Protection of Diplomats

October 3, 1973

Report Outline
Growing Threat to World Diplomats
Tradition of Diplomatic Inviolability
Search for Guaranteed Protection
Special Focus

Growing Threat to World Diplomats

Fear Threat Officials' Safety and Disrupted Diplomats

Murder, kidnaping, ransom demands, letter bombing, as-sault and harassment of diplomats—along with sniper attacks, demonstrations and riots at foreign embassies—have become commonplace events in capital cities all over the globe. Most international diplomats acknowledge the threat of injury or death as one of the hazards of their jobs. But as long as the current scourge of international terrorism con-tinues, the Middle East conflict remains unresolved, and other world tensions stay high, the dangers seem likely to increase. Foreign emissaries become targets when the power-less confront the powerful. Perhaps the gravest concern, aside from personal safety, is that further attacks might disrupt diplomatic relations and official Communications among na-tions at criticai times and threaten world peace.

The following major questions have emerged as the United States and other nations tackle the difficult problem of pro-tecting diplomats:

How can U.S. diplomatic personnel abroad best be protected from violent attack—by police of the host nation or by special American forces?

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Diplomacy and Diplomats
Terrorism and Counterterrorism