Now this here's a Colt submachine gun, and this over here is an AK-47: that's probably what you'll see your enemy with more than anything else. Watch out--the barrel gets hot during long fire fights." This is advice for a group headed for Iraq, but it's not Marines--it's diplomats. The United States plans to open its largest embassy ever in Baghdad (more than 1,700 employees at latest estimate), and everyone from office managers to ambassadors must take the State Department's Diplomatic Security Antiterrorism Course for Iraq (DSAC-Iraq). "We're asking people to go into a nontraditional diplomatic environment," says training-center director Justine Sincavage. "I'm not sure our people have been in a tougher environment since the last days of Saigon."
The weeklong session focuses on detection of IEDs (improvised explosive devices), emergency medical training for the most typical Iraq wounds (loss of limbs and gunshot), as well as chem-bio defense and hostage survival. Some tips: keep your car windows rolled up at all times to avoid "pop-ups"--insurgents who pop up through car sunroofs and lob grenades at you. Wear shatterproof glasses. Know at least two routes to your destination. Watch for kites let loose in the air: they may be a signal of your arrival. Do not assume children are harmless. And prearrange signals or words with your family and colleagues that would mean something if you're being taped in a hostage video. Hearing that tip, says one trainee headed to Baghdad this week, "gives you pause."