Much of Iraq still in ruin as U.S. builders leave
By CHARLES J. HANLEY
Oct. 15, 2006, 12:07AM
Close behind U.S. tanks and troops, America’s big builders invaded Iraq three years ago. Now the reconstruction funds are drying up and they’re pulling out, leaving completed projects and unfulfilled plans in the hands of an Iraqi government unprepared to manage either.
The Oct. 1 start of the U.S. government’s 2007 fiscal year signaled an end to U.S. aid for new reconstruction in Iraq.
“We’re really focusing now on helping Iraqis do this themselves in the future,” said Daniel Speckhard, reconstruction chief at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
From one key Iraqi’s perspective, much of the reconstruction funds were misspent.
“Huge amounts of funds were wasted because of bureaucracy, corruption, incapacity and the spending of money on unimportant projects,” said Ali Baban, planning minister in Iraq’s five-month-old government.
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