Diplomat's Shield: Diplomatic Security in Today's World, Hearing Before the Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia Subcommittee of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, First Session, December 9, 2009 [open pdf - 3MB]
From the opening statement of Daniel K. Akaka: "Today's hearing, 'The Diplomat's Shield: Diplomatic Security in Today's World,' will examine the results of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) review of the Department of State's Diplomatic Security Bureau, which provides security for the State Department worldwide so our diplomats can advance U.S. interests. Since the terrorist bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Diplomatic Security's (DS) responsibilities have grown and evolved. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan further increase the challenges of keeping our diplomats safe. [...] Over the last decade, DS's budget has increased almost 10-fold, to about $2 billion, and its direct-hire staff has doubled. Unfortunately, these extra resources have not guaranteed DS's readiness. In particular, I have concerns in three areas that I hope will be addressed today. First, the State Department must address the ongoing staffing challenges. [...] Second, the State Department must better manage the tension between fulfilling its diplomatic operations and providing strong security. Today, State Department employees serve in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other posts where they would have previously been required to evacuate. [...] Finally, I want to emphasize the need for improved strategic planning efforts within DS. I support GAO's recommendation for the State Department to conduct a strategic review of Diplomatic Security. The Department has already stated that DS will benefit from the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. I am looking forward to hearing more about this from our State Department witness and how strategic planning for DS can become a part of its culture." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Daniel K. Akaka, George V. Voinovich, Eric J. Boswell, Jess T. Ford, Ronald E. Neumann, and Susan R. Johnson.
S. Hrg. 111-461; Senate Hearing 111-461
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html