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Kabul



What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

The embassy is huge, though it's getting somewhat smaller as the political climate is shifting toward "normalizing" operations at the embassy (which will only increase the stress as the project management burden on fewer employees grows). Morale varies, though I'd say it's generally moderate. Extroverts and active types do well here due to the myriad social activities and plentiful exercise opportunities. I have enough fun there to have volunteered for a second year-long tour. However, many people have a difficult time, more often due to the high stress and fast pace of the workplace rather than the actual danger, though the latter is very real. The substantial R&R allowance helps a lot with morale, and unlike some posts where it can be difficult to schedule R&R, in Kabul it is sacred. You can go AMAZING places during a year-long tour here. - Jun 18, 2014
Pretty large. I'd guess about 400 on the US Embassy compound across all agencies. - Jul 12, 2013
Huge. - Mar 30, 2013
Too many to count! I think we outnumber the Afghans! - Dec 27, 2010
Gigantic. Even if you take out the 120,000 NATO troops, I would say 20,000 civilians, and a large Afghan-American community. - Aug 2, 2010
Large and getting larger. I think we're close to 1,000 embassy staff on the compound. - Jul 10, 2010
Large and growing. - Sep 7, 2009
A few hundred depending on where you live in the country. - Mar 19, 2008