U.S. eyes cuts to Iraq embassy after troops exit.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq John D. Negroponte, right, shows honors…

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq John D. Negroponte, right, shows honors to the colors as U.S. Marines raise the U.S. flag on the grounds of the new U.S. Embassy in Iraq on July 1. DoD photo

The U.S. government is looking to cut the size of its embassy in Iraq, by far its largest and most expensive mission, months after the last American troops withdrew, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

A State Department spokeswoman told reporters in Washington the objective was to reduce the cost of the overall mission, which includes roughly 2,000 diplomats as well as 14,000 contractors who do everything from provide security to run the kitchens.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the U.S. government was preparing to slash its diplomatic presence, which includes consulate operations in Basra, Arbil and Kirkuk, by as much as one half.

Source: Reuters

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