Washington building ‘Pentagon’ in Kabul
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (L) speaks next to Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey at their joint news conference at the Pentagon in Washington June 29, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri GripasThe 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 in the capital of Kabul.
“Once it’s finished, it will be a permanent and a very significant illustration of the United State’s support for Afghanistan,” Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak said in an interview, the Washington Post reported.
The United States is still working its way through a $10 billion menu of construction projects aimed at bolstering the Afghan security forces. Of the 1,150 buildings planned, more than 600 have been completed, with a total value of $4 billion.
In addition to new headquarters for the Defense Ministry, the United States is building headquarters in Kabul for the Interior Ministry, which oversees the Afghan police, at a price tag of $54 million. They are also building a $102 million base for the military’s 201st Corps in eastern Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, a man wearing an Afghan police uniform shot dead three British soldiers at a checkpoint in Afghanistan on July 1, Britain’s Defense Ministry said yesterday. The assailant was injured and detained, a Defense Ministry spokesman said. Their deaths take the number of British military personnel killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001 to 422.
NATO-led forces have suffered a string of attacks by members of Afghanistan’s security services on foreign troops and their mentors, adding to pressure on some countries to withdraw.