Reconstruction Woes Continue In Iraq

Staurt Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, delivered his quarterly report to Congress today. It’s 114 pages and it’s not pretty. Some of the lowlights —

Planning for post-hostilities reconstruction was woefully inadequate (pg. 80):

In Iraq, however, systematic planning for the post-hostilities period was insufficient in both scope and implementation. With respect to human capital, no comprehensive policy or regulatory guidelines were in place for staffing the management of post-war Iraq.

Security problems continue to hamper reconstruction efforts (pg. 1):


Nearly two years ago, the U.S. developed a reconstruction plan that specified a target number of projects that would be executed using the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund. That target number was revised downward during last year’s reprogrammings. Now it appears that the actual number of projects completed will be even lower. The reasons for the shortfall are many, security being the most salient.

Contractor deaths are on the rise (pg. 16):

The number of insurance death-claims filed this quarter by contractors from all countries rose by 82 (70%) from the previous quarter, bringing the total number of non-Iraqi contractor deaths to 412 for the period March 11, 2003 through September 30, 2005.

Political milestones are great, but reconstruction is what really makes an impact in the day-to-day lives of Iraqis. That’s why successful reconstruction is essential to creating longterm stability.