What are the latest hot spots?
Every Hour of the Day, in each of our embassies, consulates and American Presence Posts, Foreign Service Officers and Locally Employed Staff intently follow political, economic, military and cultural events of the country in which they work. They seek to understand how events might affect bilateral relations and American interests. Will a government’s new law represent a threat to free trade for American companies? Does the election of a new prime minister offer the United States an ally on regional concerns? Has a workers’ strike in the north of the country been infiltrated by extremist elements and threaten security? Will a respected national university welcome Fulbright professors? Conversations, observations, press reports and cogent analyses answering similar questions are reported to the Department of State in Washington DC to inform policy formulation and implementation.
But what happens when events explode and threaten American citizens and embassy personnel? Then Emergency Action Plans (EAP) are pulled off the shelf and everyone goes into action. At the Department of State, a Task Force is formed to coordinate the flow of information and ensure prompt action 24/7. Will events warrant an evacuation of family members? Or will only a small number of officers remain? Will military assets be required? Reports from the field inform Washington’s actions to protect American citizens and interests.
In today’s world, the Secretary of State must follow hot spots across the globe and be ready to respond quickly to requests for information from Congress as well.
Here are some of the Hot Spots the Department of State is following now.