Photo: Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters
The new Accountability Review Board (ARB) report on the Sept. 11 Benghazi attacks reveals the multiple layers of failure that led to the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.The chief of the State Department’s security service and two other officials have resigned in the wake of the report, which serves as an example of the risks of practicing “expeditious diplomacy.”
As we covered immediately following the attacks, state department officials told BI that Clinton’s strategy following Gaddafi’s ouster was one of “expeditious diplomacy.”
The strategy would employ a light American footprint in dangerous areas where the U.S. wants to keep a firm grasp on developing diplomatic relations — those being between Washington and the new Libyan government.
The strategy, though subtle, required hiring of light Libyan security forces rather than ostentatious American security contractors — who are likely to cause a bit more of a stir in public.
“The idea is that several heavily armed Americans on foreign soil is not conducive to diplomatic relations,” a State Department official told BI on condition of anonymity. “There’s only X amount of Special Agents, a handful on the ground there, to expect [them] to withstand a mob of hundreds of people is not realistic.”
The official did say, though, that to expect a fledgling government like Libya to put up reciprocal security forces for American diplomats was also not realistic.
Another reason the mission didn’t receive many American or Libyan resources is because it “was never a consulate and never formally notified to the Libyan government,” according to the report, which makes sense since the U.S. effort there was “at its heart a CIA operation.”
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