I am currently working with the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) on updating a book on “Diplomacy in a Dangerous World.” To that end, I am seeking stories from Foreign Service Officers (active and retired), their families, former Marine Security Guards, and other people who have served in U.S. diplomatic establishments abroad regarding the sometimes hazardous situations American diplomats face on a daily basis as they perform their vital missions.
The working title of the book I plan to write is “In the Line of Fire: American Diplomacy in a Dangerous World.” I plan to structure it as follows:
|[video] U.S. Africa Command civilian deputy to the commander stresses diplomacy at U.S. Army Africa seminar (Photo credit: US Army Africa)|
1. Embassies under attack: stories of attacks on diplomatic establishments from the point of view of those who were inside the facilities.
2. Off-duty danger: stories of hazardous situations faced by our diplomats in their countries of assignment even when not on duty.
3. Not all danger is physical: in addition to the dangers of physical attack, our diplomats face moral, ethical, and emotional dilemmas continually. I would like to include a section in the book on the non-physical crises these people deal with.
4. The ultimate sacrifice: no story of the dangers our diplomatic personnel face would be complete without a tribute to those who have lost their lives while serving abroad.
If you have a story that you’d like to share, or you know of someone who has, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can either provide a brief synopsis of the story, including the names of those involved, or the story itself either in the body of or as an attachment to your email. If you have clear digital images, and the rights to their distribution, I would also be happy to look at them.
Most people in the U.S. are unaware of the dangers our diplomats face, except on those occasions when something terrible happens and it appears in the press. I hope, through this book, to fill in the blanks and show that it’s not just the incidents like the terrible tragedy at Benghazi, but that it is a part of the everyday life of an American diplomat.