The US government had “no comprehensive policy or regulatory guidelines” in place for staffing the management of postwar Iraq, according to the top government watchdog overseeing the country’s reconstruction.
The lack of planning has plagued reconstruction since the US-led invasion and has been exacerbated by a “general lack of co-ordination” between US government agencies charged with the rebuilding of Iraq, said Stuart Bowen, inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction.
His 110-page quarterly report, delivered to Congress at the weekend, has underscored how a “reconstruction gap” is emerging that threatens to leave many projects planned by the US on the drawing board.
“Nearly two years ago, the US developed a reconstruction plan that specified a target number of projects that would be executed using the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund. That number was revised downward [last year]. Now it appears that the actual number of projects completed will be even lower,” Mr Bowen says.
Increasing security costs were “the most salient” reason behind the shortfall, he concluded.
While 93 per cent of the nearly $30bn (€25bn, £17bn) the US has appropriated for reconstruction projects has been committed to programmes and projects, more than 25 per cent of the funds have been spent on security costs related to the insurgency.
Don't forget the nearly $9 Billion that just disappeared into the ether either.
The New York Times also chips in.