Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Report: New U.S. embassy, world's largest, may be too small

Located across 21 buildings on 104 acres on the banks of the Tigris in Baghdad, the new U.S. Embassy will have its own water wells, electricity and wastewaster-treatment. There will be huge residences for the Ambassador (16,000 sf) and the Ambassador's deputy (9,500 sf), six apartments for senior officials, and two huge office blocks for 8,000 staff. Recreation includes the biggest swimming pool in Iraq, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, a cinema, restaurants, tennis courts and an 'American Club' for evening functions. Budgeted at more than one-half billion dollars, the actual construction costs will probably never be known.

For all those who keep whining about how the government can't do anything right, we're happy to report that the massive New Embassy Compound in Baghdad, the biggest U.S. embassy on earth, is going to be completed pretty much as scheduled in August.

The bad news is that it appears it's not going to have enough housing for all the employees who'll be moving to the 27-building complex on a 104-acre tract of land -- about the size of the Vatican, two-thirds the size of the Mall -- within the Green Zone.

In fact, our new man in Baghdad, Ambassador Ryan Crocker, is said to be concerned that, while there are more than 600 blast-resistant apartments in the NEC, there's a need for several hundred more apartments.

Read the rest at the NY Times

Related Link:
Perspective: How Much Embassy Is Too Much?