Half Billion Dollar U.S. Embassy in Baghdad 'Not Big Enough'?
By Sharon Weinberger EmailJuly 24, 2007 | 8:32:04 AMCategories: War Update
Embassy The massive embassy rising in Baghdad's fortified green zone may not be big enough to house all the planned employees, the LA Times reports. "Despite its brash scale and nearly $600-million cost, the compound designed to accommodate more than 1,000 people is not big enough, and may not be safe enough if a major military pullout leaves the country engulfed in a heightened civil war, U.S. planners now say," the paper writes.
More problematic, however, is how the embassy appears to be viewed by Iraqis.
"It's all for them, all of Iraq's resources, water, electricity, security," said Raid Kadhim Kareem, who has watched the buildings go up at a floodlighted site bristling with construction cranes from his post guarding an abandoned home on the other side of the Tigris River. "It's as if it's their country, and we are guests staying here."
Stephen Biddle of the Council on Foreign Relations had a different way to describe the embassy, particularly in the even of an all out civil war: "If the government of Iraq collapses and becomes transparently just one party in a civil war, you've got Ft. Apache in the middle of Indian country, but the Indians have mortars now."