What are the latest hot spots?

The Operations Center at the Department of State helps to keep the Secretary abreast of events around the world.

The Operations Center at the Department of State
helps to keep the Secretary abreast of events
around the world.

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.


The building housing

The building housing “Unit 61398” of the People’s Liberation Army is seen in the outskirts of Shanghai, Tuesday Feb. 19, 2013. Cyberattacks that stole information from 141 targets in the U.S. and other countries have been traced to the Chinese military unit in the building, a U.S. security firm alleged Tuesday. According to the report by the Virginia-based Mandiant Corp., it has traced the massive amount of hacking back to the 12-story office building run by “Unit 61398”, and that the attacks targeted key industries including military contractors and companies that control energy grids. China dismissed the report as "groundless."(AP Photo)

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Other Hot Spots

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