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Survey: US Diplomats Cite 'Disagreement' With Bush Policy for Refusal to Work in Iraq

A new survey shows that nearly half of U.S. diplomats who did not want to volunteer to work in Iraq say one reason for their refusal was "disagreement" with the Bush administration's policies in the country.

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) released results of its annual survey of active-duty members Tuesday. The AFSA is the union that represents U.S. diplomats.

More than 60 percent of the 4,300 respondents listed separation from family and security concerns as the top reasons for not wanting to serve in Iraq 64 percent and 61 percent, respectively. Forty eight percent also cited "disagreement" with administration policy as a reason for not volunteering.

Last year, the U.S. State Department created an uproar within the diplomatic service when it informed between 200 to 300 employees that they were prime candidates to fill 48 positions in Iraq if no volunteers stepped forward. They faced disciplinary action, including dismissal, if they refused the posting.

The State Department ended up with enough volunteers to fill the vacancies.

The AFSA survey also showed that more than 40 percent of its respondents 44 percent think U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is doing a "poor job" of representing their organization.

Forty four percent of respondents also said they would be less likely to remain in the foreign service until retirement.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.