Iraq reconstruction effort 'hampered by lack of funds'

A draft of an official report into the American effort to rebuild Iraq after the war reveals it was hampered by serious understaffing, bureaucratic infighting and ever-rising security costs, it was reported today.

A draft of an official report into the American effort to rebuild Iraq after the war reveals it was hampered by serious understaffing, bureaucratic infighting and ever-rising security costs, it was reported today.

The New York Times said the early version of the account of the $25bn reconstruction programme, put together by the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, also showed problems stemming from a lack of technical expertise.

The report apparently shows how officials quickly realised that the conflict-torn country would need between $70bn and $100bn over several years, but were forced to cull public works projects repeatedly because the necessary sums were not available.

David Nash, the retired admiral who was in charge of the rebuilding at the time, is quoted as saying: “No matter how we pared the list, we needed $20bn more than we had available or Iraqi reconstruction and transition would stall.”

The newspaper said the document revealed that when a list of mostly large infrastructure projects was finalised, a bottleneck arose as the contracting process descended into chaos, with about 20 different organisations involved.

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