- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Despite working in one of the most dangerous areas the State Department operates in, the ambassador and staff of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul received high marks from inspectors who said they were “favorably impressed” by the diplomatic team.

“Their level of commitment and competence is generally high,” said the report by the State Department’s internal watchdog, the inspector general. “They recognize that they are doing important work, and their shared hardship has helped create a strong sense of community.”

One of the embassy’s biggest problems has been a high turnover rate, as most Americans serve one-year tours in the diplomatic office, the IG said. That loss of workers is only set to accelerate as most U.S. personnel leave the country by the end of this year.

“The first stage has reduced civilian staff outside Kabul from 449 in 105 field posts to 120 in four posts,” the IG said, noting that staff inside Kabul would likewise be drawn down.

But the embassy is taking steps to address just how many people it may need, investigators said, and has so far set up a sound plan for what to do following the troop withdrawals.

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