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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > More Publications > History of the Department of State During the Clinton Presidency (1993-2001)
History of the Department of State During the Clinton Presidency (1993-2001)  
Released by the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs


03. Security Policies

Introduction

"Security" is an elusive word that can have multifarious meanings. It can have social dimensions such as adequate food, clothing, and shelter. In the foreign policy area, security can also be conceived in economic and psychological terms. In this chapter, however, a major focus is the Department of State's initiatives to enhance the nation's physical (including military) security from hostile invasion or attack. These efforts also included efforts to make the international environment safer-for example, measures to combat international terrorist activity both at home and abroad.

Moreover, security is not a static entity but depends on a definition which itself can be modified in response to changing circumstances over time. Thus while an expansive definition of national security might satisfy American's political leaders during the height of the Cold War confrontation with the Soviet Union and the worldwide communist threat, the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s required American decision-makers to reassess the external dangers to the nation's security.

Heightened concerns about the threat of terrorist activity also prompted the Department of State to implement unprecedented security measures to ensure the physical safety of its employees and property in the United States and at its posts abroad. While strictly speaking not a national security problem, the issue was a persistent reminder during the Clinton administration that the nation's security began at home.

Political-Military Matters

The Department of State's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM) played a critical role in helping the administration meet its foreign policy objectives, through implementing key parts of America's national security strategy. PM's achievements included promoting humanitarian demining; overseeing arms transfers, regional security, and defense trade controls; critical infrastructure protection; and leading planning efforts in dealing with crises.

Removing the Threat of Landmines

The U.S. Government's Humanitarian Demining Program supported President Clinton's goal of eliminating the threat of landmines to civilians by the year 2010 (the Demining 2010 Initiative launched by Secretary of State Albright and Secretary of Defense Cohen on October 31, 1997). (Document III-1) Since 1993, the Humanitarian Demining Program, administered by the Department of State's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, saved countless lives by assisting 37 countries on five continents in confronting the direct and indirect effects of landmines. U.S. humanitarian demining assistance reduced landmine casualties, restored agricultural land to productive use, helped refugees and internally displaced persons return to their homes, provided health care for mine victims and their families, and enhanced the political and economic stability of nations affected by landmines. The Humanitarian Demining Program also helped numerous countries develop an indigenous, self-sustaining demining capability.

During the Clinton presidency, the Department of State, through the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs' Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs, was the lead agency for coordinating U.S. humanitarian demining programs worldwide and chaired the Interagency Working Group (IWG) that was responsible for approving, developing, and coordinating U.S. humanitarian demining programs.

From FY 1993 to FY 2000, the combined expenditures of the Department of Defense, Department of State and Agency for International Development on demining programs and projects totaled more than $400 million, including more that $100 million appropriated by Congress in FY 2001. Demining support also came from other U.S. government agencies. Countries participating in large-scale humanitarian demining assistance programs in the eight years of the Clinton administration included Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia, Cambodia, Laos, Mozambique, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea and others. The Department also spearheaded special U.S. Government initiatives with the Organization of American States and the International Trust Fund for assistance to the Balkans.

The Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs was also responsible for U.S. Government Anti-Personnel Landmines (APL) policy, and worked on significant international landmine treaties, conventions and protocols. The White House announced in May 1996 that the United States would unilaterally refrain, worldwide, from using non-self-destructing APL that were not needed to (a) train personnel engaged in demining and countermining operations, or (b) defend the United States and its allies from armed aggression across the Korean Demilitarized Zone. (Document III-2)

Conventional Arms Transfer Policy

With statutory oversight for arms transfers and military assistance programs, the Department of State had primary responsibility for implementing the Clinton administration's conventional arms transfer policy, announced by the White House on February 17, 1995, in Presidential Decision Directive 34 (PDD-34). (Document III-3) This Presidential directive was the first release of a formal policy statement on conventional arms transfers since the Reagan administration's announcement in July 1981. The Clinton administration's conventional arms transfer policy served five goals: (1) ensuring technological advantages of U.S. forces over potential adversaries; (2) helping allies and friends deter or defend against aggression while promoting interoperability with U.S. forces when combined operations were required; (3) promoting regional stability in areas critical to U.S. interests, while preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their missile delivery systems; (4) promoting peaceful conflict resolution and arms, human rights, democratization, and other U.S. foreign policy objectives; and (5) enhancing the ability of the U.S. defense industrial base to meet U.S. defense requirements and maintain long-term military technology superiority at lower costs.

The Department of State oversaw the interagency and Congressional approval process for billions of dollars in military sales, representing jobs for Americans and increased security and inter-operability for U.S. friends and allies. Over three-fourths of U.S. arms transfers went to NATO allies, other major friends such as Japan and the Republic of Korea, and important friends and coalition partners such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Regional Security

The Department of State worked closely with the Department of Defense to advance U.S. regional security interests. The Gulf Security Interagency Working Group (IWG) was created in May 1999 to provide direction to regional security efforts involving coalition partners confronting Iran and Iraq. During the Clinton administration, the Department also recruited countries to participate in the Multinational Interception Force (MIF) that intercepted oil smuggled from Iraq in support of UN sanctions.

The Department promoted confidence- and security-building measures, including leading U.S. Government efforts to negotiate and conclude the Inter-American Convention on Transparency in Conventional Weapons Acquisition, adopted by the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Guatemala on June 7, 1999. The United States was a signatory to the convention.

Defense Trade Controls

During the Clinton administration, the Department of State reviewed some 45,000 requests each year to export defense articles or services overseas, valued at $26 billion. It also processed over 2,000 enforcement cases, in coordination with the U.S. Customs Service and the Department of Justice, leading to scores of criminal prosecutions.

The Department implemented OAS "model regulations" on firearms and ammunition, to help stem international crime and foster regional stability. It also negotiated with governments to disclose information about illicitly acquired U.S. defense equipment and technology, and coordinated with Canada and European nations to adopt enhanced export controls.

In March 1999, the Department of State assumed jurisdiction from the Department of Commerce for licensing the export of communications satellites.

In May 2000, Secretary of State Albright announced the Defense Trade Security Initiative (DTSI), the first major post-Cold War adjustment to the U.S. Defense Export Control System. The United States authorized over $20 billion in responsible commercial defense trade each year and took significant steps to speed up processing of munitions export approvals to benefit all of its trade partners. The initiative improved the efficiency and competition in defense markets, while maintaining the necessary export controls to safeguard mutual security.

Combating the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons

The Department of State played an active role in combating the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. (Document III-4) It expanded U.S. export control procedures, implemented a new brokering law, increased transparency in international trade, and promoted sanctions enforcement. The Department also led U.S. Government efforts to conclude the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms--the first international agreement designed to prevent, combat, and eradicate illicit trafficking in firearms, ammunition and explosives. Key provisions included requiring an effective licensing or authorization system for the import, export, and transit movement of firearms; an obligation to mark firearms indelibly at the time of manufacture and import to help track the source of illicit funds; and requiring states to criminalize the illicit manufacturing or illicit trafficking in firearms.

In 1996 President Clinton signed legislation amending the Arms Export Control Act to give the State Department greater authority to monitor and regulate the activities of arms brokers. The legislation required brokers to register with the Department of State, receive the Department's authorization for their brokering activities, and submit annual reports describing their activities. President Clinton also signed legislation in 1996 amending the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to require the annual public reporting about arms authorized for a commercial export by the United States that fall below the previously existing reporting thresholds for U.S. arms transfers.

The Department fostered an agreement at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit in Istanbul to reduce the illicit flow of small arms in the Balkans, and a preparation for the 2001 Global Conference on Small Arms. On September 7, 2000, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Eric D. Newsom joined Albania's Minister of Defense, Ilir Gjoni, as well as Norwegian and German diplomats to sign a memorandum of understanding on the destruction of over 130,000 small arms and light weapons in Albania. Under the memorandum, Albania would destroy, with the help of the United States, Norway, and Germany, all weapons collected from the civilian population in the aftermath of the 1997 crisis by the end of 2000. (Document III-5) On October 15, 2000, President Clinton and Norwegian Prime Minister Bondevik agreed to create a U.S.-Norway Joint Working Group to assist nations in the destruction of surplus small arms and light weapons.

Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP)

On May 22, 1998, President Clinton issued Presidential Decision Directives 62 and 63, on combating terrorism and critical infrastructure protection, respectively. (Document III-6; for PDD-62, see under Counterrorism Policy) PDD-63 called for a national effort to assure the security of the increasingly vulnerable and interconnected infrastructure of the United States, including telecommunications, banking and finance, energy, transportation, and essential government services. The directive required immediate federal government action including risk assessment and planning to reduce exposure to attack. It stressed the critical importance of cooperation between the government and the private sector by linking designated agencies with private sector representatives. (Document III-7) As mandated by Presidential directive, PM developed a strategic plan for international outreach (with United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia) to deal with threats (e.g., cyber-crime) to the U.S. national security infrastructure originating abroad.

Crisis Planning and Peacekeeping

In response to Presidential Decision Directive 56 (PDD-56) on "Managing Complex Contingency Operations", the Department of State helped create a permanent interagency working group to identify potential crises that were of vital U.S. interest and that required advanced planning. PDD-56, issued in May 1997, defined "complex contingency operations" as either peace operations--such as the peace accord implementation operation conducted by NATO in Bosnia (1995-1997) and the humanitarian intervention in northern Iraq (Operation Provide Comfort, 1991)--or foreign humanitarian assistance operations, such as Operation Support Hope in central Africa (1994) and Operation Sea Angel in Bangladesh (1991). The PDD required that a political-military implementation plan be developed as an integrated planning tool for coordinating U.S. government actions in a complex contingency operation. (Document III-8)

In late 1998, and from March to May 1999 (after the conclusion of Operation Allied Force), PM coordinated U.S. planning for civil administration and reconstruction in Kosovo, an achievement that helped support operations by the UN Mission in Kososvo (UNMIK), NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union. The 46-page Mission Analysis identified essential tasks in 14 mission areas, from humanitarian assistance, transitional administration, institutional development and reconstruction, to war crimes, police and elections.

PM collaborated with NATO to develop new doctrine for peace support missions, and worked with the Joint Staff and Special Operations Command in revising Civil-Military Operations doctrine to reflect planning and implementation of "military operations other than war." The Department also promoted the Enhanced International Peacekeeping Capability Initiative (EIPC) to help foreign militaries train for peacekeeping missions.

Consequence Management Program

In 1995, Presidential Decision Directive 39 (PDD-39) designated the Department of State as the lead federal agency to facilitate, advise, assist, and administer the U.S. response to any incident overseas that involved the release of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear contaminates. In response, the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs established the Consequence Management Program, which was funded in May 2000. PM then started to enlist the support of other nations in developing coalitions capable of responding to any calamity overseas resulting from the release of such contaminates.

Counterterrorism Policy

Overview

The Clinton administration vigorously fought the threat of international terrorism using every available tool: diplomacy, law enforcement, intelligence collection and sharing, and military force. U.S. officials worked unilaterally, with friendly governments, and in multilateral fora such as the United Nations to protect American citizens, deter attacks, and hold terrorists and their sponsors accountable.

Terrorist trends shifted during the last eight years of the 20th century away from tightly organized, localized groups supported by state sponsors to loosely organized, international networks of terrorists. Iran, however, remained an active state sponsor and continued to support terrorist groups opposed to the Middle East peace process. The locus of terrorism also shifted eastward from the Middle East to South Asia, specifically Afghanistan. As most Middle Eastern governments strengthened their counterterrorist response, terrorists and their organizations sought safehaven in areas where they could operate with impunity.

Another trend was toward fewer but deadlier attacks. In 1993 there were 431 international terrorist attacks that caused 1502 casualties (dead and wounded). In 1998 the number of attacks fell to 273, but the number of casualties skyrocketed to 6,693.

U.S. Policy

U.S. counterterrorism policy, developed through several administrations, had four main elements:

  • Make no concessions to terrorists, and strike no deals. The United States adhered closely to the "no concessions" policy. For example, when terrorists took over the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima, Peru on December 17, 1996, there were eight U.S. officials among the 500 persons taken hostage. The hostage takers demanded the release of imprisoned terrorists. In the days following the takeover, President Clinton publicly reiterated U.S. policy against making any deals with terrorists. His statement was shown on CNN and watched by the terrorists. Shortly thereafter, all of the U.S. hostages were released from captivity unharmed. (The Government of Peru also refused to make concessions; in April 1997, Peruvian military forces stormed the residence and successfully rescued all but one of the 72 remaining hostages.)
     
  • Bring terrorists to justice for their crimes. The United States strongly supported applying the rule of law to terrorists. Since 1993, using extraterritorial statutes, the United States successfully extradited 13 suspected terrorists from countries in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa to stand trial in this country for their crimes. Most of these were charged with crimes related to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center or the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. (Document III-9)
     
  • Isolate and apply pressure on states that sponsor terrorism to force them to change their behavior. Secretaries of State designated seven countries as state sponsors of terrorism: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Sanctions were imposed on all nations so designated. There was no change in this list since Sudan was added in 1993. However, the United States encouraged countries to sever all links to terrorism in order to merit removal from the list. For example, Secretary Albright traveled to Pyongyang in 2000 and outlined what steps North Korea had to take to warrant removal. (The Department also certified an eighth country-Afghanistan-as not fully cooperating with U.S. antiterrorism efforts.) The United States utilized legislation cutting American aid to countries that provided lethal military equipment to state sponsors of terrorism.
     
  • Bolster the counterterrorism capabilities of those countries that work with the United States and require assistance. This element of U.S. policy received particular emphasis during the 1990s. It was implemented through the Antiterrorism Training and Assistance (ATA) program, which was administered by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security with policy guidance from the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (S/CT). The ATA program trained foreign law enforcement personnel in such areas as airport security, bomb detection, maritime security, VIP protection, hostage rescue, and crisis management. The program flourished during the 1990s and by 2000 had trained more than 20,000 representatives from over 100 countries.

Bilateral Relations and Multilateral Fora

The United States had nurtured close counterterrorism relationships with friendly nations, particularly Canada, the United Kingdom, and Israel, but encompassing nations around the globe, along with the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. These relationships flourished during the Clinton era.

In addition to continuing bilateral meetings held with various countries, the following were other significant examples of growing international counterterrorism cooperation:

  • The UN Security Council passed two resolutions invoking sanctions against the Taliban in Afghanistan because it continues to provide sanctuary to Usama bin Ladin and major support to the international drug trade. The most recent resolution, passed in December 2000 bans arms sales and airline travel to Afghanistan.
     
  • Each year, the G-8 nations (and previously the G-7, before the inclusion of Russia) held counterterrorism ministerials to advance measures to defeat terrorism. These important meetings resulted in renewed efforts to improve security, prosecute and punish terrorists, tighten border controls, and prevent terrorist fundraising. The ministers also adopted further steps to protect mass transportation (both air and ground) and enhanced law enforcement and counterterrorist capabilities in many areas.
     
  • During 1996 both the Philippines and Japan hosted Asia and Pacific conferences on terrorism, the first of their kind in Asia. The United States participated in both.
     
  • In March 1996, at the Summit of the Peacemakers, held at Sharm el Shaykh, Egypt, and co-hosted by President Clinton and President Mubarak, 29 delegations pledged to fight terrorism and to support the Middle East peace process.
     
  • In April 1996 Peru hosted the Inter-American Specialized Conference on Terrorism which confirmed the principle that terrorism, regardless of political motive, was a serious crime.
     
  • The Department of State and the Council on Foreign Relations co-sponsored a counterterrorism conference in June 1999 to promote international cooperation against terrorism and to share information on terrorist groups and countermeasures. Representatives from 22 nations in the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, Europe, and Canada participated.
     
  • The United States worked closely with the Government of Argentina and other hemispheric partners to bring about the creation in 1999 of the Organization of American States' (OAS) Inter-American Commission on Counterterrorism. This group works to develop new means to diminish the terrorist threat in this hemisphere.
     
  • The Department of State hosted a counterterrorism conference in June 2000 in Washington, D.C. that focused on the transnational terrorist threat in Central Asia. Nations from Central Asia, Europe, and the Middle East participated.
     
  • The US-Indian Counterterrorism Working Group was formed in 2000 and met twice during the year to enhance cooperation in fighting the threat.
     
  • The US-Russia Working Group on Afghanistan was also formed in 2000 so the two nations could consult on counterterrorism issues related to Afghanistan. The group met in August and October of this year.
     
  • The United States actively participated in joint projects with Canada, Great Britain, and Israel under the U.S. inter-agency counterterrorism research and development program.

International Law

In addition to bilateral and multilateral cooperation, there was a growing body of international law to apply in terrorism cases. By the end of 2000 there were 12 international treaties and conventions that committed signatories to combat various terrorist crimes, such as aviation hijacking, maritime hijacking, hostage taking, and attacks against internationally protected persons. The three most recent were:

  • In 1999 the U.N. General Assembly adopted the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
     
  • In 1998 the United States signed the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings.
     
  • In 1993 the U.S. Senate ratified the Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection.

Key Domestic Laws and Executive Orders

The United States steadily tightened its own laws and statutes to fight terrorism more effectively. The following were key examples:

  • On January 23, 1995 President Clinton signed Executive Order 12947, blocking the assets in the United States of terrorists and terrorist groups who threatened to use force to disrupt the Middle East peace process and prohibiting financial transactions with these groups. The Executive Order was renewed annually. On August 20, 1998, in the wake of the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, President Clinton amended the Executive Order to add Usama bin Ladin and his key associates to the list of terrorists.
     
  • In April 1996 the President signed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. This comprehensive law, initiated by the administration, banned fundraising in the United States on behalf of foreign terrorist organizations (as designated by the Secretary of State), and improved means for excluding and deporting terrorists from the United States. The Secretary designated the initial group of 30 foreign terrorist organizations in October 1997. By the end of the Clinton administration the number of groups currently designated was 29.
     
  • In August 1996 the President signed the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act, which imposed sanctions on foreign companies that invested in the development of Iran's or Libya's petroleum resources. The purpose was to help deny revenues that could be used to finance international terrorism.
     
  • In July 1999 the President signed an Executive Order banning transactions with the Taliban because of its policy of offering safe haven to Usama bin Ladin and his Al-Qaida organization.

Force As a Response to Terrorism

The United States reserved the right to respond militarily when terrorists attacked U.S. interests. President Clinton twice used military force in response to terrorism:

  • In response to evidence that Iraq was behind the attempted assassination of former President George Bush in Kuwait in April 1993, President Clinton on June 26, 1993, ordered a military attack on Iraq's intelligence headquarters. The strike was an exercise in self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter. It was designed to damage the terrorist infrastructure of the Iraqi regime, reduce its ability to promote terrorism, and deter further acts of aggression against the United States.
     
  • In response to Usama bin Ladin's bombing attacks against the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998, the United States launched military strikes against terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and against the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum. The plant was associated with Usama bin Ladin's terrorist network and was believed to be involved in the manufacture of chemical weapons.

The FEST

The Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) was a State-led interagency group of experts that could be deployed rapidly to assist U.S. and host nation authorities with a range of specialized skills not normally available on the scene in the aftermath of a terrorist incident. Permission of the host government was required before the FEST could deploy and, once deployed, the FEST worked directly for the U.S. chief of mission.

The FEST improved significantly during the Clinton administration. A FEST team could be assembled within hours and configured any number of ways to respond most effectively to a broad range of terrorist incidents, including those that involved the use of weapons of mass destruction. The administration requested and obtained congressional funding for an updated aircraft designated for use by the FEST. The FEST provided invaluable assistance when it was deployed in 1998 to Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam following the bombings of the American embassies there. It was subsequently deployed in October 2000 to Aden, Yemen following the deadly attack against the USS Cole.

Presidential Decision Directives

Three key Presidential Decision Directives, PDD-39, PDD-62, and PDD-63, were promulgated during the Clinton administration.

PDD-39, issued on June 21, 1995, codified U.S. counterterrorism policy. The directive instructed U.S. government agencies to reduce the vulnerability of their personnel and facilities to terrorist attack. It asserted that the United States would vigorously apply extra-territorial statutes to apprehend terrorists outside the United States who were wanted for violations of U.S. law and bring them to this country for trial. It also reaffirmed that the Department of State was the lead agency for international terrorist incidents that took place outside of U.S. territory and discussed the need to respond to acts of terrorism using rapidly deployable teams to provide emergency support in the immediate aftermath of an attack. Lastly, it stated that the United States would give the highest priority to the developing effective capabilities to detect, prevent, defeat, and manage the consequences of nuclear, biological, or chemical materials or weapons use by terrorists.

On May 22, 1998, President Clinton announced the signing of PDD-62 and PDD-63 on combating terrorism and protecting critical infrastructures. Regarding PDD-63, see the section on Political-Military Affairs above. PDD-62 highlighted the growing threat of unconventional attacks against the United States and detailed a new, more systematic approach to fighting the terrorist threat. It reinforced the mission of the many U.S. agencies charged with roles in defeating terrorism. It also codified and clarified their activities in the wide range of U.S. counterterrorism programs, from apprehension and prosecution of terrorists to increasing transportation security, enhancing response capabilities, and protecting the computer-based systems that lie at the heart of America's economy. The new directive also established the position of the National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism to oversee the broad variety of relevant policies and programs.

Security in the Department and at Posts Abroad

Terrorist bombings and security lapses during the late 1990s focused attention on improving security both at home and overseas. After the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, a 1997 Counterterrorism Budget Amendment gave the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) $23.7 million to improve physical and technical security at high-risk posts, particularly in the Middle East.

In 1998, after the simultaneous bombing of U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, DS proposed a Global Security Enhancement Strategy to improve security at all US embassies, especially those formerly considered "low risk." Congress provided $588 million for the project through a 1999 Emergency Security Appropriation.

Overseas Security Enhancements

Security improvements at US embassies and consulates around the world targeted three areas: physical security, improved intelligence, and better human resources.

Tougher Physical Security

The Department aggressively upgraded security at low- and medium-threat level posts by installing reinforced perimeter walls, bollards, hardened guard booths, vehicle barriers, shatter resistant window film, cameras with video recorders, bomb detection equipment, armored vehicles, alarm and public address systems, and x-ray equipment. Where possible, DS tried to off-set insufficient set-back from the street by closing roads and instituting mandatory vehicle inspections. In addition, DS installed alarm systems to alert personnel to emergency situations and has started a "duck and cover" program for employees when alarms are sounded.

A new office, the Coordinator for Chemical Biological Countermeasures, began conducting a worldwide survey to determine vulnerabilities and provided defensive guidance and distributed Chemical Biological equipment to all posts.

The latest addition to the State Department's security program was the establishment of surveillance detection programs at virtually all US diplomatic facilities overseas. A critical lesson learned from the bombings was that there was intense surveillance conducted against U.S. facilities prior to an attack. Since January 1999, surveillance detection teams, most of whom worked with host government security services, observed more than 700 suspected incidents against U.S. personnel and facilities. By expanding the security perimeter and zone of control, surveillance detection programs were becoming a major aspect of overseas security defenses by the end of the Clinton administration.

Sharpened Intelligence Gathering

In response to a specific recommendation from the Accountability Review Boards chaired by Retired Admiral William Crowe, DS detailed a special agent to the FBI's International Terrorism Section to analyze law enforcement information that might have a bearing on threats to U.S. missions overseas and to disseminate that information more quickly to the threatened posts.

DS modified its methodology and criteria for determining threat levels to create a new security environment threat list that addressed transnational terrorism as a phenomenon separate from both indigenous terrorism and political violence.

The Rewards for Justice program also proved to be effective in the fight against terrorism. Established in 1984, the program allowed the Secretary of State to offer rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for acts of international terrorism against U.S. interests worldwide. By the end of 2000, the United States had paid over $6 million in about 20 cases, saving thousands of lives. At the same time, rewards were offered for information on Usama bin Laden and Slobadan Milosevic, among others.

Improved Human Resources

DS refocused its training courses for Regional Security Officers and Special Agents to give them greater training on counter-terrorism methodology, explosive ordnance recognition and disposal, chemical/biological weapons threats and defenses, and surveillance detection techniques.

DS also expanded its Anti-Terrorism Assistance training to help foreign police to combat terrorism through surveillance and explosives detection, border security, crisis management, and maritime security.

Finally, and most importantly, DS hired 200 new special agents which allowed the creation of an additional 140 Security Officer positions abroad. Also hired were 20 new diplomatic couriers, 17 security engineers, 34 maintenance technicians, and 46 civil servants in support of overseas security. As of October 1, 2000, DS had 420 special agents serving as security officers in 157 countries.

While major security improvements were achieved quickly, problems still remained since the vast majority of U.S. diplomatic posts failed to meet one of the most basic security requirements-a 100-foot setback. Until embassies could be built to meet that setback and other security standards, the Department could not provide the degrees of security needed for its people and facilities.

Strengthening Domestic Security

Three separate security incidents served as a reminder that domestic information security also needed to be strengthened. In February 1998, an unknown male took classified information from the Secretary's suite of offices; in December 1999, a Russian intelligence officer was arrested outside the Department as he listened to a meeting via a previously planted bugging device; and in January 2000, a laptop computer, believed to have contained Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) on its hard drive, disappeared.

In May 2000, Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security David Carpenter convened an interagency review panel of representatives from the FBI, Department of Defense, Secret Service, CIA, and the Diplomatic Security Service to review the counter-measures in place at the main Department building and to make recommendations as to improvements. Secretary Albright received the panel's classified report in May 2000. Subsequently, DS developed a strategic plan to fund and implement these findings.

Physical Security

Security was tightened in the Secretary's suite, and the Department adopted a rigorous, comprehensive escort policy. Uniformed officers patrolled specific floors inside the building and an after-hours inspection program of Department offices was re-instituted. To lessen physical vulnerability, "D" Street was closed, and cement barriers surrounded the entire building. DS personnel provided security awareness briefings to more than 9,000 employees and computer safeguards were strengthened.

Employee Accountability

During a May 2000 "town meeting" on security, Secretary Albright stressed individual responsibility for security. As she explained, "I don't care how skilled you are as a diplomat, how brilliant you may be at meetings, or how creative you are as an administrator; if you are not professional about security, you are a failure." (Document III-10) Foreign Service Director General Marc Grossman was instrumental in working with DS on security matters because he disciplined those who committed the security infractions or violations investigated by DS.

Grossman and DS Assistant Secretary Carpenter developed an action plan, approved by the Secretary, to strengthen security and accountability. Highlights included a prospective increase in the sanctions or penalties for security incidents, a link between security awareness and the promotion and tenuring process, and a requirement that full field security investigations conducted on candidates for Presidential appointments include security incidents. Secretary Albright, after consultation with Director Tenet of the CIA, also decided that DS should assume responsibility for the protection of SCI material from the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in accordance with CIA requirements.

Finally, Secretary Albright identified the need for the creation of a new Under Secretary for Security, Law Enforcement, and Counterterrorism in a proposal sent to Congress in September 2000.


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