US Spending Billions to Militarize Iraq, Afghanistan
July 1, 2012
The Washington Post & Citizens for Legitimate Government
The United States is spending $92 million to build Afghanistan a new "Pentagon," a massive five-story military headquarters with domed roofs and a high-tech basement command center. State Dept. planning to spend $115 million to 'upgrade' $700 million US Embassy in Baghdad. US troops have withdrawn from Iraq, but US money hasn't.
US Building Afghanistan a Huge
$92 Million Military Headquarters
>Joshua Partlow / The Washington Post
KABUL (July 1, 2012) -- The United States is spending $92 million to build Afghanistan a new "Pentagon," a massive five-story military headquarters with domed roofs and a high-tech basement command center that will link Afghan generals with their troops fighting the Taliban nationwide.
But when Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak asked for a bigger office in the building -- a change that would cost about $300,000 -- he got a firm "no." Such changes cost time and money, US military officials said, and in Afghanistan, both are in ever-shorter supply.
"We could do them, but we're not going to do them," Col. Andrew Backus, the director of engineering for the NATO command in charge of training and equipping the Afghan security forces, said of the Afghans' proposed revisions. "What we're going to do is finish the project with strict change control and turn it over to the Afghans. And if they want to change it, then they can change it."
The military headquarters is one of the most prominent public symbols of America's ongoing financial commitment to Afghanistan.
Rising amid Kabul's dusty streets, the 516,000-square-foot building, still cloaked in scaffolds and cranes, dwarfs other buildings in town.
"Once it's finished, it will be a permanent and a very significant illustration of the US support for Afghanistan," Wardak said in an interview.
Even with American troops beginning their withdrawal, the US government is still working its way through a $10 billion menu of construction projects. Of the 1,150 buildings planned, more than 600 have been completed, with a total value of $4 billion.
The United States is also building a $54 million Kabul headquarters for the Interior Ministry, which oversees the Afghan police, and a $102 million base for the military's 201st Corps in eastern Afghanistan.
State Dept. Planning to Spend $115 Million to 'Upgrade' $700 Million US Embassy in Baghdad
Citizens for Legitimate Government
(27 June 2012) -- The State Department is planning to spend up to $115 million to upgrade the US Embassy compound in Baghdad, already its biggest and most expensive in the world, according to pre-solicitation notices published this month. Remember, it has been 3 1/2 years since American diplomats moved into the 104-acre, $700 million facility.
According to a June 14 pre-solicitation, the estimated construction cost is put at between $60 million and $80 million and is expected to take two years to complete... The United States has spent about $100 million on the Police College facility, having built living quarters, a dining facility, an office building, a new gymnasium and a helicopter landing site.
On June 17, the grand opening of the $15 million Al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies "with funding from the US embassy," was announced in an embassy news release. [But we can't get single-payer healthcare, a teacher hired or a bridge fixed.
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