Oil-Rich Iraq Should Fund Reconstruction, Say Senators

US taxpayers are footing bill instead
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 9, 2008 2:34 PM CDT
A sign outside a gas station shows fuel prices Monday, Feb. 25, 2008, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Why isn't an Iraq that's rolling in oil dollars funding its own reconstruction? senators Carl Levin of Michigan and John Warner of Virginia want to know. The Armed Services' Committee honchos wrote the Government Accountability Office saying Iraq is doing little to help itself despite a projected $100 billion in oil revenues in 2007 and 2008—and what's more, US taxpayers are shouldering the load.

“Our conversations with both Iraqis and Americans, as well as official government and unofficial media reports, have convinced us that the Iraqi government is not doing nearly enough,” wrote the senators. In 2003, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said Iraq could “really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon,” but the US has spent some $47 billion on reconstruction since then.