While the military might be shutting down the Burger King and Pizza Hut in bases in Afghanistan, fast food options remain in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Washington Post obtained a line-by-line breakdown of capital expenditures at the U.S. naval station in Guantanamo Bay, and it turns out that the Pentagon has spent at least $500 million since 9/11 renovating the base, including "$683,000 to renovate a cafe that sells ice cream and Starbucks coffee, and $773,000 to remodel a cinder-block building to house a KFC/Taco Bell restaurant." The Military Industrial Fast Food Complex!
This is in addition to baseball and football fields ($7.3 million), an abandoned volleyball court ($249,000), an unused go-kart track ($296,000), a skate park ($164,000), and 27 playgrounds that are often vacant ($3.5 million). Also: housing that looks like "modern-day hotels with mirrored walls, brass handrails and handsome foyers." This is only the renovation, mind you, for "not included are annual operating costs of $150 million."
Capt. Steven H. Blaisdell, the base's commander, defended the spending: "Because GTMO is an isolated and remote duty location with no access to an off-base community, all services must be provided on station... The installation benefits from expenditure of funds through retention and readiness improvements, as well as long-term facility sustainment, restoration and modernization."
But next up? "An expansion of one of the most popular spots on the base: O'Kelly's, an Irish pub."