Diplomats to Be Ordered to Serve in Iraq

Lack of volunteers spurs biggest call-up since Vietnam War
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2007 7:33 AM CDT
A portion of the new U.S. embassy under construction is seen from across the Tigris river in Baghdad, in this May 19, 2007 file photo.The opening of a mammoth, $600 million U.S. Embassy, which had been...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Lacking volunteers for dozens of vacancies at the US Embassy in Baghdad, the State Department is set to order its diplomats to serve one-year postings in Iraq. Those selected for the postings will be notified Monday; if not enough take the bait, assignments will be made mandatory, on pain of  dismissal, AP reports.

The move is sure to be unpopular with Foreign Service officers, who balk at the danger of the assignment, with near daily insurgent attacks on the embassy's fortified Green Zone and lingering questions about the private security forces who guard US diplomats. The last large-scale use of "directed assignments" was during the Vietnam War.