Reconstruction of Iraq. Who pays for it?

Actually, this is an honest question. I really don’t know. But I put it here in the GD for obvious reasons.
Is it or will it be derived from oil sales ?
If that’s the case, isn’t this a hopelessly criminal act.


I think you’ve answered your own question.

At least part (likely most) of the reconstruction is expected to be funded by the Iraqis’ sale of their oil. No, it’s not a hopelessly criminal act, because it’s Iraq’s land that’s being reconstructed. It would be criminal if we were taking their money and using to reconstruct, say, New York.

Is it OK if we charge them for the bombs and missiles?

But the companies doing the reconstructing are not local. They are US and British companies. They do this for a profit. We are talking billions and billions here. Who determines which companies gets the deals? The US , right? This is ludicrous! This would be a direct injection of stolen oil money right into the US economy.
Oh well.
I’ve got to start the paperwork for my american visa.
If you can’t beat’em, join’em

There are a lot of interesting questions bubbling under the surface here.

One: is Iraq, the Sequel, responsible for the debts and contracts of SaddamIraq? Some $300B from what I’ve heard. Of course, a lot of that is to France and Russia, who’ve been rather sulky and surly of late.

But there is a recognized principal, international-wise, which permits a new regime to repudiate the debts of a previous regime, This question, so far as I know, hasn’t been discussed yet, much less resolved.

Secondly, I recall reading of late that Iraq’s deliverable oil potential was wildly overestimated. They will require one hell of a lot of capital and expertise to get those fields humming up to a point where they are producing some serious capital. Where, oh where, will such come? Who is ready to step forward?

Capital investment of this level demands stability. Suits trust other suits, men in turbans with theological predilictions make them nervous. Stability impies a sincere military presence. Ours.

Even if our intentions are good, the rest of the world cannot help but see us commandeering Iraq’s resources to pay ourselves for the reconstruction we made necessary.

That ain’t good.

You seem to hint that the US presence will be prolonged indefinitely.
I’d be very, very surprised if it where otherwise.
Iraq is too juicy a prize to let go of voluntarily.
Why would they?
UN resolutions ? ha
World opinion ? ha…ha…ha…
French, German, Russian, British pressure? … they’ll simply cut a deal with them and share a bit of the profit,… maybe

If the US leaves Iraq in under 2 years time, leaving behind at least a simile of a democratic, slightly pupetesque, government,… I’d be happy.

Me too!

I wish I could weigh in on this debate, but all I’ve heard so far is what Jeff has already said. That the “plan” is to use Iraqi oil revenue to pay for this.

I heard today that US troops found .5B worth of gold heading for te Syrain border. Add that to the .5B in cash (or was it even more) that was found in Baghdad, and that’s a good start. Of coures, I’d expect the full cost to be between 10x or 100x that amount.

I’m sure this topic will play out much in the news over the next few months. It’ll be an interesting debate.

The justification for going into Iraq was the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ we’ve heard so much about, right?
and the US grunts found how many of them? 0, right?

And therefor America waged an almost unnecessary war (granted saddam was a bad ass who needed to be disposed of) which destroyed the country, and now is making iraq pay for the damage it did. but havin achieved the disposal of saddam will Iraq be in much of a better state thanks to USA?

America invaded iraq because it wasa threat to the world, when is the rest of the world invading America because they’re a threat to us?
At any rate, I reckon america should pay for ALL reparations in Iraq since they caused it and all the cash from these reparations will flow to US companies and therefor the US economy.

slightly off the topic, National radio here (in australia) played an interview with a pentagon official about plans to research low yeild nuclear weapons.
When asked what role a five kiloton and smaller nukes would play in the US arsenal, the official replied “we dont have a use for them at the moment, that iswhy we are researching them” or wordsto that effect. i believe that before america restricts anyone else fom having nulear weaponsthey should consider at least lessening their own (utterly phenomenal) stockpiles. i mean what use could you seriously have for 30,000 nukes?

Totally annihilate the worlds largest concentration of alcoholics and kangaroos.

Christ on a pogo stick, look 'luc … we were there in Iraq when we were required, we didn’t ask for billions in largess for this, or need our diplomatic arms torn off, our Prime Minister even allowed GwB’s dog to hump his leg precisely so the world would take ‘lil ol’ Oz seriously, so that we’d get a few morsels from the subcontractors and to safeguard our wheat exports to Iraq from predatory dumping under the guise of US’s free trade.

And does this cameo role in the Coalition of the Willing blockbuster change global perceptions from us being the land of fucking Bazza McKenzie and Skippy? No.

All from a country that exports Bud, sheez … I’d prefer the low yield nukes. :smiley:

Shouldn’t we save the kangaroos?:slight_smile:

Come on. Ozies are the closest thing we Americans have to a brother-nation. Can we swap you for Canada?

Oops. hit submit too soon.

And what would the world be like without people who say things like “christ on a pogo stick?”

Give that man a schooner of XXXX!

The problem with using Iraq’s oil is that a large part of the revenues were already being used for humanitarian purposes under Oil-for-food. While oil production can be increased in the long run that will take a lot of investment and won’t happen for years. If the US actually wants to get the economy running and improve the infrastructure it will need to find money from somewhere else.

Then there is the cost the occupation itself. At its present level maybe it could cost 10-20 billion dollars a year. The US will have to pay for that itself.

It’s hard to estimate a time-frame for how long those troops will stay there. It could be as long than 5 years. There is very little evidence that other countries apart from Britain are willing to contribute significant numbers of troops.

I think the American public is going to sour on the war rather quickly when they find out how much the occupation is going to cost at a time of massive budget deficits at home. Especially if there is a steady trickle of casualties and if there is no evidence of significant quantities of WMD.

The word is “principle” and there is no recognized principle that a change of regime erases all debts. It has not been discussed because there is nothing to discuss.

Regarding the OP, the reconstruction should be left to the Iraqis and not take their money to give to American firms. But I guess to the victor go the spoils of war.

Such a principle does exist, Sailor, and if my Google skills improve or a kindly poster rides to the rescue, I will point it out.

Interesting article about this subject here:

“Iraq will emerge from the war a financial shambles, many economists say, with a debt load bigger than that of Argentina, a cash flow crunch rivaling those of Third World countries, a mountain of unresolved compensation claims, a shaky currency, high unemployment, galloping inflation and a crumbling infrastructure expected to sustain more damage before the shooting stops.”


“Clearly, it’s a basket case,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington. “Once you start talking about it, you see what an impossible situation it is. I don’t think the Bush administration is anxious to have that conversation.”


So far, the administration seems not to have noticed. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told Congress last week that Iraq would be able to pick up much of the tab for postwar rebuilding.

“We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction relatively soon,” he said.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mitchell Daniels Jr. asserted that oil and gas revenue and confiscated Iraqi assets would provide abundant resources for reconstruction.


However, Bush administration officials have declined to make specific estimates of the long-term costs of rebuilding Iraq.
(Gee, no shit?)


Estimates of Iraq’s potential oil earnings during the first year or two after the war range from about $15 billion to $20 billion, depending on price and production assumptions.

From that income, at least $11 billion would be needed initially for routine government spending on state employees’ salaries, public health, safety, education, agriculture and welfare programs, Sandi said.

That would leave $4 billion to $9 billion to finance repairs, infrastructure development, humanitarian assistance, debt payments, claim settlements and war reparations.

And that’s where the numbers stop making sense.

Estimates of Iraq’s reconstruction needs start at about $25 billion and run as high as $100 billion. The Council on Foreign Relations predicts that reconstruction will consume about $20 billion a year for several years.

Iraq’s external debt — loans from foreign countries and international creditors — totals at least $60 billion and as much as $130 billion."


"Iraq also faces thousands of compensation claims totaling more than $200 billion.

Nearly $100 billion is being sought by Iran as a result of the eight-year war instigated by Hussein."

Good luck, guys.

“Iraq’s debt burden is several times the size of its entire economy, which means it is more heavily leveraged than most of the countries qualifying for the World Bank’s Third World debt relief program. Its financial obligations amount to more than $16,000 for every man, woman and child in Iraq, a country whose per capita gross domestic product has fallen to $2,500.”

What they need is a big ol’ tax cut! Not something “little bitty”.

sailor, here is one reference. The concept isn’t worthy of pursuing, in my estimation, but I didn’t want you thinking I make shit up. From the Washington Times, (its “cached” so may not be directly available)

“Even with large write-downs, there will still be a big Iraqi debt to deal with. However, some analysts are suggesting that part of it could be repudiated, as has been done in the past when tyrannical regimes were overthrown. For example, when the United States took control of Cuba after the Spanish-American War, it repudiated Cuba’s foreign debt on the grounds that it had been imposed on the Cuban people without their consent or their benefit.
The concept of “odious debt” was further developed after the First World War by a French legal scholar named Alexander Sack. He argued that loans to despots were personal and not sovereign debts. Therefore, the people had no obligation to repay them once the despot is overthrown.”

elucidator, I do think you are making shit up. You have been unable to suport your assertion. “Some analysts are suggesting” is hardly an authority and the only example you can come up with is over 100 years old AND imposed by the USA under similar circumstances in favor of American owners of sugar mills in Cuba. Interestingly, when Castro gained power and expropriated American property and reneged on the debt, the USA threw a fit and 44 years later is still throwing a fit. Countries have defaulted or repudiated their debts for a variety of reasons (and have paid the consequences) but to say that there is some principle that a change of regime erases the debt is just not true at all. It seems the USA might force Iraq to repudiate its obligations but that would be the USA acting in its own interests, not in the interests of Iraq.

I’m not sure I see what your problem is here, sailor. You seem to want to suggest that I’m making this up and then repudiate the validity of what you say I’m making up. Can’t have it both ways, companero. It either happened or it didn’t, and if it did, then I can hardly be said to be making it up, now can I?

Not in the interests of Iraq? So who said it was? Moi? Not me, nosiree.

No, there is NO “established principle” that says countries are not bound by the treaties and debts subscribed by the old regime. And you have not proven otherwise. If you take all the instances of countries not paying their debts you will see there are many more instances of countries doing it for other reasons than because the regime changed. The fact that the USA has done it once before in Cuba does not make it an “established principle” of international law at all. There have been countless revolutions in South America in the last century. Show me how many repudiated their foreign debt. Any country that does that knows nobody would lend it money any time again. Look at Cuba. The only countries that have invested in Cuba again got compensted for what they lost with the revolution. Find me another similar example. No, find me enough examples to justify calling it a “recognized and established principle of international law”. Show cites of some authority in international law.