Bloated Baghdad Embassy Needs 'Rightsizing': State

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2009 2:45 PM CDT
People watch the US flag as it is raised during a ceremony marking the opening of the new US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – An internal State Department assessment has deemed the recently completed US embassy in Baghdad grievously overstaffed, McClatchy Newspapers report. “There is a clear consensus from the top to the bottom of the embassy,” State’s inspector general writes. “The time has come for a significant rightsizing.” The embassy’s 1,200 employees are now occupying dormitories designed for 600.

The report places the blame squarely on the Bush administration, which commissioned the $700 million project. “Given the high priority placed on Iraq,” it reads, “many of the normal limits on staffing have not been imposed. Cost has not seemed to be a factor.” The reduced US military presence in Iraq also calls for a smaller diplomatic force.