Empire or Nation Building–Fortress America in Iraq–Largest US Embassy in the World – $700,000,000 – 104 acres–$1,000,000,000 Operating Cost Per Year!–Videos
Largest U.S. embassy in the world opens
Fortress America: The US Embassy in Iraq
Largest US Embassy in the World – $700,000,000 – 104 acres – Fortress America in Iraq
Allegations of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse at the New U.S. Embassy in Iraq
Classic Ron Paul – Ron Paul introduces amendment to embassy security bill
US Embassy Baghdad Official Opening Ceremony
U.S. Embassy, Baghdad
“…The Embassy of the United States in Baghdad is the diplomatic mission of the United States in Iraq. It is located in Baghdad and is home to the Ambassador to Iraq. Ambassador James F. Jeffrey is currently the Chief of Mission.
A new embassy, which has been described as the largest and most expensive embassy in the world at 0.44 square kilometers—the size of Vatican City—was opened in January 2009 after a series of construction delays. It replaced the previous embassy, which opened July 1, 2004 in Baghdad’s Green Zone in a former Palace of Saddam Hussein. …”
“…A new embassy opened in January 2009 in the Green Zone in Baghdad. The embassy complex comprises 21 buildings on a 104 acre (42 ha) site, making it the largest and most expensive U.S. embassy in the world.
It is located along the Tigris river, west of the Arbataash Tamuz bridge, and facing Al Kindi street to the north. The embassy is a permanent structure which has provided a new base for the 5,500 Americans currently living and working in Baghdad. During construction, the US government kept many aspects of the project under wraps, with many details released only in a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee report. Apart from the 1,000 regular employees, up to 3,000 additional staff members have been hired, including security personnel.
With construction beginning in mid-2005, the original target completion date was September 2007. “A week after submitting his FY2006 budget to Congress, the President sent Congress an FY2005 emergency supplemental funding request. Included in the supplemental is more than $1.3 billion for the embassy in Iraq…” An emergency supplemental appropriation (H.R. 1268/P.L. 109-13), which included $592 million for embassy construction, was signed into law on May 11, 2005. According to the Department of State, this funding was all that was needed for construction of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Construction is being led by the Kuwaiti firm First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting.
- Six apartment buildings for employees
- Water and waste treatment facilities
- A power station
- Two “major diplomatic office buildings”
- Recreation, including a gym, cinema, and a swimming pool
The complex is heavily fortified, even by the standards of the Green Zone. The details are largely secret, but it is likely to include a significant US Marine Security Guard detachment. Fortifications include deep security perimeters, buildings reinforced beyond the usual standard, and five highly guarded entrances.
On October 5, 2007, the Associated Press reported the initial target completion date of September would not be met, and that it was unlikely any buildings would be occupied until 2008. In May 2008, US diplomats began moving into the embassy. The embassy still does not have enough fortified living quarters for hundreds of diplomats and other workers, a problem which has run into 2009. …”
Diplomacy has no place in this monstrous bunker
The new American Embassy in Baghdad is not architecture: it is an insult to the city.
“…The new American Embassy in Baghdad scowls at the world with a neo-Stalinist frown. It occupies some 104 acres next to the Tigris, assigned to the USA by the nominal Iraqi government in 2004. A hideous modernist bunker, devoid even of the residual classical motifs favoured for totalitarian architecture, it speaks bleakly of the USA’s position in the world.
An embassy, a unique patch of sovereign territory allocated to the overseas country, has traditionally been a site for diplomacy; a doorway to a foreign state. The architecture of newly-constructed embassies has of course always involved rhetoric, ranging from neoclassical bombast to studied good manners. …”
Baghdad Embassy Bonanza
Kuwait Company’s Secret Contract & Low Wages
David Phinney, Special to CorpWatch
February 12, 2006
“…Work for what is planned to be the largest, most fortified US embassy in the world was quietly awarded last summer to a controversial Kuwait-based construction firm accused of exploiting employees and coercing low-paid laborers to work in war-torn Iraq against their will.
More than a few U.S. contractors competing for the $592-million Baghdad project express bewilderment over why the U.S. State Department gave the work to First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting (FKTC). They claim that some competing contractors possessed far stronger experience in such work and that at least one award-winning company offered to perform all but the most classified work for $60 million to $70 million less than FKTC.
“It’s stunning what First Kuwaiti has been able to get from the State Department,” one contractor said.
Several other contractors that competed for the embassy contracts shared similar reactions and believe that a high-level decision at the State Department was made to favor a Kuwait-based firm in appreciation for Kuwait’s support of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
“It was political,” said one contractor.
Mohammad I. H. Marafie, chairman and co-owner of FKTC, is a member of one of the most powerful mercantile families in Kuwait. …”