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Iraq Reconstruction: The End of the Line?

Relegated to page A12, a story yesterday by the Washington Post's Walter Pincus, reported on hearing last week where the GAO said that "massivie corruption" was siphoning off oil revenue and, thus, hampering Iraq's reconstruction.  This is a blow to the prewar assumption that Iraq would be able to pay for its reconstruction "in large part through oil revenues."  Since the US plans on drawing its funding of reconstruction to a close and US-funded projects have met with delays, skyrocketing costs and are too often incomplete, will Iraq be able to claw its way back on its own?

Pincus writes that, according to David Walker, head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress' investigative arm, "10 percent of Iraq's refined fuels and 30 percent of its imported fuels are being stolen."

Production and distribution of oil is also below prewar levels, in part because increasing security costs in response to the insurgency have eaten into funding to rebuild and maintain Iraq's oil infrastructure.

By: Nick Schwellenbach
Director of Investigations, POGO

Nick Schwellenbach Nick Schwellenbach's areas of expertise include: Government Oversight, Wasteful Contractor Spending, Open Government, Financial Sector, Whistleblower Issues.

Authors: Nick Schwellenbach

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