U.S. Building Its Largest Embassy in Iraq
The fortress-like compound rising beside the Tigris River here will be the largest of its kind in the world, the size of Vatican City, with the population of a small town, its own defense force, self-contained power and water, and a precarious perch at the heart of Iraq's turbulent future.
The new U.S. Embassy also seems as cloaked in secrecy as the ministate in Rome.
"We can't talk about it. Security reasons," Roberta Rossi, a spokeswoman at the current embassy, said when asked for information about the project.The spokeswoman can't talk about it. No doubt it took a six-figure for her to muster those seven words.
The 5,500 Americans and Iraqis working at the embassy, almost half listed as security, are far more numerous than at any other U.S. mission worldwide. They rarely venture out into the "Red Zone," that is, violence-torn Iraq.