Quickie: Gunning for London via Baghdad? Better Hurry …

Linked assignments may soon be a thing of the past

From the GAO Report on US Embassy Baghdad:

[…]The Department should reassess the policy of linked assignments. While it is an important incentive for some, but certainly not all, personnel in Iraq, it is the most difficult to continue to implement. As pointed out in a 2007 OIG report on human resources, it may not be sustainable. The policy has also diminished the ability of some onward assignment posts to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

For example, a recent OIG inspection of Embassy London noted that by 2010 linked assignments will result in only one experienced economic officer in that Embassy’s large and busy economic section. A senior officer in Embassy Baghdad felt strongly that the linked assignment policy should be terminated, saying he preferred to have people in Iraq who chose the assignment on its merits rather than as a means to get another job.

The OIG recognizes that this is a complex issue and that it requires further analysis by the Department in the context of a more general review of the incentive packages for Iraq and Afghanistan.