A senior Obama administration official said Tuesday that the United States is building a military base for its allies in Pakistan, with an estimated $2 billion price tag.
“We have a great relationship with Pakistan, and we want to build a strong relationship with them as well,” the official said at a news conference.
The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
President Barack Obama announced plans last week to spend $1.8 billion on the base, a significant jump from a $400 million plan unveiled by former President George W. Bush in 2006.
The $2.8-billion contract is one of several deals announced to expand U.S. military operations in Pakistan.
The U.N. human rights office said in February that the base will help protect U.K. troops and help secure vital resources for the U.A.E. Pakistan has become a flashpoint between Washington and Islamabad.
The two countries have fought three wars since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
Last month, the Pakistani military shot dead a Taliban commander, sparking the biggest protests in the country’s history.
U.H.W.O. officials say the base is part of the U to H.W.-II program, which aims to expand military cooperation between the two nations.
The Pakistani military also has a presence in the U, and the base would help support the U-H-V and the IAF in their efforts to counter militant threats.
A U.B.C. report in January found that the Pakistan-based Taliban still control large parts of the country, and analysts say it is unclear whether the country will fall into Taliban hands.
The Pentagon said in a statement that it was “confident that our allies will be able to secure the best conditions for their own security.”
It added that it is working to establish a “shared vision” of the future relationship between the U and Pakistan, noting that the U is working with Pakistan to develop a regional counterterrorism strategy and that the two countries share an interest in the region’s security.
The base will be built on the same landlocked province as the UH-VW facility, and it will have a capacity of about 2,500 soldiers.
The project is the second major effort by the Obama administration to expand its military presence in Pakistan since the summer.
Last year, the Pentagon announced a $200 million plan to build the UAB-II Joint Strike Fighter, which is designed to operate with other U.R.F.s, and will have around 400 troops.
Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the UF-17 will be the first fighter to be built in Pakistan under the $4.8 million deal, and in January, the president signed a law that allows U.
F-16 fighters to be delivered to Pakistan.