• US Planning to Slash Iraq Embassy Staff by Up to Half

    February 7, 2012

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq, Military

    The New York Times reports today that “less than two months after American troops left, the State Department is preparing to slash by as much as half the enormous diplomatic presence it had planned for Iraq, a sharp sign of declining American influence in the country.”

    The World’s Largest and Most Expensive Embassy will remain, in Baghdad, but mostly as a shell. The cutting in half of the Embassy staff only mere weeks after the military pulled out of Iraq can only be described as the reluctant admission by the Department of State of complete failure. Iraq spirals out of control around the Embassy, which is helpless even to send its diplomats outside the walls to see what is going on. State’s summer-long bragging about being able to assume the security and logistics duties of the departed military crumbled quickly.

    Cited by the Iraqis as deal-breakers were the January arrest of Embassy mercenaries foot loose in Baghdad, and the emergency landing of an Embassy helicopter in urban Baghdad, both reported on this blog but not too many other places.

    FYI, the photo above shows a piece of sculpture paid for by your tax dollars as part of a $25,000 art project the US ran in Iraq for the reconstruction effort. The failure of that reconstruction, largely because the money was wasted on idiotic crap like that eagle, explains why the State Department failed in Iraq.

    War’s finally over for the US. While my book about the failure of reconstruction in Iraq was called “We Meant Well,” I think my next volume is going to be called “I Told You So.”

    To the 4479 Americans who gave their lives in Iraq, and to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died during our invasion and occupation, I cannot disgrace you by saying you died in vain, so I shall only say, now, rest in peace.




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  • Recent Comments

    • MattieB said...

      1

      During the decade-long war, many US service members were killed escorting supply convoys for the Baghdad Embassy (aka “The Mall of Iraq”), among the nearly 5000 US fatalities. And the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi fatalities.

      As you wrote in this post, that’s why it’s impossible to laugh about the insane stupidity and waste.

      02/7/12 10:11 PM | Comment Link

    • Administrator said...

      2

      I am so going to steal your phrase “Mall of Iraq.”

      02/7/12 11:12 PM | Comment Link

    • rja said...

      3

      Will the mega-building projects on the US Embassy compound in Kabul meet the same fate?

      02/8/12 4:23 PM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...

      4

      BTB — THAT is a brilliant pix:

      The gaudy golden eagle, the look of barely-veiled disdain, horror, revulsion, plus a state of being in flummoxed awe.

      02/10/12 5:09 AM | Comment Link

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