After more than a year of difficulties, the pace of contracting for Iraqi reconstruction projects picked up substantially over the past three months, but U.S. authorities have still spent only a fraction of the rebuilding money allocated by Congress, according to a new report.This has been an issue for a while. There's debate between Congress and people working in Iraq and for the Administration that want to streamline the process of getting money spent in Iraq. Too many bureaucratic hurdles remain.
The inspector general monitoring Iraq's rebuilding also said in his latest quarterly report, released today, that reconstruction aid promised by international lenders and other countries has only trickled into Iraq. Of the $13.5 billion pledged at a donors conference last year in Madrid, contributions and firm commitments total $2.7 billion, the report said.
Inspector General Stuart W. Bowen paints a picture of lawlessness and corruption hampering a reconstruction program that once promised Iraqis a significant boost from their pre-war standards of living. Allegations have surfaced of large-scale embezzlement, robberies perpetrated by Iraqi police, even payoffs to U.S. military personnel who aided in theft...
The inspector general has managed or coordinated 113 criminal investigations, and opened cases on 272 reports of fraud, waste or other problems reported on the agency's hotline.
This is obviously a bad thing, but at this point it's beyond fixing. The White House and Congress needed to realize a drawn out conflict in the Middle East would be terrible for the United States. The US has spent more time in this Iraq War than we did World War I.
While the problem cannot be easily fixed it's pretty apparent that Bush Co. will only continue to mess up over time.
Sure there needs to be streamlining, but the reason the safeguards exist is because companies like Dick Cheney's abuse the system! So it's really one disaster on top of another, on top of another.
This war should end soon...