Condoleezza Rice 'saddened' over US deaths in Libya. Peter Dow re: security & war strategy
Condoleezza Rice 'saddened' over ambassador's death
By Daniel Strauss - 09/12/12 02:36 PM ET
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday expressed sorrow over the death of Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, who died in the attack on the embassy in Benghazi on Tuesday alongside three other Foreign Service personnel.
Rice addressed the Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. embassies in Benghazi, Libya and Cairo, Egypt in a Facebook post.
"I am saddened by the tragic loss of life at our consulate in Benghazi. Ambassador Chris Stevens was a wonderful officer and a terrific diplomat who was dedicated to the cause of freedom," Rice wrote on her Facebook page. "His service in the Middle East throughout his career was legendary. My thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of all of the fallen. They will be sorely missed but never forgotten."
Rice did not mention the Obama administration's response to the attacks or Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's criticisms of an initial response to events that unfolded in Egypt on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Chris Stevens with Libyan leaders.
Sean Smith, US State Department information management officer, who also died along with 2 other unnamed Americans.
Comment by Peter Dow of Rice for President Yahoo Group
Peter Dow is Scottish
Criticism of President Obama's security response as regards this attack against the US consulate in Libya and in general regarding the war on terror.
I am shocked and horrified at this and my sincere condolences to our American friends and loved ones.
This incident confirms my concerns that diplomatic missions in "war-on-terror" countries are not being properly secured by being located in properly secured and defended military bases.
This reminds me of the storming of a UN base in Mazar-e-Sharif when 7 UN workers were killed in April 2011. The guy responsible at the time for UN security - Gregory B. Starr, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, is an American who used to be employed as the person responsible for the security of US diplomatic bases.
I have further concerns that the US & NATO countries' military these days lack the military knowledge and competence even to able to secure our military bases. Bases can't be properly secured in or near an urban area. You need a security zone of cleared and controlled ground of at least 6 miles, but 10 miles is better, around a military base to keep enemy fire from rockets and mortars out of range.
If you don't control the ground around a base this happens - 3 were killed at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan yesterday.
Quote: Afghanistan Attacks: Insurgents Attack Bagram Air Base
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan insurgents bombarded a U.S. base and destroyed a NATO helicopter, killing three Afghan intelligence employees, officials said Tuesday. There were also NATO personnel aboard and wounded, the coalition said without providing further details.
We've been at war in Afghanistan for nearly 11 years now and still the US and NATO military are operating out of insecure bases! Our supply routes in Afghanistan have never been secured and recently a decision by NATO-ISAF (commanded by a US general) was taken to close bases along the main highways in Afghanistan making the roads even more insecure.
The military and security leaders we are depending on to keep our personnel safe during this war on terror are incompetent and our diplomats would be well advised to have no faith in them. If I was a diplomat in a country with security problems I would quit and come home until we get proper military and security people in charge.
So there is a pattern here of incompetence at the very highest levels of leadership in the United States, NATO and the United Nations.
The people in charge are incompetent and this is very serious folks. We need urgent action to get competent people in post. We need a shake up at the highest levels of government on the military and security side especially. This can't be allowed to go on.
Obama response inadequate
Obama has ordered "heightened security" and the story so far is that means 50 more marines are on the way to Libya. That's an inadequate response.
It's not enough to "order heightened security" if by that you mean ordering the same incompetent fools currently in charge of security to continue in post but to try to do a proper job this time despite still having no idea what to do.
The President should -
Sack and replace the Secretary of Defense (Panetta) with someone who will sack incompetent generals and appoint competent ones
Sack and replace the Secretary of State (Clinton) with someone who will sack incompetent security officials and appoint competent ones
Close all vulnerable diplomatic embassies and consulates in countries with a war-on-terror connection, with an armed jihadi terrorist groups threat
Establish new secure embassies and consulates within new or existing military bases
Site new military bases for the embassies / consulates in rural areas where the land for 6 to 10 miles around the embassy can be occupied and controlled
Site about 60 defensive machine-gun posts 1000 metre / 1000 yard intervals around a circumference at a radius of 6 miles from the base,
Surround the machine gun posts with barbed wire and vehicle barriers
Man the 60 machine guns, 3 men per gun, 24/7 with a force of about 540 marines per base,
Vastly increase the size of the Marine Security Guard from the small force now of about 1000 to the many thousands of marines it will take to secure all the new bases
Sorry "ordering heightened security" simply doesn't cut it.
Check out Peter Dow's AfPak military strategy blog
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