US to Expand Kabul Green Zone, Gearing Up for Another Decade of Occupation

Green Zone Expansion Intends to Include Nearly All Western Embassies

President Trump’s commitment last month to escalate the Afghan War has the US looking at ambitious new schemes for the occupation in the years and decades to come. Among the first such moves is a major “public works” project in the capital of Kabul.

Kabul has a disastrously poor security history throughout the US occupation, but security is somewhat better in the Green Zone. The plan, then, is for the Pentagon to greatly expand the Green Zone to encompass a lot more of the city, including most of the Western embassies.

In the near-term, the idea is to improve security around the US Embassy, and end the current situation, where helicopters are constantly ferrying people too and from the embassy because that’s the only way to safely get people there. What is means in the long run is less clear.

Clearly there’s a limit to how much the Green Zone can ultimately be expanded, and the terrible security system across the rest of the country is going to remain a problem even if embassy activity gets a bit more convenient. If anything, the move likely represents a lack of good ideas for how to secure the country at large, instead working on a tiny fraction of the capital.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of