GAO: Long Way to Go in Iraq

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A new GAO report on the efforts to rebuild Iraq finds some problems. From a Knight-Ridder report, as run in the Seattle Times:

In a few key areas ? electricity, the judicial system and overall security ? the Iraq that America handed back to its residents Monday is worse off than before the war began last year, according to calculations in a new General Accounting Office report released yesterday.
The 105-page report by Congress' investigative arm offers a bleak assessment of Iraq after 14 months of U.S. military occupation. Among its findings:

? In 13 of Iraq's 18 provinces, electricity was available fewer hours per day on average last month than before the war. Nearly 20 million of Iraq's 26 million people live in those provinces.

? Only $13.7 billion of the $58 billion pledged and allocated worldwide to rebuild Iraq has been spent, with $10 billion more about to be spent. The biggest chunk of that money has been used to run Iraq's ministry operations.

? The country's court system is more clogged than before the war, and judges are frequent targets of assassination attempts.

? The new Iraqi civil-defense, police and overall security units are suffering from mass desertions, are poorly trained and ill-equipped.

? The number of what the now-disbanded Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) called significant insurgent attacks skyrocketed from 411 in February to 1,169 in May.

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  1. ? The country's court system is more clogged than before the war

    Yeah, you really got the US on that one, Doherty. This whole "due process" thing is such a pain. I wish things were the way they were before.

  2. Josh,

    Your statement pre-supposes some actual improvements in an area like due process. Has this been the case?

  3. In a few key areas ? electricity, the judicial system and overall security ? the Iraq that America handed back to its residents Monday is worse off than before the war began last year

    Let's put that in the "woe is Oprah" category. In a few key areas - like the lack of a Mukhabarrat recording everything said and the mass graves and things - I'd tend to think Iraq is better off. Yet, somehow the downside is the focus.

  4. 1,169 insurgent attacks in May?! The media only reports about one a day (the biggest one, I suppose) and gets skewered for not reporting the good news.

  5. Interestingly, if you check the original report (page92, fig X2) as of March 26, 2004 14 of 18 areas where at or above their prewar level. As noted in the SI article, this drops to just 5 of 18 by May 26th. While it still means there is more to be done, this indicates an effectiveness of the various and sundry uprisings in reducing the level of electricity, rather than the lack of competence in those trying to restore it.

  6. This just shows goes to show the Iraq war was WRONG

  7. This is part of the same argument made at least since Plato: tyranny is 'more efficient' than liberty.

    IT ISN'T.

  8. John Doe,

    I believe if you look in Chapter 10 of Plato's "Republic" you'll see that Plato states that tyrants are the worst of all men. You also see that Plato/Socrates makes a similar argument in the "Gorgias."

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