U.S. Spent Too Much In Iraq, Got Little In Return, Watchdog Report Says | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

U.S. Spent Too Much In Iraq, Got Little In Return, Watchdog Report Says

A decade and $60 billion later what does the U.S. have to show for the reconstruction efforts in Iraq? That's the question being answered by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction in his final report to Congress.

The report by Stuart Bowen was based upon audits and inspections, as well as interviews with Iraqi and U.S. officials and politicians. Here's the crux of what happened to that money, according to the report:

"The general belief across each group is that the relief and reconstruction program should have accomplished more, that too much was wasted, and that the lessons derived from the Iraq reconstruction experience should drive improvements to the U.S. approach to stabilization and reconstruction operations."

Or as The Associated Press puts it: "Since the invasion a decade ago this month, the U.S. has spent too much money in Iraq for too few results."

The report said that several broad themes emerged in the interviews with Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and former Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi. Here's what the Iraqis said:

1. The United States failed to consult sufficiently with Iraqi authorities when planning the reconstruction program.

2. Corruption and poor security fundamentally impeded progress throughout the program.

3. The overall rebuilding effort had limited positive effects.

The war in Iraq cost about $800 billion, and Wednesday's report from Bowen could portend what lies ahead for the U.S. in Afghanistan where it is also engaged in reconstruction, and has spent $90 billion.

Sen. Bob Corker, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that Bowen's final report "demonstrates the need for a top-to-bottom review of the State Department and U.S. foreign assistance programs to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to advance U.S. interests."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Full Of Complexity And Ambivalence, 'American Sniper' Shows The Cost Of War

The film about a Navy SEAL whose service in Iraq made him a mythic figure has become a cultural lightning rod. But the squabbles are too simple for a low-key movie striking in its lack of stridency.
NPR

Live, From Iceland: It's A Hamburger

They call it "The last McDonald's hamburger in Iceland." Purchased more than five years ago, it has been displayed in the Na­tional Museum of Iceland. Now it has its own webcam.
NPR

Attorney General Nominee Faces Senate Judiciary Committee

Seeking confirmation, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch faced the Senate Judiciary committee on Wednesday.
NPR

Yahoo Plans To Spin Off Remaining Stake In Alibaba

Yahoo has announced it will spin off its 15 percent stake in the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba. Shareholders had been waiting for that decision. The move needs regulatory approval.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.