State Dept Delays Plan To Force Diplomats To Iraq

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The State Department has extended a window for diplomats to volunteer for Iraq duty in the hope the Bush administration can avoid ordering potentially unwilling candidates to serve in the combat zone, officials said Tuesday.

The department has put off until at least the end of the week the process of selecting foreign service officers for so-called "directed assignments" to Iraq as it looks for more volunteers to fill 48 spots that will come open at the Baghdad embassy and outlying provinces this summer, the officials said.