Newsweek Article: $87 Billion Money Pit
It's a bit longish... but it shows a pretty dim picture of the reconstruction of Iraq. Fraught with schemes, fraud and waste. It also gives a good idea of how much security americans have surrounded themselves with.... soaring costs even more. Unfinished schools.
This is a must read to Dopers. Some choice parts:
“A large foreign presence,” Rumsfeld has said in criticizing previous U.N.-led efforts, means “economies remain unreformed, distorted and dependent.” Now the beleaguered Pentagon chief may be creating for himself—with U.S. companies, not the United Nations—the fate he wanted to avoid.
One issue that seems to have come up time and again here on the board about those schools:
The Bush administration’s favorite statistic from Iraq is the 1,595 schools it has just finished rehabilitating. This is, after all, the human face of occupation—freshly painted walls, American know-how and generosity, all wrapped up in smiling, adorable faces. And though that number is still less than a fifth of Iraq’s 10,000 schools, it seems like amazingly fast work. The problem: many of the “rehabilitated” schools don’t look ready for the morning bell.
Haliburton naturally is mentioned several times:
Numerous allegations of wastage and overcharging have also surfaced. Halliburton, a chief U.S. contractor under intense scrutiny for its ties to Cheney, has been accused of gouging prices on imported fuel—charging $1.59 a gallon to import nearly 200 million gallons of gasoline. SOMO, the Iraqi national oil company, indicated it can buy the same fuel at no more than 98 cents a gallon.
Have a nice read.