World’s Largest Embassy Opens in Baghdad

Three and a Half Years and $700 Million Later, American Diplomats Finally Move Into Embassy

Weeks of moving are finally completed, and the United States has opened its enormous new embassy in Baghdad. Taking over three and a half years to complete and costing in the realm of $700 million, the gargantuan compound is bigger than the Vatican, and the largest and most expensive embassy on the planet.

A city within a city, the compound will employ thousands, and features a power station, a water treatment plant, schools, restaurants, and shopping areas. All in a fortress-like environment that will make security even in the Green Zone seem lax.

Beset by cost overflows and massive delays (the embassy was initially supposed to be finished in June 2007) many saw the embassy project as a symbol of the entire American military adventure in Iraq: a never-ending quagmire which the Bush Administration was always willing to throw more money at.

Yet while the government finally managed to build an embassy, a wave of bombings across Baghdad provided a reminder that some goals remain far from under their control.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of