Fake Raids Test Iraqi Reconstruction

U.S. aid to small businesses works only if it's invisible. Otherwise, companies get 'immediately shot or blown up.'
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Mar 22, 2007 11:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – The American military is staging fake raids on Iraqi small businesses to confirm that US aid is being well spent—without tipping off insurgents that they have any US connection. "The only way things will work is if the US contribution is totally invisible," says a civil-affairs officer, suggesting that cooperating with Americans puts a bull's eye on Iraqi citizens. 

Military civil-affairs teams are trying to revive Iraq's shattered economy by renovating offices, factories, and schools, but the only way to safely check their progress is to pretend that trouble is afoot. While a team of soldiers interrogates workers, another completes the real mission, surveying the reconstruction.