The Inman Report
Report of the Secretary of State's
Advisory Panel on Overseas Security





The Department's security mission and the organizations to carry it out have evolved largely in reaction to perceived threats and related needs. Actual response usually has been somewhat ahead of the institutional curve but organizational units have been established, almost on a patchwork basis, to meet at least the major hazards and added responsibilities.

The Office of Security and security officers abroad have long been involved in the protection of our buildings, classified information, and personnel against the intelligence threat and, as physical violence became more common, from that hazard as well. For years, the Office of Foreign Buildings and the Office of Communications had primary responsibilities only remotely concerned with physical security. AS hazards of hostile intelligence penetration, mob violence, and civil disorder grew, each office had to give greater attention to such matters as improved physical standards for communications centers in our posts abroad, enhanced radio capabilities, especially for emergency communications, and similar needs.

In 1973, a high-level office was established to deal specifically with issues of counter-terrorism, including policy formulation. This office became the Office for Combating Terrorism in 1976, and more recently was given responsibility for emergency action planning, which for years had been lodged elsewhere in the Department. The office is now known as the Office for Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Planning.

In 1980, another unit was established to manage the massive Security Enhancement Program initiated that year to effect substantial physical security improvements against mob violence at our most vulnerable posts. Known as the Special Projects and Liaison Staff, it reported directly to the Assistant Secretary for Administration, while coordinating with the other organizational units dealing with such matters. That office recently was abolished as a separate unit, and its functions were absorbed into the Office of Security and the several other organizations which initially had contributed to its staff.

Between 1973 and 1984 four separate requests for funds for special security programs were approved by the Congress.

The Public Access Control Program. In response to the growing number and intensity of terrorist attacks against American Foreign Service missions in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a counterterrorism program was conceived and justified to Congress in 1973.- The program was intended to counter the increasing threat of Embassy takeovers, such as that by a terrorist group at Kuala Lumpur in 1975, and was programmed initially for the posts of highest risk. It was designed initially to improve public access controls at entrances, lobbies and areas where large numbers of the public transacted business at our missions, such as visa operations. During Fiscal Years 1980 through 1985, $136.3 million was appropriated for the Public Access Control program.

The Security Enhancement Program. With the violent mob assaults on our embassies at Teheran, Islamabad and Tripoli in late 1979 and the demonstrated inability or unwillingness of some foreign governments to provide effective protection to our missions abroad, it was necessary to initiate major improvements at a number of posts to increase security against this threat. The Security Enhancement Program was established to deal with thin escalating threat. The objective was to provide better protection to mission personnel, U.S. Government property, and classified information at those posts deemed most vulnerable to uncontrolled mob violence. During Fiscal Years 1980 through 1985, S136.3 million was appropriated for this program.

The Special Projects and Liaison Staff, reporting directly to the Assistant Secretary for Administration, was established to manage the program. Teams of experts on the full range of security needs were sent abroad to survey posts and to recommend the necessary improvements. The Bureau of Administration's Offices of Foreign Buildings, Communications, Security, and Foreign Affairs Information Management all participated in this effort.

The 1982 Security Supplemental. In response to a series of kidnapping and assassination attempts against United States military and diplomatic officials in Europe, the Congress, in 1982, approved a supplemental budget primarily for security improvements at the European posts. The funds, which totaled $48.9 million, were intended to cover an additional 40 public access control projects ($13 million); additional protective equipment for officials abroad and "flyaway" packages for rapid-response security support personnel and equipment to cope with specific security crises ($10 million); additional radio's ($3.5 million); additional physical security improvements administered by the Office of Foreign Buildings ($17.7 million); and funds to contract for needed personnel investigations thus freeing as many as 32 security officers for protective security assignments ($4.2 million).

FY-1985 Security Supplemental. In September 1984, after a series of damaging suicide vehicle bombings against United States installations in the Middle East culminated with the second attack against the Embassy at Beirut, the Department submitted a request for $366 million and 247 additional positions. The appropriation was requested in two stages, with $110 million immediately and the remainder to be handled as a supplemental budget request in January 1985. The funds are intended for three basic objectives: strengthening existing programs, construction of new embassies to replace those that cannot be adequately strengthened, and necessary research and development. The legislation also included funds for the first reward program for information on terrorism. The Congress has approved the $110 million, and the President has signed it into law. The second part of the request currently is pending.

The Department's security organization today consists of almost 800 employees assigned to half a dozen different units plus an additional 1,200 Marines and 115 U.S. Navy Seabees. Substantial increases in all three categories have been requested. Most of the security responsibilities are centralized in the Department's Office of Security, an element of the Bureau of Administration and Security. Some functions, however, are entrusted to the Office of Communications, the Office of Foreign Buildings, and the Informations Systems Security Staff, all within the Bureau of Administration and Security, and, as noted above, to the Office for Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Planning, reporting to the Under Secretary for Management. The Bureau of Intelligence and Research, reporting directly to the Secretary, also has responsibilities regarding terrorism. The total security budget, $129 million in 1984, is expected to triple in the next year or so.

The somewhat haphazard growth in the Department's response to terrorism, while not unreasonable, still has not produced effective results. Moreover, the resources currently devoted to all security related functions have now reached a level that it makes sense to review where we are and where we expect to go, and then to structure an organization calculated to achieve those goals.

The Office of Security

The Office of Security, the principal organization involved in security operations, has approximately 450 professional security officers divided roughly a third each among its headquarters in Washington, nine field offices throughout the United States, and the American missions abroad. Those agents assigned to the field offices perform two major functions, protection of visiting foreign dignitaries and investigations, background investigations for security clearance as well as certain criminal investigations of primary concern to the Department of State.The officers abroad perform a full range of security services, including physical security inspections, training of mission personnel and dependents in security procedures, personnel and other investigations, contingency planning, liaison with local police and security authorities, supervision of guards, and technical penetration counter- measures programs. By formal agreement the officers abroad also perform security services for AID, USIA and most of the other foreign affairs agencies.The 150 or so officers are assigned to about 80 of the 262 foreign service posts. Most serve several posts, hence are known as Regional Security Officers. Those posts without a Regional Security Officer designate some other officer, customarily the Administrative Officer, to serve as a nonprofessional Post Security Officer.

New agents are appointed at the junior officer level, Foreign Service Specialist Class 7 (roughly equivalent to grade GS-7 in the Civil Service). They must acquire tenure within four years by earning the recommendation of an independent tenuring board. A "career ladder" concept permits administrative promotion, subject to time in class and satisfactory performance, to the grade of Foreign Service Specialist,-Class 4 (about GS-ll). Promotion to the journeyman level, Specialist Class 3 (about the GS-12 level), depends upon recommendation by an independent Foreign Service Selection Board. After that, promotions depend on available "headroom" and recommendation by Selection Boards using "precepts". or criteria developed by the Department's Office of Personnel.

Professional security officers begin their careers with two or three tours of duty in the United States, usually in field offices with occasional assignments to the headquarters staff, after which they are sent abroad for two or more tours. They then return to the United States. The basic career pattern is that all are expected to be completely mobile, eventually able to serve in any of the major areas of activity. Training consists of 15 weeks of instruction for new agents, given by Office of Security instructors in both Washington and at the combined Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at Glynco, Georgia. A 10 week course of instruction is also offered to those officers preparing for service abroad. Other instruction consists of quarterly firearms requalification, language instruction, as appropriate, and occasional specialized seminars and refresher courses.

The Office for Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Planning

The second major organization dealing with terrorism is the Office for Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Planning. It is headed by an officer of Ambassadorial rank who reports directly to the Under Secretary for Management. Its principal functions include developing and recommending policies to counter international terrorism as it may affect U.S. interests and personnel abroad and serving as the principal U.S. point of contact with foreign governments on terrorism matters, both bilaterally and multilaterally. The Director has primary operational responsibility in the event of a terrorist incident abroad involving U.S. citizens or other interests. He chairs the National Security Council's Interdepartmental Group on Terrorism (IG/T) and also sits on the Terrorism Incident Working Group (TIWG) chaired by a National Security Council staff member.

Although primarily a policy shaping office, its duties since its predecessor's establishment in the early 1970s have evolved over time to include more and more operational responsibilities. Currently the Office monitors intelligence reports concerning terrorism to assure that appropriate alerts are disseminated. This office manages the Anti-Terrorism Training Assistance program and recently was given responsibility for the emergency action plan program, including monitoring post compliance with contingency planning requirements. It has developed an impressive emergency action simulation exercise program. Aside from the mix of policy and operational responsibilities, the most obvious problem confronting the office is a serious lack of personnel adequate to give the various functions, such as the simulation program, the attention they deserve. The Panel understands there may have been some difficulty attracting highly qualified Foreign Service Officers to the unit due to a perception, however misguided, that such duty is not "career enhancing."

The diplomatic functions of this office essentially are of a political nature and should be carried out under the general direction of the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. Clearly there is an urgent need for a major and sustained diplomatic effort if this nation is to succeed in its goal of countering international terrorism. The Panel concludes that logic dictates the separation of the substantive diplomatic and policy activities from those of an operational nature. By placing each within a more compatible organizational framework, the effectiveness of each function is enhanced.

Other Departmental Offices with a Security Role

The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) conducts liaison with the Intelligence Community for the Department of State, represents it on various interdepartmental intelligence groups, and directs research and analysis on terrorism as well as other matters. Additionally, in July 1984, INR established a terrorism section of the regular INR watch to maintain continuous monitoring of all terrorist activity on a worldwide basis, to ensure rapid briefing and distribution of intelligence materials, and to maintain continuous liaison on terrorism with other Intelligence Community agencies. This watch is staffed 24 hours a day by officers who maintain continuous coverage of terrorist developments and who are responsible for alerting the Office of Security, the Office for Combating Terrorism and Emergency Planning, and other offices to terrorism intelligence.

Other offices of the Department of State with a significant role in security policies and programs include the Office of Foreign Buildings with major responsibilities regarding physical security of official premises abroad, the Office of Communications which is responsible for communications security and the Diplomatic Courier Service, the five regional bureaus, and the overseas posts themselves. Each of these elements controls resources (both personnel and funding) that are used to support and carry out various security programs overseas.

Summary of Recent Studies, Inspections, and Audits

In its deliberations the Panel reviewed eight major studies of the Department's security program that were done in the past three years. They ranged from audits by the General Accounting Office to a comprehensive examination by the Department's Inspector General, and included one study by an ad hoc team of highly qualified Foreign Service Officers, one by a House subcommittee staff and two by an outside management consultant. Although some limited their attention to certain aspects of the security program, all seemed in general agreement on several points. The Panel's own interviews with various officials in Washington and at posts abroad confirm the consensus represented by the following points:

- perceptions by posts abroad, by others within the Department of State and by outside agencies that there is confusion in (1) the organizational structure intended to carry out the Department's security and counter-terrorism responsibilities, (2) funding for security needs, (3) security standards, especially when successive survey teams visiting posts abroad make contradictory recommendations, and (4) the whole intelligence analysis and alerting procedure;

- inordinate delays in effecting physical security improvements;

- unnecessary and time-consuming disagreements concerning physical security improvements;

- difficulty in tracking security costs;

- losing reasonable budget requests due to inadequate justification;

- the rather frequent recommendation that internal communications be improved, including suggestions that certain supervisors make greater efforts to communicate with their staffs;

- the perception among certain security officers that the investigative and protective functions are in hostile competition for manpower resources;

- officer "burnout" and other symptoms of inadequate attention to staffing needs, including "gyrating" recruitment cycles for new officer personnel, which place incredible strains on the recruitment and training processes;

- seriously insufficient training; and

-- a narrow perception of mission, as exemplified by failure to provide timely notice of threat information relating to personnel or facilities of AID and USIA, and an apparent inability on State's part to provide adequate personal communications equipment to USIA personnel abroad (AID manages its own program).

Summary of Problems

The Panel has concluded that the principal reasons for organizational ineffectiveness in the Department's security programs are dispersion of responsibility, a dramatically increasing workload, gross understaffing with a consequent inability to train properly, and a general loss of control over resources and priorities.


The State Department's organization and the chain of command to cope with the myriad security problems, old, new, and emerging, as in the case of its physical structures, were not designed to meet threats which have evolved. As a result, the organization and chain of command have not met the test of today's problems and may not adequately cope with new problems as they emerge.

Overall organization for security activities has become complicated by the proliferation of special offices and separate budgets for specific programs. As the threat has grown, the budgets and the staffs also have grown, but never sufficiently to keep pace with the increasing clamor for material, services, and professional attention. The results have been overlapping and confusing responsibility and a series of bureaucratic battles.

Dignitary protection, which responds to workload demands largely beyond the control of the Department or the Office of Security, necessarily requires a higher priority than investigative work. The protective workload is somewhat unpredictable. While difficult, it is not impossible to anticipate protective demands and to staff for them, which the Office of Security has attempted to do. One principal problem is that the demand tends to be rather cyclical and becomes enormous at times, such as when the United Nations' annual General Assembly attracts many foreign ministers to the United States. A second major problem is a high vacancy rate among security agents. For the entire Office of Security this amounted to about twelve percent in 1984, but that figure tells only a small part of the story. The principal burden of the shortfall was felt in the field offices, which provide manpower for investigations and protection of visiting dignitaries. For several years, no new recruits were brought on board, in spite of increasing vacancy rates. As recently as the Fall of 1984, the field offices suffered roughly a 16 percent vacancy rate. The Department and the Office of Security in 1984 began to hire again but recovery will be slow. At present, the rate is about 10 percent. For a fuller appreciation of the significance of this chronic understaffing, it should be understood that the Panel believes the current field office complement of agents should be more than doubled to 395 to permit the Office of Security to meet its current protective and investigative responsibilities.

Understaffing has meant the agents have had to work longer hours with inadequate relief, enduring unusual stress and potentially compromising the safety of those they are assigned to protect.

The most significant victim of the chronic understaffing has been the training program. Training clearly is critical to an organization as dispersed geographically and functionally as the Office of Security. Inadequate training has contributed to certain operational deficiencies that evoke negative perceptions among the agencies performing comparable missions and even in the eyes of the Office's principal constituency, the Foreign Service. The value of training and experience-building career assignments should be obvious to all. Training should be considered a significant part of the work "product" and calculated directly into staffing needs.

There are major structural weaknesses within the Office of Security and in its relationship to other parts of the Department as well as to other agencies performing similar or related duties. Its position within the hierarchy of the Department of State has created a perception among other security and law enforcement agencies that the Department does not take its security responsibilities very seriously. This, in turn, may well account for what appears to be a lack of cooperation by those agencies with the Department's security officials. Further, the organization has little, if any, control over the resources, personnel as well as funds, needed to carry out its responsibilities and it has almost no control over the priorities relating to either.


The Panel concluded that there must be a substantial re-alignment of the Department's security responsibilities. Accordingly, the Panel offers the following recommendations that are intended to provide a disciplined, well-informed, confident and resourceful professional corps of officers to deal with the unique challenges of the next decade. If carried through, these improvements should instill a sense of pride and esprit de corps among these officers, without insulating them from those they serve and without losing sight of the fact that sound security practices are but the means to an effective foreign policy


Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security

The Department should establish an Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security. He or she will be the principal officer of a new Diplomatic Security Service and should report to the Under Secretary for Management. The Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security, ideally, should be of chief of mission stature and should have strong management experience. He or she should be an effective link between the new service and its principal constituencies, the Department and the Foreign Service. The Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security should chair the Inter-Departmental Group on Terrorism and represent the Department on other appropriate committees. The emergency action planning program, the simulation exercise program, and the Anti-Terrorism Assistance program, all operational functions, should be attached to the Assistant Secretary's office.

Diplomatic Security Service

The Department should establish a Diplomatic Security Service to include the functions now performed by the Office of Security plus certain additional functions as discussed below. Principal functions should include the following:

Security operations, foreign and domestic, including those now performed by the Office of Security, plus certain operations now performed elsewhere, such as diplomatic couriers (see below). Increase emphasis on security inspections of official premises abroad (physical surveys), with greater attention to tactical vulnerabilities from an assailant's perspective, and make greater use of joint surveys with other agency security specialists where appropriate.

Engineering services, to include the present technical security programs of the Office of Security, with increased emphasis on a re-vitalized countermeasures program, plus certain functions now lodged elsewhere, such as those responsibilities of the Office of Communications dealing with the radio program for the protective security officers in the United States as well as the personal security radios used at posts abroad. The Engineering Services unit should continue to manage its other current programs, including those dealing with intrusion alarms and armored cars.

Investigations, including personnel security clearance, malfeasance, passport fraud, and other criminal investigations of concern to the Department. While the FBI or other agencies could conduct the criminal investigations, the Panel is persuaded that no agency outside the Department will give many of these cases the priority attention the Department believes is required. The Department's agents have conducted these inquiries for decades and, although additional training is warranted, they have the basic skills and authority to continue. Due to the increasingly violent nature of passport law violators, a phenomenon of recent years, the Department's agents should be granted the legal authority to serve warrants, to arrest, and to carry firearms while conducting these criminal investigations. Legislation to this end is now pending in the Congress. The agents now carry firearms only while protecting dignitaries. They have comprehensive written standards and effective training programs governing the use of firearms.

Protection and dignitaries, including the Secretary of State, visiting foreign dignitaries, and resident foreign missions. The Secret Service and the Treasury Department have indicated at this time they would strongly resist any effort to have them assume protective responsibility for foreign visitors other than Chiefs of State, Heads of Government, and others specifically designated by the President. To preserve important foreign policy interests and to assure the United States fulfills its international obligations in these matters, the Department must continue to assure the appropriate protection of all visiting foreign officials and resident diplomats. The Department currently has the statutory authority to do so but has not funded and staffed the program adequately. The level of professional expertise of its protective agents needs substantial improvement. A major effort is required to improve the quality of this program, and recommendations to this end are included elsewhere in this report.

Management services, to include personnel management, budget and fiscal, and procurement specialists, as well as an in-house automated data processing system, and an enhanced training staff. The Diplomatic Security Service must be granted more effective control over its resources, including greater flexibility in setting and controlling priorities. It -should manage its own personnel system, conforming with Departmental and Federal Government personnel policies. It should prepare, justify, and defend its own budget and manage its own financial resources under the guidance of the Department's Comptroller, who must be involved in the process. It must have the ability to control the priorities of its logistical requests.

The procurement staff, whether located within the Diplomatic Security Service or in the Department's present procurement office, should be adequate in numbers and skill to handle the task. The Panel is aware that Departmental inspections in 1979, and again in 1983, recommended increases in the staff of the procurement office's contract branch. The Department should give this matter priority attention to assure that staffing deficiencies cannot impair the timely provision of critical security equipment and improvements. If the staffing needs cannot be met adequately, the Diplomatic Security Service should be granted authority to maintain its own procurement program, with technical advice provided by a procurement specialist detailed to the Diplomatic Security Service.

A program information staff must maintain data concerning workload and the use of manpower, costs, the status of such projects as security surveys, major security construction or retrofits, emergency plans, the status of investigations, and similar data required by the security managers, including those preparing and justifying budget requests. The maintenance of adequate workload data is so critical to the budget process that a senior officer of the Office of the Comptroller should be detailed to work with the Diplomatic Security Service to identify data to be maintained and to aid in developing procedures to assure that such data is acquired and used effectively.

Director of the Diplomatic Security Service

The Director of the new organization should be professionally qualified both in security or law enforcement and in management, and should be selected by the Secretary of State. The position should be open to any qualified person, including those from the Senior Foreign Service or the Senior Executive Service. He or she should serve at the Secretary's pleasure.

Diplomatic Courier Service

The Diplomatic Courier Service, currently under the Office of Communications, is essentially a security service with a long and proud tradition. Always of critical importance to the integrity of the Department's non-electronic communications with the posts abroad, it has taken on added security significance in the light of increased activity by the hostile intelligence services. It should be situated in a closer relationship with the Diplomatic Security Service in order that the officers of both can benefit from the feedback in information concerning foreign intelligence penetration efforts. It is also appropriate that it be so established as to retain its historical identity. Courier staffing should be increased to permit two couriers for each run in Eastern Europe or other high threat areas or on any run involving more than a minimum load that can be transported securely by one person.


The Diplomatic Security Service must embark on a much more ambitious and consistent training program. All training requirements should be identified, including the various basic programs, language training and Security Attaché training for officers going abroad, in-service and refresher courses, and other short-term courses for all.

Allowing for variations in possible training needs, the Panel believes that as much as 12 to 15 percent of a security agent's time, on the average, should be devoted to training. Moreover, there is a substantial body of case law imposing liability on governmental agencies for the misfeasance or nonfeasance of personnel who have not been adequately trained. Training time should be factored into the calculations of staffing needs.

The Diplomatic Security Service must give much greater attention to the publication of professional materials for the training of its agents. If the concept of complete mobility of assignment is accepted, there is all the more reason that appropriate instructional material, including lessons learned the hard way, be available to all. Given the wide availability of computers and video recorders, "correspondence" type courses for those not in the Washington area should be prepared. Other forms of training should include field exercises and simulations.

Specific training requirements should be established as prerequisites for certain assignments and for promotion to certain grade levels. Instructors should be trained as such, for example, and no one should be promoted above the journeyman level without having appropriate supervisory or management training. Those aspiring to senior levels of responsibility should have extensive management training.

Managerial development

These security programs have grown so large in scope, with massive commitments of personnel and money, and requiring such extensive coordination with a multitude of other Federal agencies, that a special effort is required to impart state-of the-art managerial skills to those now serving as division chiefs or likely to do so in the near future. Greater use should be made of the management training opportunities currently available through the Foreign Service Institute and other training programs of the Federal Government.

Staffing and recruitment

The Diplomatic Security Service should ascertain its total staffing needs, taking into consideration such factors as the need for full staffing of certain positions abroad, the availability of contractor back-up, training requirements, and the anticipated rate of departures for whatever reason, including retirements. It should then maintain a recruitment program calculated to fill its staffing needs on a steady basis, avoiding the wildly fluctuating cycles of vacancies and recruitment that have characterized the past few years.

The Diplomatic Security Service should continue the current practice of recruiting new agents through the Department's Board of Examiners, with substantial participation by the Diplomatic Security Service in both preparation of the examining process and as examiners. From time to time qualified officials of the Office of Personnel, with participation of the Diplomatic Security Service, should validate the recruitment standards and criteria to ascertain whether they, in fact, produce the qualities critical to success in the security specialty. A comprehensive validation procedure should also include "exit" interviews with agents and officers who leave the Diplomatic Security Service for whatever reason prior to retirement. These interviews should be designed to reveal any significant problems in the personnel system as applied to the Diplomatic Security Service

Career structure

Career category


The Secretary should establish a separate career category identified as Foreign Service Special Agent. The grade structure and the retirement system should continue to conform to those of the present Foreign Service specialist category. With a few exceptions for identified specialties such as intelligence analysts, all agents and officers, including the Diplomatic Couriers, should be in this single system, whether serving in the United States or abroad. Mobility is paramount, as is the ability of the Assistant Secretary and the Director, to select their own senior officers. All management positions, i.e., division or staff chief and above, other than the administrative specialists to be assigned to the management services element of the Diplomatic Security Service, should be in this system. It is vital that substantially all officers compete within the same program.

Career Pattern

The present practice of recruiting security agents to serve initially in the dual function of dignitary protection and investigations should be retained. The officers to be assigned abroad should be drawn from the pool of domestic agents who have served two or three tours in the United States and who have met certain training and other prerequisites to be established, and who have been recommended for foreign duty by a panel convened for that purpose by the Director of the Diplomatic Security Service.


The Diplomatic Security Service should have the authority to assign personnel, whether within the United States or abroad, as the needs of the service and the skills and qualities of the individual officers demand. Subject to the constraints of current law and Departmental policies, the Director should have the authority to break or curtail assignments for the needs of the service.


A performance rating procedure and form specifically tailored to the needs of the security program should be developed. Even though security personnel may follow the same grade system used by other Foreign Service personnel, their journeyman, mid-level and senior levels, peak at grades and with requisite skills and qualities different from those of other functions and specialties. The recruitment criteria (known as ASAP's, a knowledge, skills, abilities and personal characteristics) designed for officers up to the journeyman, mid-level, should be reviewed and evaluated against the needs of management level security officers, and revised as needed for the higher grades.

Training and experience prerequisites should be established for various grade levels and assignments, including the tenure threshold, supervisory assignments, mid-level, and senior management positions, especially at the Class 1 level.

The tenuring process should be made a more rigorous testing procedure, and only those agents whose records demonstrate clear potential for success should be granted tenure.

Diplomatic Security Service officers detailed to other offices within the Department or to other agencies and Security Attaches abroad should be rated by those offices and agencies, following the Department's current procedures in this regard, but the Diplomatic Security Service should provide input using specially designed rating forms covering professional skills.

Eligibility for promotion to the specified grade levels should be expanded beyond the single time in class criterion used now to include these prerequisites, as appropriate.

The Diplomatic Security Service should continue to present its candidates for promotion to the independent Foreign Service selection board system, but it should make greater effort to focus on and document those skills and qualities critical to success in this function and at the particular grade level. The precepts for the selection boards considering security personnel should also be carefully tailored to the requirements of the security program and particularly to its managerial needs. The Department should include qualified public members or officials of other agencies involved in security or law enforcement on those selection boards considering security personnel.

As the Diplomatic Security Service is established, the Director General of the Foreign Service, the Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security, and the Director of the new organization should determine the allocation of positions at the Class 2 level and above. Any changes thereafter should be effected only in accord with current Departmental policies and procedures. The Diplomatic Security Service should be granted authority to determine promotional vacancies to be filled in any given year and, particularly, the positions at grades 2 and above, the heart of its management. Granting that there are valid reasons for not filling all available grade vacancies every year, it appears that the present security organization has been at considerable disadvantage in obtaining promotions into these grade levels. This has had a significant demoralizing impact on those officers who actually run the program as well as on those at lower grades who perceive a lack of opportunity to earn promotion.

Functional titles

Officers within the United States should be identified as Special Agents, as at present. Those assigned abroad, following the example of Legal Attaches and certain other specialists, should be identified functionally as Security Attaches. This is the most descriptive, least confusing functional title, at least from the point of view of foreigners and others outside the security program. Diplomatic titles should continue to be conferred in accord with current Departmental regulations.

Supervision aboard

At present the seven Associate Directors of Security assigned abroad to supervise the Regional Security Officers have no direct operational role. They inspect the security offices during periodic visits and keep themselves fully informed about all matters affecting the security of all posts in their areas. They do not channel work assignments to the security offices but do counsel the officers, as appropriate, and will step in to represent the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security in certain crisis situations. The only apparent issue raised during the present study is whether they should continue to perform and report periodic formal inspections of the security offices or whether they should merely fill an advisory role, as suggested in one of the eight studies. Apparently the feeling is that the crises encountered more and more frequently tend to interfere with an orderly schedule of inspections. It is the Panel's recommendation that the Diplomatic Security Service maintain the present system whereby the Associate Directors of Security not only counsel and train, as appropriate, but also conduct periodic inspections of the security offices in their areas. Whatever can be done to minimize the burden, consistent with continued reporting, should be attempted, such as by reducing the schedule for certain grades of officers who have already long demonstrated their competence or by reducing the reporting format, though not the scope of the inspection itself. The Associate Directors of Security cannot and should not be placed in the direct operational chain of command.

The Diplomatic Security Service, in cooperation with appropriate Departmental officials, should develop criteria to determine whether, at a given post abroad, the Security Attaché shall report to the Administrative Officer or to the Deputy Chief of Mission. The Panel is aware that there are different schools of thought on this matter and suspects that the proponents of each position may well have specific situations in mind that logically dictated one choice over the other. As more Security Attaches are assigned abroad, particularly to smaller missions, it may be very appropriate that they report to the Administrative Officer. On the other hand, at a medium sized, high threat post, the Security Attaché, by force of circumstances, may well work much more closely with the Deputy Chief of Mission, thus making that reporting channel all the more logical.

Details and exchange assignments

To improve the overall performance of the security program, the Diplomatic Security Service should assure the broadest possible contact with agencies having related or comparable responsibilities. It would be appropriate to continue to invite representatives of the AID and USIA security offices to attend periodic staff meetings of the Service, as they are now doing, as well as officers from other appropriate agencies. Physical security specialists should be detailed to the Office of Foreign Buildings, and a representative of the Office of Foreign Buildings should be invited to those sessions of the Overseas Security Policy Group dealing with security matters affecting or affected by our facilities abroad. Billets to be staffed with officers of the Diplomatic Security Service should be established in certain functional bureaus and offices within the Department, including the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Office of the Comptroller, and all five regional bureaus. In addition, the Secretary should offer to detail liaison officers to AID and USIA pending consolidation. The Department should also explore the possibility of exchange programs with the Secret Service and other appropriate agencies, ideally at the Deputy Division Chief or Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge level.


It is recommended that the Department invite recognized professionals from other agencies or from the public sector to participate with the Inspector General in examining certain functions of the Department's security organization. Specifically, protection, criminal investigations, training, audio countermeasures, and physical security standards, at the least, should benefit from the independent scrutiny of experts in those fields working in concert with the Inspector General. The Inspector General may now have authority to request the assistance of such outside experts but it may require legislative authority.

A second opportunity for improving a "oversight" concerns the effectiveness of inter-agency committees or groups. Many of these entities, including several dealing with security issues, perform very valuable services. It would be wise, in establishing any such group of a more or less enduring nature, to agree also on an inspection mechanism. The goal would be to improve effectiveness, and the mechanism should be constructed with that objective in mind.

Clarification of organizational responsibilities

Once the foregoing restructuring has been effected, the Department should issue an updated comprehensive instruction defining responsibilities of all organizational elements having any security or counter-terrorism responsibilities at home or abroad. This should also include the Chief of Mission or Principal Officer, the Deputy Chief of Mission, the Administrative Officer and the Security Attaché at posts abroad, and the Associate Directors of Security. As appropriate, specific requirements for intra-Departmental coordination should be identified, as should the functions of internal and interagency standing committees dealing with security matters. This publication will be an important element of the Department's effort to inspire a heightened sense of accountability.

Consolidation of security Programs of Foreign Affairs agencies

The Panel is of the firm opinion that consolidation of the security programs of the major foreign affairs agencies, notably the Department of State, AID, and USIA, is logical and in the national interest. Such a consolidation would assure a uniform approach to security standards and criteria, allowing for the unique requirements of each agency, and would be more cost-effective. The Panel recognizes, however, that the development of the new Diplomatic Security Service and the implementation of other recommendations offered in this report will take time and considerable energy to effect. Accordingly, the Panel recommends that the Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security establish a working group with appropriate officials of State and the other agencies to develop a plan for the consolidation as rapidly as practicable of the security services of the foreign affairs agencies. The group should identify goals and objectives, performance standards, resources available and required, and the mechanics of consolidation, including legislative needs, if any.

The Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program

This program, currently located in the Office for Counter-Terrorism and Emergency Planning, has a logical compatibility with either the diplomatic function or with the more operational, depending upon whether the foreign officials involved are at the ministerial level or at the tactical level. The principal long term benefits can be expected to accrue at our embassies abroad at both the political and the operational levels. The most effective resolution would seem to be to establish a joint working group to coordinate these training programs in such a way as to offer the best possible training for foreign officials in the United States as well as to gain maximum continuing liaison abroad with both political leaders and working level officials. The Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security should manage the program, coordinating closely with the office responsible for diplomatic action against international terrorism.

Resource implications

Estimating the numbers of additional personnel these recommendations might require is complicated by the fact that the Department of State currently is in the midst of justifying increases in both positions and funds to accomplish security objectives set independently of the Panel's recommendations, but which, in some respects, dovetail with them. Certain of the functions to be merged into the Diplomatic Security Service, such as the Courier Service, the personal security radio program and some of the management support functions, will bring positions, personnel and budgets with them, with no significant increase.

The principal increases due solely to these recommendations relate to staffing the domestic field offices properly and to training. The Panel estimates the Diplomatic Security Service must just about double its present complement of field office agents to meet its currently anticipated obligations to protect visiting foreign dignitaries and to carry out its other responsibilities. Training, which has been very sadly neglected, must be increased dramatically for all security personnel The Panel estimates that the new Diplomatic Security Service will require 1,156 officers at home and abroad to carry out all of the recommendations in thin report. The proposed increases are not as large as they seem, however. The Department is already seeking something more than 100 new positions and 110 currently exist elsewhere and would merely be moved with their functions into the new organization.

The net effect of the Panel's organizational recommendations, therefore, is for 375 additional officer positions, all but 20 for the Diplomatic Security Service. The estimated cost for all is in the range of $30 million.




The Inman Report
Report of the Secretary of State's
Advisory Panel on Overseas Security