Funding for the massive U.S. Embassy in Baghdad may be cut by 10 percent next year, although top officials explain it will still be one of America’s largest imperial outposts in the world.
Spending on contracting costs will be trimmed and the immense size of the diplomatic presence may be reduced, said Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides. “Let’s make no mistake: This is a strategically important country for us for a whole host of reasons,” Nides said. “So it will always be a very large embassy,” adding that the cuts amounted to a “fine tuning.”
Ambassador James F. Jeffrey said the Baghdad embassy will remain the largest in the world “as long as I’m here.”
Talk about cuts to the embassy are occurring even as the Obama administration prepares for negotiations with Iraq for a new defense agreement that may include an expanded number of U.S. troops.
Nahida al-Dayni, a lawmaker and member of Iraqiya, a largely Sunni bloc in Parliament expressed concern about being kept in the dark and about remaining U.S. imperialism in Iraq. “The main issue between Iraqis and the U.S. Embassy is that we have not seen, and do not know anything about, an agreement between the Iraqi government and the U.S.”
“The U.S. had something on their mind when they made it so big. Perhaps they want to run the Middle East from Iraq, and their embassy will be a base for them here,” she added.
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