we can do better – failures in US consular services

I recently came across this piece in the New York Times Magazine by Doug Bock Clark, whose work on Americans in trouble overseas I have come to respect and admire. He describes the plight of Americans held in Kuwait – veterans working for defense contractors picked up by Kuwaiti authorities for drug dealing.

It chronicles persistent failures by consular officials to pay regular visits, check on health and mental health of Americans held in Kuwaiti jails, and show the most basic competence in following up on requests.

It wasn’t until Doug Bock Clark started asking questions and Governor Richardson got involved that things changed and some Americans were returned back to the United States.

This is tricky territory for bilateral relations, but surely we can do better?

Categories: foreign policy, hostages, mental health, security, stress, trauma, what I'm reading

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