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US diplomat sees post-9/11 embassies as too costly

US diplomat sees post-9/11 embassies as too costly

The outgoing U.S. ambassador to Poland is criticizing the "fortress-like" construction of American embassies worldwide since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, saying they are built at a huge cost to U.S. taxpayers and often send an unfriendly message to non-Americans.
Victor Ashe was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush in 2004, and is in his final week as ambassador to Poland.
He says U.S. embassies are being built with costly security features, even in places where they aren't needed.
In a farewell newsletter e-mailed Thursday, Ashe says the embassies "quite often create a fortress-like atmosphere, and the impression given to host nations can be less than friendly."
He also says some are built far outside city centers, making them hard to reach.