The U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, the largest and most expensive in the world, cost at least $700 million to build by the time of its completion in 2009. Several years later in 2012, the embassy was scheduled for a $115 million upgrade as the Washington Post reported at the time. However, in spite of the cost and security measures already in place, the State Department recently prepared to solicit bids to furnish and install steel doors and "T-walls" in the embassy compound in Baghdad.
T-walls are 12-feet high concrete barriers to protect against sniper and bomb attacks. A 2008 Department of Defense report from Camp Victory in Baghdad estimated that one million of these barriers were in place around that entire complex at the time, costing about $800 each. Examples of T-walls from that 2008 report are pictured below:
No further details are provided in the pre-solicitation document about the quantity or specific use for the T-walls and steel doors to be acquired through the upcoming contract. The Request for Proposals is expected in February, but the date of the contract award is not yet determined. The work, however, is expected to be completed within seventy-five days of the contract award.
When asked for more details on the security upgrade and whether or not specific threats to the embassy prompted it, a State Department spokesperson replied, "We do not comment on security upgrades of status-level changes. We are constantly evaluating our security protocols and standard operating procedures to ensure the safety and security of our personnel."