by David Phinney
Sunday November 18th 2018

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Baghdad Embassy Delayed Indefinitely with Cost Overruns

The opening of the mammoth new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has been delayed indefinitely, according to Reuters as the Kuwaiti contractor “fixes a punch list of problems,” the State Department said on Tuesday.

The sprawling complex, whose cost is edging toward $750 million, was set to open last month but U.S. lawmakers say shoddy work by the contractor and poor oversight by the State Department have delayed it.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack rejected claims of inadequate oversight and said there was no indication how long it would be before the new embassy opened.
“I can’t tell you when the embassy is going to open,” said McCormack. “We don’t have an answer.”

That “punch list” appears to have an estimated cost of $144 million, but McCormack suggested otherwise: original specifications of the contract changed after it became clear that more office and living space was needed for civilian and military staff.
Originally the Bush administration requested $1 billion in emergency funding to build what is touted as the largest diplomatic mission in the world. Congress balked and cut it back to $600 million, but apparently the sum is climbing skyward again.
Here’s the Reuters report: Embassy opening in Baghdad delayed indefinitely
This development of delays and costs directly contradicts sworn testimony before US congress in July by the head of embassy construction who said: “We are slated to complete the project in September of this year and personnel can begin to move into offices and residences shortly thereafter.”

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One Response to “Baghdad Embassy Delayed Indefinitely with Cost Overruns”

  1. Youssef says:

    I’m a retired soiedlr and I’d like to see the U.S. stop being the world’s policeman. Defense needs to be cut by about 1/3, maybe more (over a period of time). If countries that live in bad neighborhoods like Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Japan et al want U.S. troops to remain then our response could be Fine, but you pay (pick-a-number) 80% of the *total* cost of stationing them there recruitment, training, equiping, deploying, supplying, troop-rotations, etc. (Why not 100%? I recognize that the U.S. derives some benefit from the armed forces being a certain size; employment, economies-of-scale,etc.).Just the thought of all the nations that we’ve defended, liberated, given money to who routinely bad-mouth the U.S. and engaged in blatantly unfair trade practices being over-run by islamic & mongolian hordes fills my heart with a malevolent *glee*. (Exceptions would include our genuine allies like the U.K., Australia and Israel; maybe a couple of others). I should be ashamed but I’m not.

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