Billions more needed to secure US embassies

A 450-page plan has been sent to Congress
June 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
At least 150 American diplomatic missions abroad fall short of security standards put in place after the 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in Africa and the Nine-Eleven attacks. That's despite an intensive 4-billion-dollar drive to protect American missions abroad. And documents reviewed by The Associated Press show it will cost more than 8 billion dollars to upgrade or replace the most vulnerable of those facilities.

The State Department's Long-Range Overseas Buildings Plan calls for 7 and a-half billion dollars for new buildings at about 50 foreign posts. It will take 850 million dollars for a "major rehabilitation" of 40 others through 2013. An additional 60 embassies and consulates will need to be replaced or will require substantial work by 2018.

The 450-page plan was sent to Congress last week. The details of it are labeled "sensitive but unclassified" and not to be shared with foreign governments.