The Foreign Service Journal, July/August 2018

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JULY-AUGUST 2018 67 Still, it seems like the cowardly and inhuman attackers have stripped common sense from those who should have learned from similar terrible tragedies of the past. Reportedly, the embassy in Cairo is closing the separate USAID office and moving it into the embassy. This will result in improved security? For whom? The very nature of USAID’s work (as well as some embassy tasks) cannot be conducted from a secure fortress and to attempt to do so will hobble the agency. The ambassador and the embassy are the symbols of our nation overseas and need to be protected. But don’t, in the name of security, subject all official Americans to the same constraints and restrictions. We all recognize that some risks and insecurity are a necessary part of a foreign affairs career. —Arthur M. Handly, retired FSO, USAID, Port Kent, N.Y., from his Letter to the Editor, FSJ , October 1998. Going Home As the flag-draped caskets of the American staff killed in the embassy bombings in Africa were carried from the Air Force plane, a military band played the “Going Home” theme by Dvorak. The music seemed especially appropriate since these col- leagues were going home for the last time. Along with hundreds of others, I had come not only to mourn, but also to show how proud I was of those colleagues who had given their lives for our country. While standing in that crowd, I thought how little those watch- ing this event on television knew about what we in the Foreign Service do. Our work is little understood and therefore distrusted by both political parties, each of which sees us in league with the other. Yet both parties will agree that we are responsible for every perceived foreign policy blunder. We are an easy target because we have no broad American constituency. There is AFSA, and there are our families and friends to speak up for us. As retired FSO David T. Jones wrote in a letter printed on the editorial page of the Washington Post on Aug. 15, 1998: “It is bitterly amusing that the only time Foreign Service personnel are noticed by the American public and Congress is when we are murdered or held hostage.” —Riley Sever, USIA vice president, from his AFSA News column, FSJ , October 1998. A Grateful Nation Mourns Its Dead On Thursday, Aug. 13, President [Bill] Clinton led over a thousand mourners—members of the Cabinet, the Congress, the diplomatic community and the armed forces; friends and colleagues from America’s foreign affairs agencies; and family members—in a tearful tribute to the 12 American victims of the terrorist bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. President Clinton and Secretary [Madeleine] Albright also honored the Foreign Service National employees who perished protecting American interests in Kenya and Tanzania, as well as private citizens of both countries who were killed. After the ceremony, WilliamHarrop, an AFSA board member and a former U.S. ambassador to Kenya, stated that everyone there, whether they were part of the foreign affairs agencies or not, felt a loss. He noted that more people now understand that diplomacy is a high-risk profession. The Department of State sent a cable to all diplomatic and consular posts requesting donations to support our Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs) who suffered in the bombings. FSNs are an essential part of our foreign policy team, often risking their personal safety to promote America overseas. Many of those FSNs who died were the sole supporters of large extended families. These families do not have the survivor benefits available to American victims. Contributions qualify as a charitable deduction for federal income tax purposes. —Frank Miller, USAID vice president, from his AFSA News column, FSJ , October 1998. Protecting Americans Overseas After the bombings, the Secretary of State convened an Accountability Review Board to investigate the bombings and make recommendations for improving essential security for overseas missions. Chaired by former Ambassador and Chair- man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. William J. Crowe, the ARB reported a “failure by several administrations and Congresses over the past decade to invest adequate efforts and resources to reduce the vulnerability of U.S. diplomatic missions around the world to terrorist attacks.” It stated the United States must spend $1.4 billion per year for the next 10 years to upgrade facilities and training. The ARB made clear in its report that the security situation is getting worse, not better: “The emergence of sophisticated and global terrorist networks aimed at U.S. interests abroad have dramatically changed the threat environment. In addi- tion, terrorists may in the future use new methods of attack of even greater destructive capacity, including biological or chemical weapons.” The administration should commit itself now to meeting Adm. Crowe’s recommendations, and the Congress should support it. —Marshall P. Adair, AFSA president, from “President’s Views,” FSJ , November 1999.