On July 22, Warren P. Strobel of McClatchy Newspapers reports on “Big cuts needed at huge Baghdad embassy built by Bush.”
The U.S. Embassy in Iraq, the government’s largest overseas diplomatic mission, is significantly overstaffed and needs to be downsized to reflect the reduced American role in the country, according to a new State Department report.
“There is a clear consensus from the top to the bottom of the embassy: The time has come for a significant rightsizing,” says the report Wednesday by the department’s inspector general.
In addition to downsizing the embassy, the report recommends ending the Provincial Reconstruction Teams by 2011, which have been the prime U.S. tool for rebuilding civilian life in Iraq’s provinces.
“For some, it (the downsizing) is much overdue, as they believe the ‘civilian surge’ went too far,” the report says. “For others, it is a necessary result of the now-changed circumstances in Iraq and in our bilateral relationship.”
Good lordy, it’s about time! I’m still hunting down the OIG report on this. Will post as soon as it’s available online. In the meantime, read the full Strobel report here.
Update: Link to OIG report added @ 11:57pm
Embassy Baghdad, Iraq
OIG Report Number ISP-I-09-30A, July 2009