Sen. Nelson: Iraq should pay for US embassy security

Nelson, who is retiring at the end of the year, pointed to testimony from Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey at a November 2011 Senate hearing, when Dempsey said that a host nation has the first responsibility for securing embassies.

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“If Iraq is unable to provide security for U.S. personnel, then the Iraqi government should pay for the cost of doing so — rather than our nation’s taxpayers,” Nelson wrote. “While I understand there are many challenges facing the Government of Iraq, it is important for the United States to make it clear that we expect the new government to be responsible for shouldering the cost of security in their nation.”

While U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq at the end of 2011, the United States still has its embassy run by the State Department. Among the 16,000 people there are a number of private contractors to provide security for the embassy.