a concise, grammatically correct, organized, precise, and persuasive manner; to convey nuances of meaning accurately; to use appropriate styles of communication to fit the audience and purpose.

• Planning and Organizing. To prioritize and order tasks effectively, to employ a systematic approach to achieving objectives, to make appropriate use of limited resources.

• Quantitative Analysis. To identify, compile, analyze, and draw correct conclusions from pertinent data; to recognize patterns or trends in numerical data; to perform simple mathematical operations.

• Resourcefulness. To formulate creative alternatives or solutions to resolve problems, to show flexibility in response to unanticipated circumstances.

• Working With Others. To interact in a constructive, cooperative, and harmonious manner; to work effectively as a team player; to establish positive relationships and gain the confidence of others; to use humor as appropriate.

• Written Communication. To write concise, well organized, grammatically correct, effective and persuasive English in a limited amount of time.
Benjamin Franklin, http://www.usdiplomacy.org/history/o...infranking.php

John Adams, http://www.usdiplomacy.org/history/o..._johnadams.php
_______________

My perception of your hypothetical fortress embassy business model is that we would be hunkered down in a fortress embassy with a greatly reduced ability to communicate that we desire "promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad." Can you quantify the impact to our nation's bottom line of your hypothetical business model vs that that of our current model, which is ~236 years old and, which supports our 14 trillion USD GDP economy?
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Old 09-29-2012   #31
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Peter, I've taken a peek at your internet presence in a number of other places. good lord man...

I'll be dropping out of this discussion post haste.

Nothing to see here folks. Keep Calm and Carry On.
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Old 09-29-2012   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
You must admit that a few of these, mounted on strategically located pyramids, would be a huge deterrent to attack on any embassy...
No but a couple of hundred of these in a giant circle surrounded by a minefields would be.


The Pyramid of Cestius, Rome, photoshopped into a gun tower
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Old 09-29-2012   #33
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Lightbulb International Satellite TV Broadcasting Agency

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
Id rather our strategy allow a market place of ideas to work rather than try to create some nebulous america borg that seeks to control everything. partially because if we did that our enemy would be proven right.
In war, you don't seek to control everything, just the enemy.

If we the people of the world don't want to leave America or NATO to end satellite terror TV using unilateral military power then I suggest we set up a United Nations Security Council regulatory authority along the lines of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The IAEA was established as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957. Though established independently of the United Nations through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute,[1] the IAEA reports to both the UN General Assembly and Security Council.
So I propose the International Satellite TV Broadcasting Agency (ISTBA) to be an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of satellite TV broadcasting, and to inhibit its use for any terrorist purpose, including the killing of diplomats.

But if we the people of the world can't be bothered doing something like that then don't complain when America gets tired of having its diplomats killed and starts taking out TV satellites.

Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-29-2012 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 09-29-2012   #34
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Cool I am cool with "no" to the plan.

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Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
if the US wanted to do this, which it doesn't, what does the us do when libya says "no" to the plan?
Diplomacy can be done over the internet and telephone, or in the USA or Europe, Libyans visiting us, until such time as they are ready to say "yes" to the fortress embassies base plan.

Meanwhile the US should halt all military aid to Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq etc. and save some of that billions of dollars a year which the US could spend on reconstruction projects back home.

While our forces remain in Afghanistan some of the $6.8 billion per year military aid to Karzai should instead be spent on NATO setting up an NATO-Afghan auxiliary force, to help to defend NATO-ISAF supply lines. Karzai's army should get nothing.

While "no" to the plan is the prevailing answer, we should not be terrorised into giving war-on-terror countries any military aid whatsoever or disproportionate development aid in response to acts of terrorism.

The US has been bled white by vampire state-sponsors of terrorism for years and giving US blood and treasure so freely simply encourages those countries to think that they need terrorists as proxies to squeeze more cash and influence out of Washington.

It is time to stop paying for this protection racket. It is time to stop exposing diplomats to such risks. Bring them home.

If and when one war-on-terror country says "yes" to the plan and then that country would be the only one to benefit from an intensive and rewarding engagement with the West. In time the rest would follow not wishing to miss out and be left behind.
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Old 09-30-2012   #35
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Couldn't you accomplish the same goal with a lot less hassle and expense by parking a suitably sized naval vessel offshore and designating it an "embassy"? Of course that would be completely inconsistent with the purpose and function of an embassy, but so would a fortress in the desert.

One of the great advantages of proposing things that you know will never be tried is that you will never be proven wrong, and can carry on for all time claiming that your way would have been better. This is not an uncommon device on these forums, though this is perhaps an unusually extravagant example. Those who would prefer to consider the real world would be well advised to follow Jon's excellent example and become elsewhere, which I think I will do.
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Old 09-30-2012   #36
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Thumbs up Go USA!

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Originally Posted by Surferbeetle View Post
Hmm...wonder about your embassy hypothesis...especially in a information based world where perception is often reality.

For the sake of argument let's presume you are correct and that the fortress embassy business model is the way to go.
Mmm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surferbeetle View Post
You advocate to coordinate with the Chinese, Russian, Iranian, etc embassies in order to help set them up fortress embassies in our country as we work on setting up fortress embassies in their countries.
No, I don't advocate any such thing in our countries, nor any such thing in China or Russia.

As I explained in my original post, these fortress embassies bases are only intended for a short list of dangerous war-on-terror countries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dow View Post
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.
I never suggested that any country would need to or be allowed to set up a fortress embassy in our countries.

The reciprocal diplomatic arrangement to apply is the requirement for diplomatic security.

Fortress embassies bases are only required in those countries where there are armed terrorist groups at large.

We provide all diplomats security with no need nor justification for a fortress embassies base in our countries. We don't have home-grown terrorist groups in our countries at large in our cities trying to kill diplomats from other countries.

As for Iran, well that's a war-on-terror country if ever there was one. Yes Iran is a country where it would be appropriate to build a fortress embassies base for sure; that's if the US wants to restore diplomatic relations with Iran at all of course.


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Originally Posted by Surferbeetle View Post
Fields of fire will need to be cleared and minefields emplaced within our country and theirs.
No, only theirs, and it's only a limited list of countries.

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Originally Posted by Surferbeetle View Post
Helipads will need to be setup or clearance gained throughout our country and theirs so that diplomats can fly to and from events and meetings.
In theirs, not ours. Well you don't really need a brand new helipad everywhere to land a helicopter. Helicopters can land on any reasonably flat and big enough area of ground in the country-side or similar-sized surface in the urban environment.

Yes helipads are useful to guide the helicopter pilot to an exact spot; that's why they are handy to have on small tight landing spaces such as roof-top buildings or ships or oil-drilling platforms etc.

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Originally Posted by Surferbeetle View Post
The job description of diplomat as someone who engages with civil society, in a diplomatic manner, to advocate and persuade through dialog will need to relooked. In summary your proposed business model will change the perception of diplomats as civilian members of civil society.
It would be longer to travel to meetings so diplomats would be more picky about the meetings they would travel to though travelling by helicopter it is still possible.

The much bigger difference having a remote fortress embassies base would make would be fewer numbers visiting the embassy to conduct routine business.

Visitors to the embassy unless they were VIPs who came by helicopter themselves would have a much longer, time-consuming and expensive road journey and so alternative methods of achieving routine embassy and consulate tasks such as issuing visas or whatever may be done more by internet, telephone, subcontracted services in the cities and so on.

There may be an enhanced emphasis on diplomatic media work, appearances on TV, especially if our reasonable demand for a fair hearing on all appropriate news and comment TV channels was being enforced by strong regulation of satellite TV broadcasting.

Other than that I don't see the role of diplomat changing all that much because of where he or she is based.

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Originally Posted by Surferbeetle View Post
Let's review your model against the job description of Diplomat and the historical record of Diplomats who have served in wartime outside of fortress embassies:

Foreign Service Officer, http://careers.state.gov/officer



Who We Look For, http://careers.state.gov/officer/who-we-look-for



Foreign Service Officer Qualifications - 13 DIMENSIONS, http://careers.state.gov/uploads/1e/...dimensions.pdf



Benjamin Franklin, http://www.usdiplomacy.org/history/o...infranking.php

John Adams, http://www.usdiplomacy.org/history/o..._johnadams.php
_______________

My perception of your hypothetical fortress embassy business model is that we would be hunkered down in a fortress embassy with a greatly reduced ability to communicate
No actually, in combination with enhanced satellite TV appearances, the ability to communicate could be one thousand times better.

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Originally Posted by Surferbeetle View Post
that we desire "promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad." Can you quantify the impact to our nation's bottom line of your hypothetical business model vs that that of our current model, which is ~236 years old and, which supports our 14 trillion USD GDP economy?
Well a lot of the war-on-terror countries are massive drains on the US treasury taking billions of US tax-payer dollars in military and development aid. So stopping paying those would save money. If they all turned around and wanted a fortress embassy in the first year then that year would cost a lot but subsequent years would cost less than the $10 billion plus they take every year.

Some like Saudi Arabia buy weapons and other high value goods from the USA and from Europe. Perhaps if the US insisted on a fortress embassy base for Saudi Arabia or withdrew the ambassador then those business contracts might be at risk? Perhaps other less threatened countries would step in to try to sell their weapons to the Saudis instead?

My answer to the oil-rich Arab kingdoms and Iran who fund terrorism more than anyone in the world is regime-changing them to proper democracies so that we have no diplomatic security problems eventually, though regime-changing a country can be difficult, seizing their satellites and allowing democratic and republican opponents of the regimes to broadcast into those countries would help to inspire internal revolution which may not require our forces to invade to oust the old regimes.

In short, no I don't know the exact plus or minus to the USA's bottom line year by year but I do have a lot of confidence that the USA will do very well.
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Old 09-30-2012   #37
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Couldn't you accomplish the same goal with a lot less hassle and expense by parking a suitably sized naval vessel offshore and designating it an "embassy"?
Yes in the case of countries like Libya with a nearby coast line it could be a good solution which could be up and running very quickly.

For Libya it would be possible to have two ships - a larger "embassy ship" anchoring 12 plus miles offshore off of Tripoli and a second smaller "consulate ship" anchored 12 miles plus offshore off of Benghazi.

So a fuller range of options if the Libyans say "no" to a land-based fortress embassy would be -
Diplomacy can be done over the internet and telephone, at sea in anchored ships acting as floating embassies / consulates, in a neighbouring country, or in the USA or Europe, Libyans visiting us, until such time as they are ready to say "yes" to the fortress embassies base plan.
For Libya, I had in mind using an anchored ship off the coast as a staging point for supplies to be offloaded from other ships then loaded onto helicopters for onward transport to the fortress embassies base.

I think for Libya the ship embassies solution is a good idea to try out and get some experience of how practical and useful operating a remote embassy would be. This experience could be invaluable to inform the design requirements of a remote fortress embassies base on land.

Ship embassies are also an option for Egypt and Pakistan though not for Afghanistan being landlocked. (The alternatives for Egypt and Pakistan of using a remote embassy based in Israel and India respectively could be considered - although friendly countries Israel and India are not without their own security problems.)

The large U.S. Embassy in Baghdad having invested so much in to enhance security is probably worth keeping for now.

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Of course that would be completely inconsistent with the purpose and function of an embassy, but so would a fortress in the desert.
Well I can think of 4 Americans who'd be better off alive and well today in a ship embassy anchored off Benghazi or Tripoli.

So long as the ship embassy wasn't anchored too close to land within missile, mortar or artillery range of the shore I would think it would be fairly safe. I assume it would be a US Navy ship with guns, missiles and marines of course.

Better still is over the horizon 12 miles plus offshore so that helicopters flying from ship to shore can initially fly parallel to the shore but unseen from the shore for an unpredictable distance before turning and heading inland.

If as I have read there are indeed a large number of ground to air missiles in the hands of terrorists then we need to bear in mind that travelling by helicopter can be vulnerable to those missiles or even machine gun fire so it is best security procedure to do things like change the route so that terrorists never know where to lie in wait, have an attack helicopter escort, equip the helicopters used with anti-missile devices etc.

Also even if a diplomat achieves surprise by arriving unexpectedly at a public event in Tripoli or Benghazi, remember that very quickly the word will get out and terrorists with ground-to-air missiles will be on their way to follow the diplomat leaving and to try to shoot down the helicopter when it departs. So don't wait around visiting for too long and lose the advantage of surprise. A quick landing, speech, wave, photo for the cameras, drive away, take off, back to ship - all before the terrorists know anything is happening.

But yes the more I think about it, the ship embassy concept looks good to go!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
One of the great advantages of proposing things that you know will never be tried is that you will never be proven wrong, and can carry on for all time claiming that your way would have been better. This is not an uncommon device on these forums, though this is perhaps an unusually extravagant example.
Well as far as the ship embassy concept is concerned, I wouldn't be so sure that it won't be tried.

I believe that a couple of US ships are indeed off shore Libya somewhere but that is maybe more to do with hunting down the terrorists who killed Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues.

So if there are two US ships off Libya now then there might be more one day soon and one ship with the new ambassador to Libya aboard maybe.

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Those who would prefer to consider the real world would be well advised to follow Jon's excellent example and become elsewhere, which I think I will do.
Well remember that in real world the US government paying state-sponsors of terrorism billions of dollars in military aid, which is more money than their corrupt leaders have ever seen in their lives before is exactly the incentive to make sure they keep the terrorist fires burning.

If before 9/11 someone had told the Afghan and Pashtun elite that they'd have their hands on $6 or $7 billion per year in military aid to spend if only they'd provide a base to train up some jihadi terrorists to attack America I suspect that they would have readily agreed to do their best to bring it on.

Sometimes the real world needs improving upon and that's the case in the war on terror.

Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-30-2012 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 09-30-2012   #38
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Red face My apologies to jcustis and to forum readers

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Well before you go advising anyone about security I suggest that you spend your spare time playing a solo game of Russian roulette.
I must apologise to jcustis and to forum readers because it seems that I have been misunderstood.

I could have and would be happy to rephrase my point as a question asking - "Would you think it wise to pay Russian Roulette?"

I don't actually really want jcustis to play the Russian Roulette game. I wish him well and good health!

I was asking readers to think of a hypothetical thought experiment to illustrate a fault in jcustis's logic and I regret that I have been misunderstood.

The point I was trying to make is that I do want jcustis, and other readers, to think about the foolishness of assuming that "the most likely" outcome will happen and betting your, or someone else's life on an assumption that "the most likely" outcome will always happen.

So my post wasn't an ad hominem attack against jcustis. It was meant to be a vivid explanation of the dangers of anyone gambling with personal security.

Once again my apology if I have been misunderstood.
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Old 10-02-2012   #39
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But yes the more I think about it, the ship embassy concept looks good to go!
It was actually meant to be a facetious proposal.

Don't you think a ship, or a desert fortress, would be a wee bit awkward for visa applicants, or for Americans who need a notary stamp or a passport renewal? Are they meant to swim out to the ship, or hire their own helicopters?

What I think you overlook here is that most of what an embassy does involves routine pedestrian functions that require an accessible public interface.

What you suggest would make sense if the primary function of diplomatic service was to assure the safety of diplomats. As with the military, force protection is important, but taking it to a point that compromises the mission is hardly rational.
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Old 10-03-2012   #40
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Post Seriously ..

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It was actually meant to be a facetious proposal.
Well I am serious about advancing the ship embassy proposal but if you don't wish to get the credit for your idea, I won't name you as the author of the proposal.

One joke I did think of would be to call the ship embassy idea "Gunboat Diplomacy".

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Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Don't you think a ship, or a desert fortress, would be a wee bit awkward for visa applicants, or for Americans who need a notary stamp or a passport renewal?
Yes but not as awkward as you imagine.

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Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Are they meant to swim out to the ship, or hire their own helicopters?
Now I know you are being facetious.

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Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
What I think you overlook here is that most of what an embassy does involves routine pedestrian functions that require an accessible public interface.

What you suggest would make sense if the primary function of diplomatic service was to assure the safety of diplomats. As with the military, force protection is important, but taking it to a point that compromises the mission is hardly rational.
There are a number of alternative methods of doing business these days which don't involve customer and business ever being in the same building or location. Information can be exchanged by telephone or by internet allowing the embassy officials on ship to provide some services as a mail order company would.

In the case of valuable original customer documents, such as passports, which embassy officials required to have hands-on access to, embassy customers or their couriers could drop those off somewhere secure, at the site of the former embassy perhaps, which could then be sent by secure courier to the embassy ship or fortress, by armoured truck, boat or helicopter, in a diplomatic bag.

Documents could be returned from the embassy ship to the customer by similar methods.

Last edited by Peter Dow; 10-03-2012 at 02:18 AM.
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