Americans traveling to international destinations often check the State Department's travel Web site as they prepare for departure to make sure there aren't any warnings, advisories or announcements that might affect their plans. But some industry experts say the warnings generalize, are poorly timed or might be politically motivated. Still, "it's not a practical possibility for the government to ignore a threat even if a country might be annoyed by an advisory," former State Department official James Dobbins says.

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