Sunday, May 12, 2013

From the Outside - State

I've seen a lot of commentary on how the 'mission' in Benghazi was not a full consulate or embassy, so therefore the idea that the State Department should have protected it is silly.  As we all know, there are limited funds blah blah blah.  The reality is that the issue with Benghazi and the limited protection there is mostly a creation of the State Department, and to a lesser extent it had definite political considerations in this constant campaigning nightmare we've created in our fucked political system.

Let's start though, by talking about how the State Department set itself up for failure.  The major organ of the State Department's security is are the Diplomatic Security Services, or DSS for short.  If you think of the DSS as analagous to the Secret Service, you'd be correct.  They tend to act as personnel security for diplomats, investigate crimes surrounding diplomatic staff & visa fraud, among other things.  They're also a relatively small corps in a volatile world, and have rather stringent hiring standards for what they do.  To sum up: they're like the Secret Service in that they're trained as bodyguards moreso than soldiers.

On the other hand, the relatively new Security Protective Specialist (SPS) position is more about training soldiers.  Looking at the training requirements on the State.gov website, its obvious they're looking for a different cut of recruit than for the DSS position.  There is a lot of talk about military service, overseas contract work (think Dynacorp or Triple Canopy), and all the other kind of stuff you think of when you talk about 'operators'.  I remember this popping up when I jumped ship federally, and thought 'wow this could be neat'.  However when I looked at the actual terms of the job, its a huge 'what kind of ball of fuck is this shit?'  Its an annually renewable position, renewable up to five years, but no longer than that. Why would they have these wacky terms?

Because State is facing a problem it doesn't want to acknowledge in that it is horribly overstretched security wise, but its high muckety mucks in DC's Imperial City don't want to get involved with mercenary scum.  At least, that's how they see the various military contractors around the world.  However, there's a definite need for those kind of services, even in light of all the 'negative press' in regards to private military contractors.  State, like most of the government, is highly sensitive to bad press.  So sensitive, it affects their judgement when they should be thinking like grown ups instead of trying to channel their Diversity Awareness bullshit.

Instead of taking the SPS position and making it part of State and acknowledging that the world is messy and ugly, they've instead made an overture to the contractors, but made sure to include language so that they never ever ever EVER start thinking that they're good enough to call themselves part of State permanently.  That's for the 'right' kind of people, don't you know. However, people who are looking for a solid career choice aren't going to go for this half in-half out nonsense State has jury-rigged.  You're going to get the kind of guys who are looking to make some fast cash, not that there's anything wrong with that.

This entire security mess is a result of State refusing to get its hands dirty and acknowledge reality, but the 'political considerations' of a White House that was busy blowing its horn about the death of al-Qaeda and the Arab Spring of awesome democracy makes upping security look bad.  How can you say that Libya is awesome and ready for democracy when you're fortifying your diplomatic staff? Well apparently you can't, but instead of saying 'Woah woah we need to take our time here' like grownups would, the more important thing was to talk about fucking democracy, the rule of the mob.

God bless those security contractors for how they held off that mob, but there's only so much a few men could do.  It was the mortar that killed them, if I recall correctly. However, the tragedy is that if a few more grownups had been in charge of State, and had the balls to say 'we need more security than Italy needs Chevy Volts', maybe things would have been different.  Right now its circle the wagons for the Left to protect their chocolate messiah, and fuck the idea that someone needs to be held accountable.

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