U.S. Wasted Billions Rebuilding Iraq
The Associated Press reports on the enormous waste of U.S. taxpayer dollars in Iraq.
A $40 million prison sits in the desert north of Baghdad, empty. A $165 million children’s hospital goes unused in the south. A $100 million waste water treatment system in Fallujah has cost three times more than projected, yet sewage still runs through the streets.
More than $5 billion in American taxpayer funds has been wasted – more than 10 percent of the some $50 billion the U.S. has spent on reconstruction in Iraq, according to audits from a U.S. watchdog agency.
And that’s a conservative estimate based on 300 reports by auditors. Many projects were started and abandoned, often because Iraqis couldn’t or wouldn’t finish them. In some cases locals complained they never wanted some of the projects in the first place. In other instances violence got in the way of completing what was started. Just one example:
The U.S. military pinned great hopes on a $5.7 million convention center inside the tightly secured Baghdad International Airport compound, as part of a commercial hub aimed at attracting foreign investors. A few events were held at the sprawling complex, including a three-day energy conference that drew oil executives from as far away as Russia and Japan in 2008, which the U.S. military claimed generated $1 million in revenues.
But the contracts awarded for the halls did not include requirements to connect them to the main power supply. The convention center, still requiring significant work, was transferred to the Iraqi government “as is” on Jan. 20, according to an audit by the inspector general’s office.
Guess who pays for all this? And what about the $8.7 billion we can’t find in Iraq? While we fight about stimulating the U.S. economy and providing health care, where is the accountability here? And why aren’t the war hawks demanding answers?Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2010 Liberaland