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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

The Critical Role of U.S. Embassies in Counterterrorism Efforts


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U.S. embassies around the world play a vital role on the frontlines of our counterterrorism efforts. With representation from key agencies, embassies serve as the locus for coordinating the critical elements of national power: diplomacy, economic strength, law enforcement, intelligence and military might. Embassies also play a decisive role in fostering cooperation with partner nations and are a focal point for providing training to bolster the counterterrorism capabilities of these countries.

The Ambassador, as the personal representative of the President of the United States in a foreign country, has unique insight on how America is perceived, what the challenges and opportunities in that country or region are, and how U.S. counterterrorism policy might best be directed.

The Ambassador oversees and coordinates the activities of all U.S. Government agencies and personnel under Chief of Mission authority in the country, and can draw upon all elements of national power to advance our counterterrorism policies. Of utmost importance, the Ambassador is also responsible for overseeing the security and safety of the personnel at the mission, and for protecting American interests.

For an example of the critical role U.S. Embassies play, please view a video of the Arms to Farms program -- an innovative initiative, developed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which assists former members of an Islamic rebel group in the Philippines transition into peaceful, civilian lives.

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