Clinton briefed on troop locations in case of trouble at diplomatic missions
November 18th, 2012
10:18 AM ET

Clinton briefed on troop locations in case of trouble at diplomatic missions

By Jill Dougherty

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is coordinating with the U. S. Defense Department to monitor where forces are deployed in case they are needed to quickly come to the defense of U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world.

A senior State Department official told reporters traveling with Clinton in Southeast Asia that she "has been getting regular briefings from the assistant to the chairman, a three-star admiral who travels with us ... who she's tasked with staying on top of where relevant forces are positioned to be able to come to the aid of our State Department facilities if that is ever required."

The move comes in the midst of congressional hearings that have criticized the Obama administration for not moving quickly enough to rescue the American ambassador to Libya and other U.S. personnel who were killed in the September 11 assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

The official said the secretary is "focused on ensuring the safety and security of American diplomatic missions overseas, particularly in the region." Three investigations into the Benghazi attack currently are under way: an FBI investigation, a congressional investigation and a State Department Accountability Review Board.

The official also said that Clinton, during her trip, is consulting with the White House National Security Council on events in Gaza and is continuing to talk by telephone with her foreign counterparts, coordinating her calls with those made by President Barack Obama.

"She be making further calls today to the Qatari Prime Minister-Foreign Minister (same person), Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, and has spoken with Foreign Minister (Avigdor) Lieberman in Israel, twice with Egyptian Foreign Minister (Mohamed Kamel) Amr, and with King Abdullah of Jordan."

The official said the secretary and other U.S. officials "are working overtime to try to have the other key regional actors bring their influence to bear to allow the situation to de-escalate."

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Yakimo

    The United States of America is a great nation on Planet Earth.I am not an American citizen,but my love for the USA will remain intakt.I just came back from the States a week ago.The enemies of America are numerous because people around the world are envious and so jealous of the achievments and prosperity of that great nation.Those poor and primitive radical moslems can in no way kill the American dream.America stands for democracy,and freedom for all nations and people of the world.It saddens me to hear and read in the news that a group of insane criminals attacked the Embassy of the great United States in Libya and killed It's ambassador and other US citizens.Such animals if caught should be made to pay a very heavy price for their criminal acts.God will always bless the People of the greatest nation on Earth,and keep the American Flag aloft.

    November 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  2. Araminta Ross

    Sec Clinton,
    I have the 1st "Hillary 2016" bumper sticker affixed to my car. Get yourself a good rest and ya'll come back now you hear. Think about General Powell......it would be a match made in heaven.

    I'm going to send you a 'Thank You' card when you go because you desrve to hear how I really feel. BIG PROPS, girlfriend!

    November 19, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
  3. Sinbad

    The embassies of most nations are quite open affairs, you just walk in talk to someone at a counter, much like an insurance office.

    A US embassy is like Fort Knox, marines with weapons etc, makes you think.

    November 19, 2012 at 4:43 am | Reply
  4. Joe

    "Just now thinking about a response force"? "Too little too late"? Would you rather them do nothing? I see your point that someone should have thought of this contingency before the embassy was attacked. However, planning for contingencies with the resources available ultimately limits an agency to mitigating only those contingencies that are most likely. Would you like to see them do more? You can't put a battalion at every embassy, nor is that desired by the State Department or the Defence Department. So, where is the middle ground? Is an attack like that on the embassy in Libya now a likely contingency? Maybe, maybe not: I'm not fully read in on the current local threats at each location. Doubtless, both departments are, and have been, considering their options. Unfortunately for all of us on the outside, not every move deserves an article on CNN.com.

    November 19, 2012 at 3:46 am | Reply
  5. Hsbn Vic

    Well, Lives have already been lost in a way i think the US State Department and intelligence agencies didn't forsee. This plan/development might prove beneficial in future although people should understand the complexities and dynamics of planning for deranged bloodthirsty religious fanatics who operate alone or in inpenetrable small groups always looking for opportunistic strikes like it seems in the Benghazi case. A word of caution to those who call Americans the great devil, no Man is a devil, even those killer islamists are not devils, they are lost souls. Finally i'm hopefull because i heard there was a backlash against the perpertrators of the Benghazi murderers by some Libyans.

    November 19, 2012 at 3:11 am | Reply
  6. don3149

    Wow, they are just now thinking about a response force for diplomatic locations? What do we pay these people to do?

    November 19, 2012 at 2:04 am | Reply
  7. Rex Remes

    Isn't this kinda like ... too little too late?

    November 19, 2012 at 12:26 am | Reply

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