“Having been assigned to high threat posts and deployments for over eight years, I have seen the strengths and weaknesses inherent with using contractors versus agents. However, as in the case of Iraq, I have also seen the problems with using agents/contractors versus military protection details. Mismanagment and a lack of clear goals, coupled with the fact that the short length of the tour, inhibits any institutional knowledge from being generated. I would also point out that I feel many of DS's reactions and "solutions" to the problems have been short sighted and of a "knee jerk" variety. Often, it would seem that DS is reactionary in their thinking versus being proactive. It would appear that the problems of "now" are receieving the majority of the Department's attention, when some time and planning should be focused on what issues are going to be faced in the future. Many of the individuals making the decisions are from a generation that never faced situations like those that are currently threatening our missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sadly, I think that the situation will get worse before it gets better. The nature of protection details are primarily reactionary but the planning that goes into managing these programs needs to be forward thinking.”
Diplomatic Security Agent #9
—p.104 Should the U.S. Department of State Continue to Use Private Security Contractors to Protect U.S. Diplomats?
June 2008 │140 pages PDF
By Special Agent Derek Dela-Cruz
(Master of Military Art and Science, Fort Leavenworth, KS)