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The Pentagon is asking Congress for more than $450 million for maintaining and upgrading the Guantanamo Bay prison that President Barack Obama wants to close.
The budget request for the fiscal year beginning October 1 calls for $79m for detention operations, the same as the current year, and $20.5m for the office of military commissions, an increase over the current amount of $12.6m. The request also includes $40m for a fiber optic cable and $99 million for operation and maintenance.
The Pentagon also wants $200m for military construction to upgrade temporary facilities. That work could take eight to 10 years as the military has to transport workers to the island, rely on limited housing and fly in building material.
"Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe," the president said at a White House news conference last month. "It is expensive. It is inefficient. It hurts us in terms of our international standing. It lessens cooperation with our allies on counterterrorism efforts. It is a recruitment tool for extremists. It needs to be closed."