Recently the White House has asked congress for $736 million in order to build a new U.S. embassy in the Pakistani capital city of Islamabad. The huge scale of the operation is similar to that of the recently constructed embassy in Iraq (pictured below), which cost $740 million to build over the last few years. In addition, the U.S. government has laid out plans for other projects in Kabul, Afghanistan and several other locations in Pakistan. Certainly, this kind of project is reason for concern and allegations of U.S. imperialism are already being leveled.
On his site, RebelReports, Jeremy Scahill poses the question of whether these tactics and the idea of "extending U.S. influence in the region" is really that different from the philosophy that drove the Bush administration's War on Terror, and subsequent War in Iraq. For obvious reasons, Obama seems to be a more capable and thoughtful leader than Bush, but Scahill offers some valid questions. Why do we in America feel it is our responsibility to have such heavy influence over this part of the world? How much are these decisions influenced by corporate interests? And if our goal is really to eradicate or prevent terrorism, isn't our influence and presence in other countries the main factor contributing to their anger and fear of us? Read more from Scahill and the full story on the new embassy here.