Forget About Iraqi Reconstruction

At least until the violence has diminished. As Junior so aptly put it four and a half years ago, “Iraqis will be better off without Saddam Hussein.” Yeh, right, moron ….

Iraq Reconstruction Is Doomed, Ex-Chief of Global Fund Says
Published: May 3, 2007

OTTAWA, May 2 — Reconstruction efforts in Iraq are largely doomed to failure, the former chairman of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq said Tuesday in an interview.

“Reconstruction is difficult enough in a relatively pacific environment,” said Michael Bell, a retired Canadian diplomat whose two-year term as chairman ended in March. “In this environment it is almost impossible, if not impossible. Over all, the picture is dire, dire.”

His assessment followed a report by inspectors from a United States federal oversight agency, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, that seven projects the United States had declared successes were no longer operating.

The United States has contributed to the fund, but the fund has mostly been supplied by the European Commission with contributions from Japan and Canada. It is operated by the World Bank and the United Nations.

Mr. Bell, who now teaches at the University of Windsor in Ontario, cited as an impediment a desire by the United States and Britain to initially promote high-profile, high-cost projects like repairing utilities, rather than first developing institutions and personnel for their continued operation.

“The objective was to improve the conditions of life for Iraqis through infrastructure development so Iraqis would conclude that they were better off and prospering from the new situation,” Mr. Bell said. “In retrospect, it was too much, too soon.”

He also criticized reconstruction plans for making private ownership, rather than government ownership, of infrastructure “an overriding objective.” But those plans have been undermined by the widespread instability in Iraq, he said.

Iraq’s insecurity, he said, has created an exodus among skilled Iraqis who had initially returned to rebuild their country. It has also made supervising and completing reconstruction programs almost impossible logistically.

Read the rest here.

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