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Parting Gift for Afghans: A Military McMansion


Three Years Late, an $89 Million Base for Afghan Troops May Be Too Complicated for Them to Operate; 'Deep Fryers? Really?'




ZARGHUN SHAHR, Afghanistan—In a dusty valley here, construction workers are racing to finish a fiber-optic-equipped military base for a wood-burning army.

The $89 million U.S.-funded forward operating base, called Super FOB, is being built to house the Afghan army brigade that patrols Paktika province, along the contentious Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Building a U.S.-Style Base for Afghan Troops

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Michael M. Phillips/The Wall Street Journal

Super FOB contains 122 buildings, many with lowered ceilings that absorb sound, terrazzo floors and forced-air heating and cooling. Fiber-optic Internet service is on its way. The hand-built stone wall surrounding the base cost $2.5 million.

Building a U.S.-Style Base for Afghan Troops








View SlideshowOB-SV133_0503bi_D_20120503111533.jpgMichael M. Phillips/The Wall Street Journal

But Super FOB is being completed, and due to be expanded, after the U.S. and its allies have decided the Afghan security forces should be about a third smaller than envisioned when the base was conceived by U.S. and Afghan strategists.

The base, already more than three years behind schedule, is so elaborate it will require fuel and technical skills that many U.S. officers doubt the Afghan army will possess once American troops withdraw. Scissors-32x32.png Read More



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