http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-gets-mini-pentagon-built-with-160-million-us-funds-1191 Afghanistan gets ‘mini-Pentagon’ built with $160 million US funds By Mirwais Adeel - Fri Jun 12 2015, The Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan (MoD) will have a new building in the near future as the construction work for the architecture has been completed with the financial support of the United States. The five-story $160 million Defense Ministry is called the “mini-Pentagon” which is expected to serve as the headquarters of a modern military more than a decade in the making. According to US officials quoted by The Associated Press during an exclusive tour of the building, the new building will help the military streamline its operations and more effectively counter the Taliban now that the U.S. and NATO combat mission has officially ended. It has taken four years to complete the new building which will 2,500 employees, with barracks for officers and enlisted men, an ancillary garrison as well as a wastewater treatment facility and a power plant. The building also has a dining hall for 1,000 people, an auditorium for more than 900 people, gyms, clinics and military courtrooms. Another $33.3 million was also added for some 70 tons of furniture, along with fixtures and computer equipment with another $12 million to be added for information technology alone. U.S. Maj. Gen. Todd Semonite, the American commander overseeing the transition, said “We now have the ability to be able to see the progress and the potential of everything that the security forces in Afghanistan can do.” A nationwide competition was held to choose the design for the 38,500 sq. meter (414,500 sq. foot) structure where a combination of the top two designs was chosen from the entries. The newly built Ministry of Defense is expected to be handed over to the Afghan authorities within this month which comes as the government of national unity has yet to fill the post of the new defense minister despite nine months have passed since the formation of the new government. However, it is expected that the fourth nominee for the post, Masoom Stanekzai, will be confirmed later this month, in time for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.