One reason Americans were denied the cleansing vision of the last U.S. diplomats fleeing Baghdad by helicopter is because, haha, we sort of left the diplomats there — all 16,000 State Department personnel and military contractors and poorly disguised CIA torture spies and oil company representatives. But now, with “hard times” or whatever the current phrase to explain why the superbillionaires have whatever they want and even the American Empire must scale back, due to lack of money, Washington is planning to cut the staff and contractors in Iraq by half.

The New York Times reports:

BAGHDAD — Less than two months after American troops left, the State Department is preparing to slash by as much as half the enormous diplomatic presence it had planned for Iraq, a sharp sign of declining American influence in the country.

Officials in Baghdad and Washington said that Ambassador James F. Jeffrey and other senior State Department officials are reconsidering the size and scope of the embassy, where the staff has swelled to nearly 16,000 people, mostly contractors.

But we just finished the $750 million U.S. Embassy! It’ll probably cost at least twice that much to reduce its size. [New York Times]

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  • Dashboard Buddha

    Diplomacy is the art to telling someone to go to Iraq in such a way they look forward to the trip.

  • LettucePrey
    • DaRooster

      Fuck :(

    • Monsieur_Grumpe

      Probably from Donald Rumsfeld, a man of few words.

  • Schmannnity

    Maybe we could sublease some space to Iran.

  • DaRooster

    We need to tax the middle class some more and keep the hired killers diplomats there.

  • What the Halliburton is going on?

    • I wish they'd get to the KBR of the problem.

      • not that Dewey

        Xe whiz! Can't you do any better than that?

        • BearNoLike

          You guys, always droning on about it

  • HempDogbane

    They have to rest up for the re-posting to Iran, after the cakewalk.

  • Two words, officer Riggs: "Diplomatic Immunity!"

    • MosesInvests

      …has just been revoked!

      • Crank_Tango

        I'm gettin too old for this shit.

  • edgydrifter

    I imagine lonely junior State Dept. staffers, their footsteps echoing off the dusty tiles of empty hallways, searching in vain for an ass-crack to drink vodka out of.

  • Callyson

    Mission Make This Go Away.

  • chascates

    Diplomacy? We use diplomacy with Iraq? And they STILL haven't thanked George W. Bush for liberating them!

    • beavertank

      Fully armed drone diplomacy.

      The modern equivalent to a gunboat.

  • Data Exactly

    "we sort of left the diplomats there — all 16,000 State Department personnel and military contractors and poorly disguised CIA torture spies and oil company representatives."

    I'm thinking ….. ROAD TRIP!!!!

  • memzilla

    "8,000 diplomats." What a quaint way to describe CIA operatives and Blackwater/Xe contractors.

    All the diplomats I know carry automatic weapons, right?

    • Swampgas_Man

      If they don't, they should. Nobody looks cooler than a "negotiator" w/ a semi-automatic.

  • AlterNewt

    This is good news for nobody in particular.

  • chicken_thief

    Obummer the jerb killer doing what he does best, but now, internationally.

  • chicken_thief

    'Scuse me, I have to check my Facebook status updates because I don't think Bible Spice is going to like this. Not one bit.

  • easytheresport

    Cant they just leave an extra 5,000 there so they can apply for statehood?

  • SorosBot

    "the staff has swelled to nearly 16,000 people, mostly contractors"

    Uh, Times, the correct word is mercenaries. That's mercenaries.

  • SayItWithWookies

    Only 8,000 diplomats?! Hell, why don't we just go find a Muslim and hand him the keys to the Caliphate already?

  • GOPCrusher

    At least they don't call them "advisers", because that could stir up some bad memories.

  • Dudleydidwrong

    Just think of 8000 diplomats sitting around, wearing their striped pants or panties and wondering what the fuck they are going to do now that they've gotten tired of playing solitaire on their government-issued computers. As soon as the shit starts flying around again, they'll never get out of that compound to go shopping on Rashid Street. Then the helicopters will remove them via the roof. "Mission Accomplished"

  • Solution: new wars in Syria and Iran to be the bread of the Peace-in-Iraq-Spreading-Democracy Sandwich

  • pinkocommi

    " reconsidering the size and scope of the embassy, where the staff has swelled to nearly 16,000 people, mostly contractors"

    How many contractors does one really need to take all the Iraqi oil?

  • SoBeach

    All that massive embassy (heck, that whole country) was ever meant to be was a staging area for toppling other nearby countries. Who could have imagined that wouldn't work out?

  • Maybe it's a sharp sign of who gives a fuck. Iraq is the official Ugg boots of foreign relations.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    I think this works out to two or three American diplomats for each and every Iraqi government official. That's what I call being helpful.

  • RedneckMuslin

    I hate being the bad house guest that won't leave.

  • MinAgain

    Well, then, that should certainly free up illegal parking for the locals.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    The reason they are cutting the staff is because they found the WMDs Mark Wahlberg's Iraqi ass-map.

  • V572 Flambé

    Used to work with some guys who were doing the design of our glorious embassy in the Baghdad Green Zone, and they were having a hard time getting the cost down below $1 million/desk. Looks like it's going up to 2 mil each, but think of all the storage space they'll have.

  • Extemporanus

    You know who else was prepared to slash something in half diplomatically?

    • not that Dewey
      • Extemporanus

        You're not very good with fractions, are you?

        • not that Dewey

          Okay, fine.

          Eng Bunker?

    • GorzoTheMighty

      Sudentenland/ Czechoslovakia?

    • Oblios_Cap

      Obviously a Solomon reference, Bibi.

    • MinAgain

      The Yalta Conference?

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    Time for a SURGE!!!!111!!!

  • chitrade

    It's not a mater of reducing the size of the embassy. We have to *concentrate* it.

  • orygoon

    We aren't wanted in Iraq. We don't have people who want to BE in Iraq.

    Common sense begins to sink in, just a little, after nine looong years. What a country.

  • ttommyunger

    I sure wish I could quit you, Sandbox.

  • ShaveTheWhales

    Approximately 1 of every 300 US residents is a non-military employee of the US Government. Evidently, about 1 of every 1500 residents of Iraq is a diplomatic employee of the US Government.


  • CapeClod

    Apparently we come to the conclusion that we don't need 16,000 people to watch a country fall apart.

  • elburritodeluxe

    This is going to fucking KILL Iraq's fledgeling 'coke and hookers' industry.

  • friendlyskies

    They call themselves "private contractors," but if they were real capitalists, they would re-zone half the embassy as a mall, with movie theater, food court, miniature golf, the works. They could bill it as the "Safest family-friendly evening out in Baghdad!" The place would pay for itself.

    But, no. That would require "business acumen," "ethical gymnastics," and "moxie," something Mittens or even The Donald could teach them all about – if this year's crop of GOP candidates weren't too chickenshit to do the once mandatory military photo op.

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