Monday, May 05, 2008

Housing Shortage in Baghdad

The Skeptical Bureaucrat discusses the housing shortage at the new Embassy in Baghdad.

The shortage is the consequence of State assigning more staff to Baghdad after the NEC was well into construction, and of approving still more NEC occupants - USAID and DOD - when the construction project was already in its final stages. OBO couldn't add enough housing to accommodate all of the new embassy arrivals for the same reason that you can't change a tire on a moving car. And keeping everyone out of the completed NEC for yet another year while waiting for more and better-protected housing to be built wasn't an option, I'm sure.

So what can be done now? Risk Management 101 tells us that when we can't lessen the threat of rocket and mortar attacks, and after we've reduced our vulnerability to the threat all we can (by hardening structures and making staff wear body armor when outdoors), then the only way left to lower our risk is to reduce the number of people on the site. Any other embassy receiving rocket and mortar fire would be evacuated or put on ordered departure, as U.S. Embassy Sanaa was recently after it was attacked to no effect with only four measly 51mm mortar rounds, but, again, that's not an option in the case of Baghdad.

You can read the entire post here.

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