Publicado el 10-12-2012
Security in U.S. Embassies
and Consulates in the
Vice Presidential Debate
On the night of Thursday, October 11th, a Vice Presidential debate was held between Vice President Joe Biden and the Republican candidate to the vice presidency, Paul Ryan. The debate was interesting because it engaged two very different men from two different generations. Biden represented experience and Ryan youth and the future.
The Vice President tried, and succeeded, to offer an image totally different from that of President Obama in the first presidential debate. Biden was on the offensive from the beginning, he looked straight into the camera when he wanted to emphasize a point and he looked Ryan in the eye. Biden has always been a good debater.
Ryan, on his part, did well answering every question in detail. He had only one bad moment when Biden said that he had two letters from him asking for stimulus money for his state, although the Republicans have decried Obama’s stimulus program to save the economy.
Vice President Biden did not explain what the specific plans of President Obama are to improve the country’s economy. He just attacked Romney and Ryan’s plans.
A difficult point to explain by the Administration, and which was questioned was that of security for the Embassy and consulate in Benghazi. Biden said that the government had not been asked for more security, something that has been refuted in the testimonies before a House Committee that is looking into the case. A high official of the State Department admitted that they were asked for more security but that it was not given because they were counting on local Libyan forces. The Department’s norm has been to use local forces around the world to help with the security of U.S. diplomats. And this is a serious mistake.
Who came up with the idea to use local security forces in countries that until yesterday, so to speak, have been our enemies, in Muslim countries or in countries in transition after a revolution? An embassy in France, England or Colombia, to mention only three countries, that have been historic allies of the U.S., countries with Western values, is not the same as an Embassy in Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. The lack of security in Benghazi was a failure of the Obama Administration and this can not be denied.
We will hear more about this in the Presidential Debate of October 16th which will deal only with foreign policy.