Corrente

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Now all we need in Afghanistan is a Green Zone

Now that we're building another humongous embassy:

Iraq redux? Obama seeks funds for Pakistan super-embassy

The White House has asked Congress for — and seems likely to receive — $736 million to build a new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, along with permanent housing for U.S. government civilians and new office space in the Pakistani capital.

The scale of the projects rivals the giant U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of $740 million.

Jeebus. Can't we find $4 million to round up the cost to an even $740 million?

Senior State Department officials said the expanded diplomatic presence is needed to replace overcrowded, dilapidated and unsafe facilities and to support a "surge" of civilian officials [and spooks and mercs] into Afghanistan and Pakistan ordered by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton*.

Will the new embassy have a Krispy Kreme donut shop? Missiles on the roof?

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose....

NOTE * Ouch!

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Submitted by candy on

Kabul to give diplomats an 'ordinary life' in Baghdad-style green zone

• Mayor wants embassies to move to secure airport site
• Locals fed up with closed roads near jittery missions

Jon Boone in Kabul guardian.co.uk, Sunday 17 May 2009 18.36 BST

Fed up with jittery foreign embassies forcing entire streets of the Afghan capital to be shut down to local traffic to protect themselves from suicide bombers, the mayor of Kabul is pushing for diplomatic missions in the city to move into a high-security green zone.

The diplomatic quarter would be built next to Kabul airport, allowing embassies to sit side by side, rather than having the buildings, seen as prime Taliban targets, scattered throughout the city.

The mayor, Abdul Ahad Sahibi, said the area would include an international school, hospitals and other facilities that would enable diplomats to enjoy an "ordinary life" with their families – most are currently banned from bringing their partners and children with them.

"If we could provide part of the city for a diplomatic district there will not be any need for road blocks and it will improve traffic flow," the mayor said. "Diplomats would be able to move freely from one embassy to the next."

The majority of embassy staff are already banned from moving around the city without bodyguards and from travelling in vehicles without bullet-proof glass and armoured sides. The plan would take this even further, with ambassadors stepping straight off their aircraft and into the green zone.

According to documents drawn up by Kabul municipality in August, the entire site would cover 380 hectares (950 acres) of prime land near the airport.

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Submitted by lambert on

And, in the minds of our elite, Iraq was a success, or they wouldn't be repeating it. Anybody checked into the oil situation lately?

NOTE One big change, though: This time, they're putting the Embassy near the airport. Well done, all.