Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."


The many attacks on U.S. diplomatic and military facilities and killings of official Americans abroad since the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979 have had a profound and detrimental effect on U.S. foreign policy. The September 11, 2012, sacking of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others is another in a long list of incidents that limit U.S. access and influence abroad.  (Read the Full Column at EWRoss.com)


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16 Responses

  1. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Republican Party


    We all condemn the attack on the US Consulate and killing of four great Americans i.e. US ambassador to Libya and his three coworkers. US Government should immediately increase security for American staff in foreign countries.

    We have been in Iraq and Afghanistan for about ten years trying to train the new government to stand on their feet and they still do not have it right. Libya is a tribal country and was controlled by Qaddafi in his own fashion. This is new government; masses are used to dictatorship as they had it for the last forty + years. The new government will take a while to have infra-structure in its palace. Same is true for Egypt, as they were controlled by various dictators who held elections in name only and held on to power for many decades. Opposition parties in Egypt never had a chance to run the government. Egyptians will also take time to learn how to run their government.

    If we want our influence in these countries we should find ways to train them in running their new governments.

    Posted by Iqbal Kazmi, P.E.

  2. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Politics on the Rocks



    Posted by Jennifer Wise ( LION Networker 4700+!)

  3. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: International Security & Defence Network


    Hi, Ed. I read what you wrote, and I agree that our Diplomatic staff need to go out into the communities and represent America they way we are – willing to help others in need, sincere, hard-working, and willing to help grow fledgling democracies. There has been a disconnect in our understanding of the cultures we’ve been trying to help. In my opinion, get intelligence from humanitarian relief organizations, and focus our efforts on trying to help the people increase their production of food, or improve their access to water. In another article I read, it describes how Afghanis primarily are agrarian, and that they don’t need electricity or schooling because they work from dawn until dusk. According to this article, these people are happy, and have no desire to change their lifestyle. Are we doing good, or are we right in forcing these people to jump into the modern age? Can we prove we all are happier with more technology? Healthcare and quality of life issues come to mind as these things can be provided and should be modern. However, these issues need to be addressed in the diplomatic community, because they are important to the people who live there. Otherwise, we come across as the conquistadors did when they invaded South America. They brought disease and death, while stripping cultures of their history and forcing it upon the people who lived there. Forcing culture or religious beliefs on peoples who already have a belief system in place isn’t right, and when these people are threatened, they fight back. Are we repeating the mistakes of the conquistadors and the monks from history? Our Diplomats need to understand this, and determine what, if any, is the need and will of the peoples they are living amongst. God keep them all safe.

    Posted by Megan Pioch

  4. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Republican Party


    Whatever happened to the old paradigm of just using massive bombings to eradicate any and all threats and show these countries that America is strong, united, and not a force to be reckoned with?!?

    When Ronald Reagan was coming into power, he promised the American people that he would not stand for such injustice. I have yet to see a Republican leader since that time show the resolve of, and harken back to, the old American paradigm that once made America strong and free.

    Condemning an attack is useless unless it is followed with a fierce military reply. I know Obama and Clinton will not bring these people to justice. I cannot see the foreign nationalities, most of which are under the power and control of the Muslim Brotherhood, bringing these people to justice.

    We need a strong, fierce, and absolute military response. There is no other way around it. Remember, Will Rogers said that the “art of diplomacy is saying ‘nice doggie’ while you look for a big stick.” We already have the “big stick” and now we just need leader with backbones to use that force.

    Posted by Ken Johnson, MBA

  5. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Politics on the Rocks


    Ed: Have you been charting the stats and can you break them down by year. I am distressed by the Stevens murder, but it pales in comparison to the 1998 bombings in Nairobi and Kenya.

    Posted by Edith Hook

  6. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Defense Executive Network

    My father was an expert on Middle east and north Africa.He worked for the British Intelligence.
    One does not have to gain respect and friendship of the Arab world. They do not have to like us or respect us. What the USA has to have them fear us. When the President Of USA speaks they must shake in their boots.
    When UK & France,Turkey controlled them they did not act up.
    Their leaders did not Lick their boots. An Imperial power must act as one.

    The Former Secretary Of State Collin Powell on his visit to Indonesia danced for the local Chiefs.No other world leader has ever degraded himself to do that.The President has been served by his staff.This policy of appeasement has turned the whole Muslim world upside down.Those who are our friend and we have many friends in the Muslim world have been compromised.Our Government pushed stable Governments out in Tunasia,Egypt,Lybia and Syria .WE have spent a trillion dollars in Iraq and the Iraqi regime is siding with Iran and China.This is a repeat of our Soldiers being dragged in Somalia.

    What would President T .Roosevelt do in this case.

    Posted by Allen Bahn

  7. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: International Relations Network

    This is a direct result of US backing for the so-called “Arab Spring” that has put the Muslim Brotherhood into power across North Africa. The current US administration refuses to accept it culpability and continues its ill conceived strategy. Instead of condemning the violence it makes excuses for it. The current US administration seems want to use these tragic events to continue its efforts to undermine the First Amendment rights of Americans and subvert the constitution that it is obliged to protect. It is now possible to actually watch in real time the decline of the United States as a great power. Just like the Roman Empire before it, it appears that America is been destroyed from within.

    Posted by Chris Knowles

  8. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: International Relations Network


    Dear Ed, you have to put on that list the attack against the US embassy in Belgrade, Serbia 2008 when at least one person died and several were injured.

    US as one of the string democracy supporters in the world, should not be left alone. As all of us know a diplomat should do his job without fear of atrocities from any local powers. However, you did mention very well that us of violence against diplomats does limit the ability to affect decision-making in that country & region. Therefore Alliances in between ”same-thinkers” should get stronger.

    Posted by Avni Dervishi

  9. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: International Relations Network


    By the way who said that NATO is not needed anymore? This planet needs NATO, we sure do.

    Posted by Avni Dervishi

  10. Terry Otis says:

    As a former diplomat, and one who whose various posts were surrounded by demonstrators, thank you for your comments on the service of our Foreign Service professionals.
    Terry Otis

  11. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni


    Ed…once again your comments are spot on. Our leadership is very reliant on technology and this creates a separation from the reality knowledge gained through personal rapport with host nation counterparts. Therefore it is easy to not sense the dangers present in these countries and provide adequate security. These lapses in judgment, plus our leadership’s proclivity toward shaping perception, above all else, to the exclusion of dealing with the reality on the street, announces a softer, weaker American engagement. It makes our diplomats, troops and business interests subject to violent attack. Leadership and critical thinking skills are still the deciding factors to successful foreign engagement, and we appear to lack what we need on a regular basis.

    Posted by Robert MacDonald

  12. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni


    Ed, good piece, I think most people would agree that our diplomats do MUCH more than simply push paper, that is the people who know what diplomats do. Remember Joe six-pack, he and the millions like him haven’t a clue…regrettable but true. As the leading edge of our foreign policy, our diplomats are the primary instruments of nation building. With regard to protection and effectiveness, our diplomats are as effective as the stability of the nation in which they are assigned. Stability is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for security, which makes the issue of risk a central metric when it comes to how, and how much protection must be provided. There is a delicate balance between hiding in a fortress and not engaging the people and a show of force necessary to provide absolute protection. The difficulty becomes when we try to assess how much, where, and when, and then assess the effect that our decision has on the objective given the situation. This is particularly true in the Middle East where tribal influences often trump the general population and the government. I believe we should assess where we may have gone wrong and if necessary fix that, but more importantly, given that the world we live in today is not going to change for the next few generations, we need to study and react to the wide variety of cultures and take an even handed approach to deciding the degree, depth, speed of change, and overall expectations with regard to our influence in shaping the outside world.

    Posted by Tony Kopacz

  13. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Department of Defense


    Not much, as far as I can tell. Instead of beefing up security, Sec. Clinton is too busy defending the ‘rights’ of muslims to not hear critical comments about their belief system.

    Posted by Keith Barger

  14. Trent LaLand says:

    U.S. Diplomats in Harms Way.I was a Marine and member of a heavily armed 60 man rescue force combined of 51 U.S. Marines and 9 Navy Seals from Seal team 8 that rescued the besieged U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu,Somalia on January 5 1991 before it was over-ran by armed African insurgents.The rescue mission was codenamed Operation Eastern Exit.To learn more visit nightmissiontomogadishu.com

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