Decadent Images From The $750 Million Embassy The US Built In Baghdad

REUTERS/Lucas JacksonTen years ago this week, Americans woke up to learn that the United States had invaded Iraq. 

They had been told it would cost $50 billion, that it would end soon — 42 days later the President declared Mission Accomplished — and that the U.S. would be greeted as liberators. 

That all didn’t work out as planned. 

What did work out was a luxurious compound in the heart of Baghdad on the banks of the Tigris where the thousands of Americans who would remain behind could work, shop, eat and relax in a palatial, $750 million embassy

Here, a man carries dry cleaning past the blast walls that surround the dining facility.

This is the Annex I building. The embassy compound is larger than Vatican City, and contains a food court and a shopping mall where embassy staff can spend their hazard pay.

A Christmas tree stands in the lobby of the Chancellery building in the compound.

Americans residing in the Embassy are encouraged to wash their hands when returning inside.

There's a six-lane swimming pool where Americans can swim laps.

Here's an embassy employee — one of 1,350 government employees, and thousands of contractors — working out in the fitness centre.

Next to the weight room there is a regulation-size basketball court.

Here's a private contractor comment box near scales in a hallway of the facilities building. The Embassy cost seven times as much as the Iraqi Police College.

Here's the palatial dining room.

Source: Reuters, Vanity Fair

Fresh fruit stands stacked next to a palm tree. While the U.S. spared no expense on the facility, the palm is admittedly fake.

Embassy employees can choose from a wide variety of desserts as well.

The Embassy generates its own power, has wells for water, as well as treatment and sewage plants.

There's even an irrigation system, which makes this regulation-size soccer field possible.

The apartment complexes within the compound are stocked with bullet-proof glass all around. Marks covering up shrapnel damage can be seen on some buildings.

Here's the commemorative plaque that hangs outside of the Chancellery wall inside the compound.

And it only cost the government $750 million to build.

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