The primary mission of the MSG is to provide security, particularly the protection of classified information and equipment vital to the national security of the United States at American diplomatic posts.
In addition, MSGs provide security for visiting American dignitaries and frequently assist the RSO in supervising host country and/or locally employed security forces which provide additional security for the exterior of embassies
The Marine Security Guards number approximately 1000 Marines at 150 posts (also known as "detachments"), organized into nine regional MSG commands
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_...sponsibilitiesMy source says 1000, your source says 1200; I'll give it to you because (1) it's really close enough for government work and (2) you're source is better. Point being that Marine details aren't assigned to every embassy or consulate, and their primary role isn't to stop people from coming over the wall. It's to protect classfied data and macines, like I said... Unless you think 1200/300 = 4 guys per diplomatic facility... roughly is a decent deterent. So roughly only half the embassies have MSG, they tend to be between 10-20 guys, and they guard the secrets primarily not the buildings or people..The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is responsible for the protection of more than 285 U.S. diplomatic facilities worldwide. Additionally, Diplomatic Security ensures the safety of every U.S. embassy and consulate employee and their families, as well as national security information.
I think the size of the building or how many building in the case of Iraq is a good indication of how large it is... As for how secure it is, I was pretty much going on the fact that it was sucessfully attacked by terrorists last year, no embassy people were hurt, but people waiting in line were. I remember reading at the time we were upgrading the embassy and construction was to be complete 2014 I think
---------- Post added November-3rd-2012 at 10:07 PM ----------
Very good point and you are correct (good memory). The saudi military had a 50 cal machine gun in a truck outside the George Bush Embassy in the DQ of Riyadh when I was there...Course that was a Saudi soldier not a private guard, or an American as you are suggesting... and it was on the street in a truck outside the embassy... Although come to think of it we probable should add that embassy to the list of fortresses along with Iraq..you yourself mention the Saudi's heavy weapons in position in a place MUCH more secure