In the News: U.S. ‘Wastes’ $560 Million on Iraq Repairs

The special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction says the United States has had to spend $560 million in “wasted” money to repair facilities that were damaged by vandals due to poor security immediately after the United States entered Baghdad. The report by Stuart Bowen arrived at the price tag after tallying the results of more than 100 audits conducted by his office. Billions had to be diverted from actual reconstruction to security because the Bush administration did not fully anticipate how volatile the situation would be upon entering the country, the report says. Bowen also criticized the U.S. government for poor coordination between agencies, saying it contributed to delays, higher costs and unfinished projects, as well as completed projects that did not meet program goals. The report praised Iraq’s increased production in oil – nearly 2.5 million barrels per day over the past quarter – the highest quarterly average since the invasion began in 2003.

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