I'm writing a story about an elderly US ambassador who wants to retire but its stuck in a fictional hostile country, size about 30 millions .

All his staff has been PNG-ed due to helping democratic opposition to stage protests against the regime. He was absent due to health treatment when the affair blow up. And it is quite likely that they won't accept new appointment.

The state department hates the regime but they have nukes & oil so they want to keep the embassy open. Even some influence over regime behavior is better then nothing. They don't need West money or market, but they still need to maintain their oil drilling technology so there's some lever.

So the ambassador is stuck. Can't retire, doesn't have staff, can't hire locals.

Is it possible for him and his family to run the embassy?


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    $\begingroup$ @Philipp Deal with passport & visa for at least the oil industry businessman & experts. I guess tourist & similar visa could be neglected. Keep an eye of gross human rights violations, and put pressure on the regime whenever possible. $\endgroup$ – shivo Aug 1 '18 at 7:41
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    $\begingroup$ @shivo If 20 people show up to have their passports renewed, do all 20 people have to have their passports renewed for the embassy to be considered "run"? How many grains of sand must come together before it is considered a pile of sand? This is a rather vague question. $\endgroup$ – Neil Aug 1 '18 at 7:45
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    $\begingroup$ So they simply PNG every American who wants to work on the embassy? Said Americans can either come from the abroad or those already living in the country. If they do that, then why not just PNG the ambassador too? Why keep an embassy that they don't want? $\endgroup$ – Foolish Aug 1 '18 at 7:50
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    $\begingroup$ Your premise makes no sense. A country X which gets anger with another country Y can do two things with its ambassadors: X expels them - and Y has to replace them with another people - or X cuts diplomatic relationships with Y (and closes X's embassy in Y and Y's embassy in X). Either way your ambassador is going to be replaced, he's going to have his team renewed or the embassy is going to be closed. There's no result that ends with him alone in the embassy. $\endgroup$ – Rekesoft Aug 1 '18 at 10:05
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding, please take the tour and visit the help center. In order to improve the chances of receiving good answers, we advise to wait at least 24 hours before accepting an answer. Accepted answers attract less attention, and at any moment about 1/3 of humanity is sleeping, give them a chance. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Aug 1 '18 at 11:55

As a general rule.... No. An embassy have lots of services ti can provide - i don't think it is possible with 1 person (even if he has a family of 4-5 members)

An embassy represents your country in a foreign land. It hosts traveling dignitaries, deals with international political and business relations, and houses ambassadors. It is also a high-powered help desk for foreign travelers. Some services i can think of:

Services for travelers passports, visas, elections (if there is an election in your country), help find medical assistance

Embassy Services if you want to open a business in a foreign country, visit the embassy to get advise on how the legal system works, wire funds, get loans from local banks. Embassy can offer translations on any sort of document.

Political Services/Influence lots of stuff here, from political talk, to trading agreements... anything that can benefit or jeopardize the alliance/friendship of the two countries goes here.

  • $\begingroup$ So what would be the minimum? My story is based on premise of embassy staff being forced to work in near impossible circumstances. $\endgroup$ – shivo Aug 1 '18 at 7:53
  • $\begingroup$ first make a list of what services your embassy will provide, then try to group them, then assign 1-2 people for that group. Add your ambassador and one secretary for him (that will act as translator also) $\endgroup$ – andrew Aug 1 '18 at 8:03
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    $\begingroup$ Don't forget that one of the purposes of embassies is intelligence gathering - overt, SigInt, managing illegals. Embassies also need a military attache. Then you need security and janitorial staff - the latter are normally hired locally. This was one of the minor irritations resulting from Babylon 5's low budget - only one ambassador and one assistant per embassy. $\endgroup$ – KerrAvon2055 Aug 1 '18 at 10:19

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