US Bungled Iraq Rebuilding: Report

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2008 7:26 PM CST
Construction scaffolding looms over an Iraqi boy in Baghdad, in this Friday, June 20, 2008 file photo.   (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)
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(Newser) – Hostile Pentagon planners and government turf wars have hobbled US attempts to rebuild Iraq, which failed to improve facilities since the days of Saddam Hussein, a searing federal report says. The unpublished history adds that when efforts lagged, the Pentagon publicly lied about them. Led by a Republican lawyer, the report concludes that the US "was not adequately prepared to carry out the reconstruction mission it took on in mid-2003."

The report admits some successes, such as the Treasury's stabilizing of the Iraqi dinar, the New York Times reports. It also concedes that violence hampered US efforts. But overall it depicts the $117 billion effort as a haphazard plan riven by partisan strife, and concludes by quoting Charles Dickens: “We spent as much money as we could, and got as little for it as people could make up their minds to give us.”