Wendy Chamberlain, a career foreign-service officer who was serving as the US Ambassador to Pakistan when Al Qaeda struck the World Trade Center on 9/11 talked to MoJo on The Truth About Attacks on Our Diplomats:
“High-profile targets like ambassadors have always been in danger because they’re the symbol of the United States.”
The primary responsibility of the Marine Corps’ Embassy Security Group states that its “primary mission” is “to prevent the compromise of classified material vital to the national security of the United States,” while their “secondary mission” is to “provide protection for US citizens and US government property” during “exigent circumstances.” Their first responsibility is to guard secrets, not diplomats.
It’s currently unclear to what degree mismanagement, security lapses, or intelligence failures meant the United States failed to anticipate the attack on the consulate in Benghazi. But no matter which party is in office, no matter who is president, terrorism and violence are always going to be a potential risk for foreign-service officers serving in troubled areas.