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October 27, 2007

Quagmire Alert…Citing Lack Of Volunteers, Administration Institutes Draft For Iraq.

No, not military volunteers, the services are doing a great job recruiting. It turns out the State Department that is having trouble staffing its 200 or so positions in Iraq. Apparently, there aren’t enough Ivy League graduates volunteering to serve a year there, so the department is going to start ordering people to fill key positions.

In the largest call-up of U.S. diplomats since the Vietnam War, the State Department is planning to order some of its personnel to serve at the American Embassy in Iraq because of a lack of volunteers.

Those designated "prime candidates" _ from 200 to 300 diplomats _ will be notified Monday that they have been selected for one-year postings to fill the 40 to 50 vacancies expected next year.

The U.S. military has quietly but repeatedly complained that its forces and other Defense Department personnel have been pressed into service in jobs that should have been filled by State Department personnel.

In particular, Defense Department employees and service members were forced to fill spots on provincial reconstruction teams for months because the State Department could not get personnel there.

Military officials have complained that other federal agencies _ including State, Commerce and Agriculture _ aren't moving quickly enough to fill critical needs in Iraq. Those agencies, they argue, have the expertise to help Iraqi business people and farmers get back to their jobs and improve the economy.

Now in fairness, Iraq is still a dangerous place (well, except incredibly for Anbar Province) and several State Department employees have died while serving there. It seems however that since everyone keeps saying that only a political solution will lead to victory in Iraq, you’d think the people who specialize in that would be flocking there.

I guess too many State Department officials took John Kerry’s advice…they got a good education and aren’t looking to gett’n stuk in Irak.

h/t Greyhawk at MilBlogs


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posted by DrewM. at 11:51 AM

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