Thursday, March 7, 2013

How About A Little Nation-Building Right Here?

U.S. Wasted Billions Rebuilding Iraq

As the 10th anniversary of President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq approaches, the body charged with overseeing Iraq’s reconstruction has issued its final report, capping a tale of spending far too much money for very little results.
Appointed in Oct. 2004, over a year into War in Iraq, the Special Inspector-General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) was charged with being a watchdog over the use of funds provided for rebuilding the Iraqi state after the downfall of Saddam Hussein. Those reconstruction and stabilization efforts wound up costing nearly $60 billion — or about $15 million per day — with up to $10 billion of that amount wasted, according to SIGIR Stuart Bowen.
Geeze, I know a good country where all that money should go. 

...Bowen gives seven ways to better perform rebuilding operations in the future:
1. Create an integrated civilian-military office to plan, execute, and be accountable for contingency rebuilding activities during stabilization and reconstruction operations.
2. Begin rebuilding only after establishing sufficient security, and focus first on small programs and projects.
3. Ensure full host-country engagement in program and project selection, securing commitments to share costs (possibly through loans) and agreements to sustain completed projects after their transfer.
4. Establish uniform contracting, personnel, and information management systems that all SRO participants use.
5. Require robust oversight of SRO activities from the operation’s inception.
6. Preserve and refine programs developed in Iraq, like the Commander’s Emergency Response Program and the Provincial Reconstruction Team program, that produced successes when used judiciously.
7. Plan in advance, plan comprehensively and in an integrated fashion, and have backup plans ready to go.
Many of those suggestions belie the cavalier attitude struck by Republicans at the beginning of the war in 2003, despite a near complete lack of planning by the Bush administration to provide for rebuilding Iraq. “Each day it gets better,” then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in May 2003 of the reconstruction efforts. Rumsfeld also insisted that “the bulk of the funds for Iraq’s reconstruction will come from Iraqis” in October of that year. $60 billion later, Iraq has proved to be nowhere near the “cakewalk” predicted by George W. Bush adviser Kenneth Adelman predicted in 2002.
More republican lies to bilk the American people and concentrate wealth to those wonderful "job creators". How about taking that money and creating a few jobs over here building schools and infrastructure, huh? Oh I forgot... that would be SOCIALISM. 
What about Cheney's company, Halliburton - major no-bid contractor in Iraq, whose stocks have risen over 3000% from 2003 to 2012 from which Cheney still received "deferred" compensation while funneling billions of taxpayer dollars to his old company. Conflict of interest much? 

And as usual I won't be happy until I see them all do the Perp Walk - Thanks Jim Hinde.


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