How to Keep Our Embassies Safe


Jun 12, 2013

Marines stand vigilant at U.S. embassy in Haiti

Marines stand vigilant at U.S. embassy in Haiti

photo by Sgt. Richard Andrade/U.S. Army

This commentary originally appeared on CNN on June 12, 2013.

Benghazi is back in the news. Late last week, clashes between protesters and militia claimed at least two dozen lives after demonstrators reportedly stormed a pro-government militia base. The latest violence is a reminder of just how unstable parts of the country remain — and how many questions remain unanswered as the United States seek to ensure that there is no repeat of a tragedy that claimed the lives of four Americans last September.

The truth is that something has gone terribly wrong when two U.S. government officers end up making a last stand against overwhelming odds in a terrorist attack on an American diplomatic compound. Last year's attack on the Benghazi consulate, reportedly also a CIA outpost, suggests the United States simply was not prepared to operate in such a high-threat environment and had not reassessed the changing nature of the danger....

The remainder of this op-ed can be found at

William Young is a senior policy analyst at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. He was formerly a senior officer with the CIA with extensive experience in the Middle East.

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