U.S. Embassy, ​​"the massive fortress Baghdad"

11.02.2012 | (Voice of Iraq) - add comment -
Baghdad / range Critics of the policies of the United States that the massive U.S. Embassy in Baghdad stands by itself to a lot of mistakes that marred Washington's approach in dealing with Iraq. And launched the magazine Vanity Fair at the Embassy title of "Fortress Baghdad, the huge" and sparked accusations of penetration of the Imperial and as an outpost fortified U.S. influence shielding the diplomats guarded by thousands of security contractors and is viewed by many Iraqis with suspicion officials announced this week that they began to plan to take the largest embassy of the United States at the level of the world "right size" in the latest twist in the story of the U.S. diplomat that the property surrounded by problems from the start. Said Tom Needs Deputy U.S. Secretary of State told reporters this week, "we can be a smaller space. We do not need a large area of this size," referring to an ongoing review of security contractors for the preparation of policies and local ownership of the embassy. "Regardless of size, we will work to ensure security of our diplomats and Aenahm there is this I-II to be our ability to engage in political action in Iraq at the highest level possible." U.S. officials insist that the mission as a whole is still working as usual and that any changes in the embassy staff will study carefully. But as a whole suggests a new approach to reduce one of the most ambitious projects of American diplomacy to this day, which warned of suspicious almost from the start that it would be necessary. The United States unveiled plans to set up a new embassy in 2004 when she was preparing to hand over formal sovereignty to Iraq's new leaders after a year of US-led invasion toppled Saddam. This was a testament to the plans the administration of President George W. Bush to turn Iraq into a democracy adopt a free market economy and a key strategic ally of the United States in the Middle East is not stable. But the size of the project has raised eyebrows since the first moment the embassy was established over 104 acres near the banks of the Tigris River in the "Green Zone" heavily fortified Baghdad to become the largest U.S. diplomatic facility and the highest cost at all. U.S. officials said that the vast complex which had a budget of its establishment at the beginning about one billion dollars and is equal in size to the size of the Vatican was almost necessary for the United States to continue its mission in the Iraq war, which began in 2003. Said U.S. Secretary of State at the time Condoleezza Rice congressional committee in 2007, "I think it is quite logical that we want to be us and a senior diplomat and a senior at the level of aid and the presence of large to deal with the Iraqi people in one of the most important countries in one of the most important parts of the world and this is the reason for the establishment of the Embassy of big there. " But it soon ran into problems such as failure of the project construction schedule and the increasing costs extra. Congress rejected the initial budget of one billion dollars, but did not agree to allocate $ 600 million. The State Department said the U.S. plans to use additional staff will require more housing and administrative staff and warned in 2007 that the total cost could reach $ 750 million. When he started to move U.S. diplomats to the embassy said the report of the Inspector General to the Ministry of Foreign Employment plans are exaggerated and should be reduced. And began plans for the United States to retain a large presence in Iraq back down after the war. In 2010, Congress cut funding for diplomacy programs in Iraq, forcing the State Department to reduce the number of consulates that it intends to open it. Then failed negotiations with the Iraqi government on the U.S. military presence after 2011 and the withdrawal of President Barack Obama last U.S. troops in December. But the role of the embassy has become more central to Washington's strategy in Iraq in 2011 after the departure of U.S. troops became the task of the embassy staff and their colleagues at the U.S. consulates in Basra and Arbil, Kirkuk, said "win the peace" after long and costly conflict in Iraq. And provided the plans and set up last year to continue to 16 000 people the U.S. presence in Iraq, including diplomatic and about two thousand employees, 14 thousand a federal contractor. But it seems that being re-examine these plans as it seeks once again the U.S. State Department is struggling to save costs in a period of austerity in the budget. Needs said Deputy Secretary of State, "We want to become a normal embassy over time and this would mean a decision on the number of contractors and the contractors and the size of our mission without losing our focus on our main task.

Read more: http://www.sotaliraq.com/mobile-news...#ixzz1m1rKNR6S