State Sends in Marines; Lawmakers, Experts Doubt They Will Be Enough

Experts doubt more military guards can prevent terrorist attacks.

Rebels or terrorists? Fighters clean their weapons and check ammunition on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Nov. 14, 2012.

Syrian Rebels clean their weapons and check ammunition on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria.

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[OPINION: Hillary Clinton Must Answer for Benghazi]

The bureau is not currently equipped to address their shortfalls, Government Accountability Office representative Michael Courts told Congress in November.

GAO has recommended since 2009 that top State officials take a hard look at the limited resources at Diplomatic Security, whose culture is not to argue but to "salute smartly and continue to fulfill the mission whether it has the resources it needs or not."

This concern is echoed in the Advisory Review Board report's recommendations, citing a positive first step in the newly created Diplomatic Security assistant secretary position for High Threat Posts. This position will focus on diplomatic facilities in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen.

Little said on Wednesday the Pentagon is "working closely with the State Department to define what kind of support going forward the U.S. military might be able to provide for the protection of diplomatic installations around the world."

"We haven't gotten to specifics yet, but we stand ready to work closely with the State Department to, wherever we can, support security at diplomatic compounds," he said, adding this could require money, resources and personnel. "That's something we're going to have to take a close look at. And we're in the midst of that analysis right now."

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  • Paul D. Shinkman is a national security reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at pshinkman@usnews.com.