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U.S. to spend $100 million on Afghan bases

Aug. 22, 2010 at 4:14 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The Pentagon says it plans to spend $100 million on air base expansions in Afghanistan with construction efforts continuing into at least 2011.

Despite growing disaffection with the war and President Obama's pledge to begin withdrawing U.S. troops in July 2011, many of the projected installations have extended completion deadlines, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

All three of the bases are for the sole use of U.S. forces.

The House and Senate Appropriations committees have approved requests for an additional $1.3 billion for multiyear construction of military facilities in Afghanistan, the Post reported. The vote has yet to go before the full Senate.

The United States has already set aside $5.3 billion to build facilities for the Afghan army and national police, with most of the "enduring facilities ... scheduled for construction over the next three to four years," a Pentagon release said.

Troop withdrawal in 2011 does not mean the end of combat operations, as the three new projected bases indicate, the Post reported.

The broader expansion of U.S. air facilities all over Afghanistan will be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance using helicopters, manned and unmanned aircraft.

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