The State Department won’t have to assign diplomats to open posts in Iraq because enough staff members have volunteered for the spots, the AP reports. The department planned to require foreign service officers to serve at the US embassy in Baghdad and in nearby provinces if there weren’t enough volunteers, a decision that drew widespread criticism.
All 48 openings have now been filled, with only three of those posts awaiting final approval. Condoleezza Rice and the State Department faced an angry backlash from diplomats who questioned the ethics of forcing unarmed civilians to serve in a war zone. “Directed assignments” have not been used for Iraq, but diplomats were ordered to Vietnam in 1969 and to West Africa in the 1970s and 1980s.