Iraq reconstruction

17 Stories

US Wasted $8B in Aid to Rebuild Iraq: Report

US managers insisted on large projects Iraqis did not want, says assessment

(Newser) - At least $8 billion of the $60 billion spent by the United States on Iraq reconstruction was wasted due to US insistence on large rebuilding projects that the Iraqis did not want—that's according to the long-awaited, 171-page report "Learning From Iraq," released today by the special... More »

US Cracking Down on War Zone Corruption

Prosecutions for bribery, theft in Iraq and Afghanistan rising

(Newser) - American prosecutors have been making it a lot more difficult for people involved in reconstruction work in Iraq and Afghanistan to line their pockets and get away with it. Prosecutions for bribery, theft, and other crimes have risen sharply this year, according to two government reports. Those convicted include a... More »

Billions Wasted on Abandoned Iraq Projects

Watchdog agency says $5B estimate may be understatement

(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... More »

Pentagon Lost Track of $8.7B in Iraqi Oil Money

It didn't wind up in specially designated accounts

(Newser) - The Pentagon can’t account for $8.7 billion of the $9.1 billion in Iraqi oil money given to it for reconstruction expenditures between 2004 and 2007, according to a new audit. The military has no audit at all for $2.6 billion of that money, and the rest... More »

US Fears $53B in Iraq Reconstruction Will Go to Ruin

Projects from power plants to hospitals are at risk of sitting idle

(Newser) - As the American troop withdrawal nears, US officials fear the $53 billion taxpayers have spent since 2003 to rebuild Iraq will be squandered. Facilities from power plants and water treatment facilities to schools and hospitals are at risk of being neglected or abandoned for lack of funding or expertise, the... More »

Economic Woes Threaten Iraq's Stability

Declining oil prices and aid cancel urgently needed rebuilding

(Newser) - Countries around the world are suffering budget shortfalls and declining exports, but few nations have seen as calamitous a fall in revenues as Iraq. As oil prices have plummeted and American financial support has dried up, Iraq is canceling projects and struggling to pay government employees. As the New York ... More »

Inquiry Into Iraqi Graft Expands to Top US Officers

(Newser) - The United States' poor track record on rebuilding Iraq has long been chalked up to lousy planning by Pentagon brass. But an expanding investigation by federal authorities adds another element to the mix: possible corruption by the military commanders who oversaw reconstruction in the Wild West days after the invasion,... More »

US Bungled Iraq Rebuilding: Report

(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... More »

Iraq Has $79B Budget Surplus

GAO says Bagdad sitting on a lot of money, raising complaints from US senators

(Newser) - The Iraqi government could end this year with as much as a $79 billion cumulative budget surplus, based largely on ever-increasing oil revenues, US congressional auditors say. A report by the Government Accountability Office made public today prompted renewed calls from senators that Baghdad pay more of the bill for... More »

Foreign Companies Cash In on Stable Iraq

Baghdad aggressively courts international investment

(Newser) - With security and stability on the rise, Iraq’s government is turning its attention, and its generous budget, toward reconstruction. That’s led to some big opportunities for Western businesses, which are scrambling to get a cut of the country’s $25 billion reconstruction budget. Iraq, which lacks the resources... More »

Iraq to Net Record $70B Oil Windfall

Congress calls for aid cuts after revenue forecast doubles

(Newser) - US analysts estimate that record-breaking oil prices and a fall in insurgent attacks on pipelines will boost Iraq oil revenue this year to $70 billion—double earlier estimates, the Wall Street Journal reports. The latest figure has sparked a call among US lawmakers to demand that Iraq pay more of... More »

Army's Role in Iraq Turning Personal

Troops 'all but qualify for Iraqi citizenship,' for better or worse

(Newser) - After five years of war, the US military is enmeshed in virtually all aspects of Iraqi life—a common development in such engagements but one that can prove to be a double-edged sword for military efficiency, writes Lawrence Kaplan in the policy forum Bitter Lemons. "American units slowly melt... More »

Bush Praises Iraqi Offensive

President scolds Congress' calls for withdrawal

(Newser) - President Bush praised the government of Iraq today for the offensive launched three days ago against militias in Basra, painting it as a sign of progress toward the goals of the US war, the AP reports. Bush also criticized Congress for calling for troop withdrawals so the military’s attention... More »

Oil-Rich Iraq Should Fund Reconstruction, Say Senators

US taxpayers are footing bill instead

(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... More »

A Taste of China Opens in Baghdad

War-torn city gets its first taste of dumplings in Karrada restaurant

(Newser) - The central Baghdad neighborhood of Karrada has seen its share of brutal changes over the past few years, but saw a sign of life in January, when a Chinese restaurant opened its doors, reports Middle East Online. "Like security in Baghdad, it will get better," said one of... More »

US Troops Rebuild With Old Enemies in Iraq

'Hard pill to swallow,' Marine says

(Newser) - Capt. Sean Miller keeps up an easy calm as he helps manage rebuilding efforts in Anbar province these days. But when an Iraqi contractor claimed he was promised money to bury Saddam's solders, the 32-year-old Marine captain lost it. "Those guys were trying to kill me,” Miller said.... More »

Iraq Watchdog Gets His Own Probe

Charges of inflated OT, email snooping and hexes by wiccan deputy

(Newser) - The tables have turned on the federal watchdog who has spent the past four years investigating waste and fraud in Iraq—he's now the target of an FBI probe of his own alleged overspending and mismanagement. Former employees claim that Inspector General Stuart Brown paid some employees inflated six-figure overtime,... More »

17 Stories