The State Department is planning to cut the size of its Iraq Embassy in half, U.S. officials aid Tuesday, according to the Chicago Tribune. This decision has been made less than two months after American troops left the country.
Officials in Baghdad and Washington said that the size and scope of the embassy, which has grown to a staff of nearly 16,000, mostly contractors, needs to be reconsidered.
Although the expansive diplomatic operation and the $750 million embassy building were deemed necessary to nurture a postwar Iraq, Americans have become frustrated by the inability to interact with the Iraqi people and being confined to the embassy because of security concerns, according to the New York Times.
A small amount of U.S. personnel remain in the country to help with training and arms sales for Iraqi forces, according to the Tribune.