Securing U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel Abroad: Legislative and Executive Branch Initiatives [December 23, 2014]   [open pdf - 411KB]

"The September 11, 2012, attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, prompted sustained congressional attention on the specific circumstances of the events in question, as well as broader questions regarding how U.S. diplomatic personnel and facilities abroad are secured. Ensuring that the Department of State is better prepared for the possibility of similar attacks in the future has been a central congressional concern. The Department of State undertook a number of measures in response to the attack, including immediate steps to bolster security at posts around the world; an investigation of the incident through an Accountability Review Board; and longer-term measures implementing the board's recommendations, including requests for significantly greater funding than in recent years. Congress has conducted oversight through investigations by a number of committees and through a number of hearings. The House of Representatives voted to create a select committee on the Benghazi attack on May 8, 2014; the committee held its first hearing on September 17, 2014. Members have also put forward legislative proposals on issues ranging from the composition of Accountability Review Boards to procedures for awarding local security guard force contracts. In the 113th Congress, two wide-ranging bills incorporating many of these areas have been considered: H.R. 2848, the Department of State Operations and Embassy Security Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2014, and S. 1386, the Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty Embassy Security, Threat Mitigation, and Personnel Protection Act of 2013."

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CRS Report for Congress, R43195
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