Our Views: Learn from Libya losses

While some officials in the State Department resigned or were disciplined in the wake of an official report into the killings at our consulate in Benghazi, the idea of perfect security in a dangerous world is unrealistic.

A review board found a “troubling pattern of deteriorating security” in eastern Libya before the attack. But there’s a lot of blame to go around: Congress consistently shortchanges diplomacy and — like the proverbial cop on every street corner — even the United States cannot afford a Marine battalion at every outpost where diplomats work.

Over more than a decade, since the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government has vastly increased security in many embassies and consulates, but the conditions in Libya — a friendly government, but one with little control of its own streets, and improvised facilities for the maintenance of U.S. staff — worked against us. Four men, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed.

By all means, we must try to do better, and in the volatile Middle East particularly.

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