This is a Facebook post from Kevin Gutzman. It’s a good question.
When James Madison was president, the USA had embassies in a handful of foreign countries. During the Cold War, it put them in basically every country in furtherance of a worldwide anti-Communist campaign. Today, it still has embassies virtually everywhere.Why?
There are two major forces in human history: boredom and inertia. This is a manifestation of the latter. The country can’t afford all of these embassies, and they don’t do any good.