Apparently there are cost overruns for the US embassy in Bagdad, this monument to all things excessive needs at least another 144 million to become completed.. what a freaking mess this is turning out to be.. What is interesting here is that despite our intent to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, they have imported a work force of 2,000 from other countries.. wouldn't it have been better to employ 2k Iraqis to build this monument of excess?? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/06/AR2007100601450.html?hpid=topnews The massive U.S. embassy under construction in Baghdad could cost $144 million more than projected and will open months behind schedule because of poor planning, shoddy workmanship, internal disputes and last-minute changes sought by State Department officials, according to U.S. officials and a department document provided to Congress. The embassy, which will be the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in the world, was budgeted at $592 million. The core project was supposed to have been completed by last month, but the timetable has slipped so much that the State Department has sought and received permission from the Iraqi government to allow about 2,000 non-Iraqi construction employees to stay in the country until March Completing the sprawling, 21-building compound is viewed by some officials as a key element of building a sustainable, long-term diplomatic presence in Baghdad. It will allow U.S. personnel to vacate their offices in Saddam Hussein's former Republican Palace and consolidate operations that are spread across the Green Zone. The new facility is also intended to provide diplomats with housing that is better protected to withstand mortar and rocket attacks. The growing price tag and delayed opening have alarmed members of Congress, some of whom regard the troubled project as the latest in a series of State Department management problems in Iraq. The department has been criticized for failing to send enough reconstruction specialists to assist U.S. forces in Baghdad and for not providing adequate oversight of its principal private security force, Blackwater USA, whose personnel have been accused of using excessive force to protect U.S. diplomats.