Internal Gov’t Report Criticizes US Reconstruction in Iraq

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The New York Times has obtained an internal governmental report detailing the failure of US reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The report highlights Defense Secretary Donald Rumseld’s failure to grasp the costs of the reconstruction. In 2003, Rumsfeld was presented with several rebuilding plans. When he was told it would cost billions of dollars, Rumsfeld said, “My friend, if you think we’re going to spend a billion dollars of our money over there, you are sadly mistaken.” Since then, over $117 billion has been spent on reconstruction efforts. But the report found that the rebuilding has not done much more than restore what was destroyed during the invasion and the looting that followed. The report also quotes former Secretary of State Colin Powell, saying that in the months after the 2003 invasion, the Pentagon “kept inventing numbers of Iraqi security forces.” Powell said the number would sometimes jump 20,000 in a week.

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