The Pentagon is planning to use $60 million in emergency construction funds this fiscal year to build a complex of 6 to 10 semi-permanent structures resembling Quonset huts, each the size of a football field, a Defense Department official said. The structures will have more natural light, and each will have its own recreation area. There will be a half-dozen other buildings for administration, medical care and other purposes, the official said.
The plans mark a change in the Pentagon's thinking on the future of the Afghanistan conflict. Until recently officials had expressed belief that the detention phase of the war would wind down. Plans to replace the decrepit facilities at Bagram Airforce Base, which now typically holds more than 600 prisoners in cramped facilities, suggest that the Pentagon now expects the conflict with the taliban to generate a steady flow of detainees.
Signs that a prisoner of war model is being replaced by a penological one, includes plans to improve opportunities for family visits, religious practice, and even a measure of job training.