Nation Building - Iraq

All that rhetoric about nation building we heard about at the beginning of the invasion has been absent since then. I remember Bush claiming after the invasion that money would be spent to rebuilt infrastructure, etc, to create a strong democratic Iraq. Obviously, that went to crap. However, was it ever serious? I do remember at least one budget asking for billions in reconstruction funding. What ever happened to those billions? Is there currently any capital building projects underway? More basic, is there any Iraqi economy outside of security?

Additionally, what about the oil industry? We don’t even hear about that anymore, why? Is it producing? Better or worse than pre-invasion? What is happening to any Iraq oil revenues?

I can provide chapter and verse on all this, but I’m pretty lazy this Friday afternoon, so I’ll just briefly summarize.

There was a slug of $20 billion in reconstruction funds approved by Congress in the Fall of 2003. These funds are still being spent, but there have been additional funds added along the way, mostly for security reconstruction.

There are a variety of projects underway, but over time, more and more empahsis has been placed on smaller, more easily completable projects. The security situation is such that big things tend to get attacked.

Oil is being produced at a decent rate, but its not the gangbusters production that some had predicted. Over the last several months, oil production has been more or less steady at 2 million barrels a day. Proceeds from oil sales go to the Iraqi government, expected revenue is somewhere in the $27 billion range for this year.

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