Thursday, December 27, 2012


Diplomats often hear the accusation that we barricade ourselves behind high, concertina-covered walls. After the tragedy in Benghazi, I saw one article that suggested diplomats would "cower" in the corners of the embassy even more now. Let me dispel that myth.

I openly admit that the embassy in Kabul is not a normal place. I cannot simply walk outside the embassy gate and stroll along the main boulevards. I don't have informal conversations with shopkeepers. And there are certain times when we are not able to leave the embassy. The threats are real and I'd be a fool to ignore the security precautions designed to keep me alive.

That said, RSO has never denied my request to go off-site for a meeting or event. I have been fortunate to meet some incredible Afghans, from orphans and teenagers to media moguls. All the officers I know are eager to get out as much as possible, and I haven't seen anyone cowering in the corner.

There was an op-ed in the LA Times recently that articulated (better than I could) the balance that diplomats seek when working in dangerous locations. There is no one-size-fits-all security solution. We know the risks and we take precautions, but we're also here to do a job.


Mom said...

Good post. Stay Safe.

Lee said...

I travel all over - only once was a trip denied (to the Dentist). The next day there was a car bomb right in front of the dentist office. I guess its hard to get mad on that one.