What Happened to the Marines?

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Every time I write about the U.S. military having troops in 150 countries, I am told by defenders of the U.S. empire that most of these are just Marine guards at embassies. Well, where were the Marines when the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was recently attacked and the U.S. ambassador was killed?

It is interesting that in an interview on Talk of the Nation today, another American ambassador explained that “the primary responsibility for security of missions belongs to the host government.” And if the host government “cannot or will not exercise its responsibility, our people are in a very dangerous and very vulnerable situation.” It was also pointed out that the U.S. outsources security to “security agencies hired by the State Department.” So, as I pointed out in “Guarding the Empire,” the U.S. empire is not an empire of Marine guards.

Adds a reader: “Even in war zones the embassies aren’t guarded by marines, at least not in Iraq, circa 2007 – 2008. During my second deployment to that country I visited the US embassy and spoke with the guards outside, who were from Peru, and under contract from the State Department.”

6:04 pm on September 12, 2012