There are about 200 Foreign Service Officers in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. How many of them do you figure are fluent in Arabic? The question was posed in today’s State Department press briefing, and here’s the answer:
Question: How may Arabic speakers with 3/3 levels of proficiency are currently serving at Embassy Baghdad?
Answer: We currently have ten Foreign Service Officers (including the Ambassador) at Embassy Baghdad at or above the 3 reading / 3 speaking level in Arabic. An additional five personnel at Embassy Baghdad have tested at or above the 3 level in speaking. A 3/3 indicates a general professional fluency level.
Good to know that one of them is Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Crocker sent a cable to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on May 31 complaining that the Embassy does “not have the Department’s best people.”