A Foreign Policy Challenge Emerges

Given how common attacks on U.S. military and diplomatic personnel have become since the 1970s–the great age of international terrorism–it is a little startling to realize that it has been 33 years since an American ambassador was murdered by terrorists. It makes sense that the last such death–that of Ambassador Adolph Dubs in Afghanistan, on February 14, 1979–occurred in Afghanistan at the dawn of its agony, after a Communist coup but before the Soviet invasion. The year 1979 was, in fact, the year when militant Islam first became a major threat to the West. That was the year of the Iranian hostage crisis, the siege of Mecca, the assault on the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and, of course, the Red Army’s invasion of Afghanistan. That last gave rise to mujahideen groups some of which (e.g., the Haqqani Network) are now fighting American forces. We must hope that the tragic deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and other personnel at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya does not signal yet another era of anti-American attacks in the Middle East–but it might.

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A Foreign Policy Challenge Emerges

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