Billions Wasted on Abandoned Iraq Projects

Watchdog agency says $5B estimate may be understatement
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Disillusioned
Posted Aug 29, 2010 7:02 PM CDT
This July 24, 2010 photo shows a US-funded prison in Khan Bani Saad, Iraq, northeast of Baghdad--one of the projects funded by US taxpayers that remain abandoned or incomplete.   (AP Photo/Kim Gamel)
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(Newser) – As combat troops leave Iraq, they leave behind hundreds of unfinished projects—which cost the US some $5 billion. That amounts to 10% of the $50 billion spent on reconstruction, according to a US watchdog agency—and that could be an underestimate. The AP takes a look at a few examples of wasted money, from an empty $40 million prison to a still-unfinished $100 million waste water treatment system that has yet to stop sewage from running through the streets.

More than 4,800 projects have been completed, though, including success stories like hundreds of police stations and government buildings, newly trained security forces, and a new children’s hospital. Iraqis have complained they were not consulted on projects and often had to pay to complete them, but the Army Corps of Engineers commander says the ultimate success of the reconstruction program depends on them: “There's only so much we could do. A lot of it comes down to them taking ownership of it.” Click here for the full story.

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