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$80 million later, U.S. abandons consulate site in Afghanistan citing security risks

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 5/5/12

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After signing a 10-year lease and spending more than $80 million on a site envisioned as the United States' diplomatic hub in northern Afghanistan, American officials say they have abandoned their plans, deeming the location for the proposed compound too dangerous.

Eager to raise an American flag and open a consulate in a bustling downtown district of the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sherif, officials in 2009 sought waivers to stringent State Department building rules and overlooked significant security problems at the site, documents show. The problems included relying on local building techniques that made the compound vulnerable to a car bombing, according to an assessment by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul that was obtained by The Washington Post. The decision to give up on the site is the clearest sign to date that, as the U.S.-led military coalition starts to draw down...

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