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Reconstruction of Iraq

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The Corporate Occupation of Iraq (December 11, 2006)

In light of the Iraq Study Group recommendations and their failure to address the real problems facing Iraq, the author of this TomPaineopinion piece advises that the US end the corporate invasion of Iraq. US companies, which were awarded lucrative contracts by the US government following the 2003 invasion, failed to reconstruct war-torn Iraq as intended. The author concludes that "the Bush administration must abandon its plan to remake Iraq into an economic wonderland for US corporations," and return Iraq to the Iraqi people "to remake as they themselves see fit."

Corruption: The 'Second Insurgency' Costing $4bn a Year (December 2, 2006)

This Guardianpiece reveals the large-scale corruption engulfing Iraq following the 2003 US-led invasion. Stuart Bowen, head of the US auditing process into Iraq reconstruction, warns that oil smuggling and corruption have reached such levels that they threaten the economic survival of the country, costing US$4 billion annually. Some of these fraudulent funds go directly to insurgency groups and sectarian death squads.

Iraq Says Needs $100 Billion to Rebuild Infrastructure (October 31, 2006)

At a meeting of the International Compact for Iraq, the UN-sponsored economic reform project, members concluded that the country will need US$100 billion over the next five years to rebuild its devastated infrastructure. Furthermore, members asserted that, since Iraqi revenue depends heavily on oil exports, the oil sector must increase production before the country can be self-sufficient. The Iraqi government has established a national reconciliation process to restore security and stability in Iraq, but the Iraqi administration says its political goals cannot be achieved without "generous international support." (Reuters)

Can Iraq Fill The 'Reconstruction Gap'? (October 15, 2006)

US construction companies, hired by Washington in 2003 to rebuild Iraq, plan to leave the country as allocated US government funding comes to an end. Congress committed US$22 billion to the reconstruction of Iraq, yet almost US$6 billion was diverted to "security," with much of the remaining funds being wasted as a result of corruption and excessive bureaucracy. Fewer than half of the planned electricity and oil projects have been completed, leaving an unprepared Iraqi government with a "reconstruction gap" that Iraqi taxpayers must fund themselves. (Associated Press)

Iraq Contractor's Work Is Further Criticized (September 29, 2006)

Engineering firm Parsons Corporation has not met its targets for 13 of its 14 projects, says a US federal auditor who reviews reconstruction contracts in Iraq. Sections of the US company's largest development, a $75 million police academy in Baghdad, will need demolition due to sewerage dripping from the ceiling and substandard construction. This Washington Postarticle exposes the profiteering by, as well as the incompetence and arrogance of US companies which operate in Iraq with no accountability to the Iraqi people.

Slow Reconstruction Blamed On Corruption (September 6, 2006)

The Commission on Public Integrity (CPI), an independent organization set up by the Iraqi government, has investigated over 3,500 corruption cases, yet fewer than 50 have been tried in court. Head of the CPI Judge Radhi al-Radhi says corruption penetrates every government department and hampers the already weak reconstruction effort. Of the US$45 billion designated for reconstruction, including money from the Iraqi Security Forces Fund, the Development Fund for Iraq and the US government, at least 25 percent remains unaccounted for. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

The Ten Most Brazen War Profiteers (September 5, 2006)

This AlterNetarticle analyzes the corruption surrounding the reconstruction of Iraq, focusing on the "illegal" acts of ten US and UK corporations. The author assesses billion dollar contracts and the distribution of lucrative oil revenues to expose vast profiteering. Yet despite deliberate acts of "fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement, bribery and misconduct," these corporations continue to act with impunity. Furthermore, US officials blame Iraqis for "mismanaging their own infrastructure," despite the obvious lack of Iraqi control over the reconstruction process.

UN Supports International Compact for Iraq (September 2006)

This Better World Campaignfact sheet outlines the International Compact for Iraq, an initiative created by the United Nations on July 27, 2006 at the request of the Iraqi government and US President George Bush. The Compact aims to bring political, social, security and economic reforms to Iraq over the next five years with the injection of aid from the UN, multilateral organizations and foreign donors. The Compact will be further developed in September 2006, when the international community meets for the UN General Assembly, and subsequently at the annual World Bank/International Monetary Fund meeting.

Bush 'Palace' Shielded from Iraqi Storm (August 26, 2006)

While construction begins on the new US$600 million US embassy in Baghdad, local residents await basic services such as electricity and running water which still do not function in their city. As Paul McGeough reveals, the inequalities in rebuilding Iraq are evident in the extravagance of the embassy building and the neglect of vital infrastructure for Baghdad's citizens. (Age)

Marshall Plan, Minus the Plan (August 10, 2006)

This Los Angeles Times opinion piece criticizes the US for failing at Iraq's reconstruction. The Bush administration has "retreated from rebuilding," despite the fact that health clinics and hospitals remain unfinished, raw sewage continues to flow directly into the Tigris River and death squads pervade the US-trained police force. The author concludes that "although the US has already burned through more cash in Iraq than it did in Germany or Japan during the entire post-World War II recovery period, it has failed to spark peace or economic renewal."

Much Undone In Rebuilding Iraq, Audit Says (August 2, 2006)

US mismanagement, fraud and corruption have seriously jeopardized the rebuilding of Iraq. According to the special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, the US$21 billion rebuilding program has "fallen well short of expectations," and many key developments, including the building of primary health-care centers, "hang in limbo." The US will soon transfer responsibility for reconstruction to Iraqis, burdening them with the challenge of completing a long list of unfinished projects. (Washington Post)

Administration Optimistic on Iraq Support (July 31, 2006)

Though going to war without UN approval and against strong opposition from Paris and Berlin, the US has now succeeded in bringing the UN and key countries like France and Germany to share the burden of rebuilding Iraq. Created in June 2006 at the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and US President George Bush, the International Compact for Iraq provides a framework for international assistance and aims to raise billions of dollars for Iraq's reconstruction. (Associated Press)

The Peculiar Disappearance of the War in Iraq (July 30, 2006)

Despite growing numbers of casualties in Iraq, US news coverage of the war has decreased dramatically since the invasion of 2003. The New York Timesreports that time devoted to Iraq on the three leading US television networks' evening newscasts has fallen by 60 percent. The author attributes the falloff to the failure of the US to reconstruct post-war Iraq and the Bush Administration's contempt for Iraqis.

Audit Finds US Hid Actual Cost of Iraq Projects (July 30, 2006)

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department agency responsible for US$1.4 billion in reconstruction money, has adjusted figures, inaccurately reported projected costs, and failed to disclose known schedule delays to Congress. According to a report by the Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, the development agency has "hid[den] ballooning cost overruns" in order to "stay within the authorization for each project." In one case, USAID underreported the cost of an incomplete children's hospital in Basra by over US$50 million. (New York Times)

Series of Woes Mar Iraq Project Hailed as Model (July 28, 2006)

US construction giant Bechtel failed to complete a high-tech children's hospital in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Despite the US$50 million allocated by the US Congress and First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's championing of the project, the construction of the hospital fell nearly a year behind schedule and exceeded its expected cost "by as much as 150 percent." While Bechtel attributes the delay and the cost to security problems, the New York Timesclaims that corruption, mismanagement and waste have blindsided the Basra Children's Hospital, like so many other reconstruction projects in Iraq.

Rebuilding? Not for Fallujah (June 25, 2006)

One and a half years after the US military launched Operation Phantom Fury against the city of Fallujah, residents tell Inter Press Serviceof ongoing suffering, lack of jobs, little reconstruction and continuing violence. Iraqis lack medical supplies and equipment and have poor access to water, electricity, fuel, and telephone services. One third of the city's residents remain displaced in the outskirts of Fallujah, "living in abandoned schools and government buildings." In addition, security has "eaten up as much as 25 percent of reconstruction funding," and corruption and overcharging by US contractors has reportedly siphoned off even more.

Funds for Iraq Run Low (June 15, 2006)

The US has failed to rebuild Iraq, and Iraqis face a huge "reconstruction gap" as the new government tries to rebuild the country. US contractors have spent and plundered almost all of the US$20 billion that Congress allocated for the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund (IRRF). Yet basic services such as electricity and water supplies still require restoration three years after the US-led invasion. Meeting immediate needs might require a further US$18 billion to US$28 billion. (Christian Science Monitor)

IMF in Iraq: The Second Invasion (May 20, 2006)

In return for a US$ 685 million loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Iraq has accepted a package of economic "reforms," including an end to fuel, food, and health subsidies. For a country suffering the humanitarian consequences of a decade of economic sanctions and the ongoing US occupation, food rations and fuel subsides have helped millions of Iraqis to survive. Despite rising unemployment, malnutrition, and inflation, IMF officials have pointed to Iraq's growing economy as a sign of "success." (Uruknet)

How the Bush Administration Deconstructed Iraq (May 18, 2006)

US failures in Iraq, ranging from the stalled reconstruction effort to brutal military operations, have not resulted from "unexpected hurdles" or a "thoroughly incompetent" occupation administration. Rather, as Professor Michael Schwartz points out, "death, destruction, and disorganization" in Iraq represent a "direct consequence" of US efforts to forcibly restructure Iraq's economy and society. In one case involving the Al Fatah pipeline north of Baghdad, US forces deliberately destroyed the pipeline to "stop the enemy," then contracted Halliburton subsidiary KBR to overhaul the entire system, rather than relying on the experienced state oil company to make repairs. (TomDispatch)

Bill Shifts Oversight of Some Iraq Aid (May 10, 2006)

The US Senate approved US$ 1.5 billion in additional spending for Iraq's reconstruction, adding to US$ 20.9 billion in reconstruction funds that have largely benefited pro-Administration companies while failing to improve Iraqi living conditions. Unlike previously allocated funds, the new money will no longer be overseen by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR). Instead, the State Department's regular inspector general, who has a much smaller budget and no permanent staff in Iraq, will be charged with oversight and accountability. According to one dissenting Senator, the legislative maneuver will "shut down the only effective oversight" of a reconstruction program "plagued by mismanagement and fraud." (Wall Street Journal)

Billions Wasted in Iraq, Says US Audit (May 1, 2006)

According to a report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), contractors in Iraq have squandered millions in US reconstruction money and failed to complete the bulk of projects assigned. In one case, a US contractor completed only 6 of 150 proposed health centers after spending the bulk of its US$ 186 million contract. While security concerns have slowed the pace of work, the report attributes the failed reconstruction effort to corruption and mismanagement. So far, 72 cases of alleged fraud are under investigation. (Guardian)

What Dreams May Come (March 29, 2006)

On the third anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, Herbert Docena of Focus on the Global South examines the economic restructuring of Iraq. Under the US occupation, Iraq has received a "shock therapy" of market-oriented economic reforms. Though half the Iraqi labor force already lacks jobs, and 20 percent live below the poverty line, "more and more families will sink into destitution" as the Iraqi government sells off state-owned enterprises, eliminates food subsidies, and slashes wages under IMF- and WTO- mandated reforms. Nonetheless, Docena points out, Iraqis have resisted the externally imposed neoliberal drive, opting instead for economic self-determination. (Al-Ahram)

Iraq Left to Rebuild Itself (March 29, 2006)

With the US set to wrap up its US$ 20 billion reconstruction effort, Iraq must now rebuild itself. Because of corruption, mismanagement, and increased security costs, electricity, water, and other services have fallen below pre-war levels. Iraqi oil production, representing over 90 percent of national income, has also severely declined, forcing the government to spend US$ 6 billion on imported oil products. To supplement Iraq's state-owned industry, US and Iraqi officials – along with executives from the major US and UK companies – favor increased foreign investment in Iraq's oil sector. (Inter Press Service)

‘Iraq Was Awash in Cash. We Played Football with Bricks of $100 Bills' (March 20, 2006)

"One of the greatest financial scandals" has unfolded in Iraq. No it's not the UN-sponsored Oil-for-Food Programme, but rather the mismanagement of US$ 23 billion in Iraqi oil money by the US-led coalition. Immune to US and Iraqi law, the Coalition Provisional Authority spent money from the Development Fund for Iraq – of which US$ 12 billion was dispensed in bricks of $100 bills – frivolously and fraudulently. Thus after three years of occupation and billions of dollars in spending, the Guardianpoints out, hospitals in Iraq lack basic equipment and supplies while electricity and oil generation remain below pre-war levels.

Just What Iraq Needs: More Prisons (March 6, 2006)

The US has already spent most of its Iraqi reconstruction money, with little progress to show for. Though it does not plan to renew funding, the US will spend the remainder – roughly US$100 million – on building new prisons. With unemployment over 60 percent and shortages of water, electricity, and medicine, Iraq does not need anymore prisons, this Common Dreamsarticle argues.

US Seeks Funds to Build Prisons in Iraq (February 28, 2006)

The US State Department has begun "winding down" its Iraqi reconstruction program, as most of the US$20 billion earmarked for reconstruction has run out. Though officials have indicated that no new funds will be allocated, the State Department has requested US$100 million to build new prisons in Iraq. Experts have questioned the plan, as reconstruction efforts have largely failed to benefit Iraqi society while prison abuse has succeeded in impairing it. (Reuters)

Audit: US-Led Occupation Squandered Aid (January 29, 2006)

According to the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) squandered tens of millions of dollars of Iraqi reconstruction funds from 2003 to 2004. SIGIR audit reports identify thousands of examples of negligence and mismanagement by US occupation officials and contractors. In one instance, CPA officials in the south-central city of Hillah lost track of $97 million out of $120 million in Iraqi oil revenue that was earmarked for reconstruction. (Associated Press)

Cronyism and Kickbacks (January 26, 2006)

US officials have passed on a culture of "cronyism and kickbacks" to Iraq's interim and transitional governments. The Special Inspector General for Iraqi Reconstruction (SIGIR) estimates that a total of $12 billion in reconstruction funding, dispensed first by the Coalition Provisional Authority and then by the Iraqi government, remains improperly accounted for. Both US funds and Iraqi oil money from the Development Fund for Iraq were channeled primarily to US corporations, with very little oversight and accountability. With funds nearly exhausted and an estimated $56 billion needed, the Iraqi government has struggled to operate and maintain failed US reconstruction projects. (London Review of Books)

Iraq's Oil Shock (January 17, 2006)

Iraq's energy sector lies in tatters. In Baghdad, residents receive one hour of electricity for every six hours without, while motorists must wait up to a day in line to buy fuel. Energy shortages have not stopped the US occupation, however, which places a heavy burden on Iraq's energy sector. On average, the US military consumes nearly 20 gallons of fuel per solider per day, up from 10 gallons in January 2005, while the average Baghdad resident uses less than a half-gallon of fuel per day. (Salon)

Joint Statement Concerning the Programs of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Iraq (January 17, 2006)

Several Iraqi Trade Unions have issued a joint statement addressing Iraq's economy and interference from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The unions assert the Iraqi people's right to full sovereignty over their natural resources and economic decision-making, while demanding that the World Bank and IMF stop imposing structural adjustment programs and the privatization of public industries, such as oil, health, transportation, and construction. (ZNet)

IMF Occupies Iraq, Riots Follow (January 3, 2006)

According to the Progressive, the International Monetary Fund has joined with the US in occupying Iraq. As part of a debt-forgiveness deal, the IMF has forced market-oriented reforms on Iraq's energy sector, which severely raise the cost of cooking and heating fuel and public transportation. In a country already wracked by the US occupation, the IMF's "swift and brutal extortion" has sparked intense protests and contributes to further instability.

US Has End in Sight on Iraq Rebuilding (January 2, 2006)

US funding for Iraqi reconstruction will not be renewed past 2006. With fifty percent of funds diverted for security needs, the US-led reconstruction effort has struggled to provide services like water, electricity, and sanitation. US officials say that once the $18.4 billion that Washington has allocated runs out, foreign donors and the Iraqi government must assume responsibility for financing Iraq's remaining reconstruction needs. (Washington Post)


Iraqis Pummeled at the Pumps (December 28, 2005)

Since the December 15 parliamentary elections, the price of fuel in Iraq has increased significantly. As part of an International Monetary Fund debt-forgiveness plan, the Iraqi government has cut fuel subsidies, including those for both cooking and heating gas, and initiated economic reforms that have prompted rioting and threaten millions of poor Iraqis. Following years of economic sanctions and the ongoing US occupation, the removal of subsidies will contribute to instability and compound Iraq's economic woes. (Los Angeles Times)

US Missteps Leave Iraqis in the Dark (December 25, 2005)

The US has had little success in its $4 billion plan to restore Iraqi electricity supply to prewar levels. Mismanagement and poor decision-making by US officials have played a significant role in stifling progress. In one case, the US paid the Bechtel Corporation $69 million for a natural-gas-fired power plant that was never completed. Because of surging electricity demand, Iraqis will have fewer hours per day of electricity even after overall supply returns to pre-war levels. (Los Angeles Times)

2nd Army Officer Charged in Iraq Rebuilding Scandal (December 16, 2005)

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction's (SIGIR) investigation into US reconstruction efforts has exposed the "dark underside" of the Coalition Provisional Authority's (CPA) post-invasion rule over Iraq. In what appears to be an increasing corruption scandal, Lieutenant Colonel Debra Harrison has been charged with fraud – including several hundred thousand dollars in cash bribes and millions of dollars in illicit contracts – related to Iraq's reconstruction. Along with Lt. Col. Michael Brian Wheeler, Harrison is the second high ranking US army official arrested for reconstruction-related corruption. (New York Times)

Private Security Guards Operate with Little Supervision (December 4, 2005)

Thousands of heavily armed private contractors work in Iraq, often with little supervision or regulatory oversight. Functioning in a "legal grey area," private contractors have immunity from the Iraqi judicial system and rarely face prosecution in their home courts when they commit crimes. Though many contractors are professionally trained, the recklessness of some complicates reconstruction efforts and deepens Iraqi resentment of the US-led occupation. With $733 million in contracts, private security contractors represent a significant component of Iraq's reconstruction. (Los Angeles Times)

Colonel Is Accused of Bribery in Iraq (December 2, 2005)

Prosecutors in the US have charged Lieutenant Colonel Michael Brian Wheeler of bribery and theft related to Iraq's reconstruction. Wheeler, who is the highest-ranking US official charged with reconstruction-related fraud, has been accused of rigging contracts worth several million dollars, while funneling $100,000 of stolen reconstruction money into a personal account. (Wall Street Journal)

American Faces Charge of Graft for Work in Iraq (November 17, 2005)

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), an independent oversight agency, has charged Philip H. Bloom of paying thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks in obtaining $3.5 million in Iraqi reconstruction contracts for the multiple companies he controlled. According to the complaint, filed with the US Federal District Court of the District of Columbia, Bloom paid up to $200,000 a month to several US officials and their spouses within the Coalition Provisional Authority in return for lucrative reconstruction projects. (New York Times)

Iraq's Reconstruction Ailments (November 9, 2005)

In this question-and-answer piece, the Council on Foreign Relationsprovides a synopsis of the reconstruction of Iraq. Security concerns have detracted heavily from reconstruction while the oil, water, and electricity sectors remain most in need of improvement. The US-led reconstruction effort has also had little connection to local Iraqi needs, as most decision making and planning takes place in Washington and Baghdad without input from Iraq's cities, towns, and provinces.

US Shifts from Dollar to Dinar in Iraq (November 1, 2005)

US officials have begun paying Iraqi contractors in dinars rather than dollars. The shift is intended to limit the circulation of US dollars, and promote Iraqi financial and monetary stability. Despite the shift, however, reconstruction remains thwarted by security needs and project cost overruns. (Agence France Presse)

Fallujah Recovers Its Sense of Everyday Life (October 17, 2005)

Fallujah is gradually returning to normality. The city was largely destroyed during a concentrated US assault in which most residents fled. Sixty percent of the city's residents have now returned, as have schools, mosques and a modest police force. Nonetheless, much of the city remains in ruins and reconstruction has been stifled by a lack of funds. (Los Angeles Times)

Blood, Sweat & Tears: Asia's Poor Build US Bases in Iraq (October 3, 2005)

Laborers from various Asian countries are increasingly employed in Iraq under reconstruction projects led by corporations such as Halliburton and Bechtel. While their US counterparts can earn upwards of $8,000 a month, many of these workers, known as third country nationals, earn as little as $200 a month, while being forced to work overtime in dangerous conditions without proper equipment or protection. (CorpWatch)

Iraq Constitution Lays Ground for Oilfield Sell-Off (October 1, 2005)

Despite noisy debates over Iraq's draft constitution, references in the document to Iraq's oil resources have evaded public comment. The interim government is already going ahead with a plan in which the state-owned Iraq National Oil Company (INOC) may only develop oil-fields that are already in production. Development of all other oil fields, the constitution specifies, should follow "modern techniques" and "market principles," a code for Production Sharing Agreements with major firms such as BP, Chevron and ExxonMobil. At estimated reserve levels, that leaves 64% of Iraq's oil open to foreign companies, casting a shadow on Iraq's sovereignty and economic viability. (Carbon Web)

What Has Happened to Iraq's Missing $1bn? (September 19, 2005)

From June 2004 to February 2005 nearly two billion dollars disappeared from several Iraqi Ministries under the interim government led by Iyad Allawi. Of this amount, one billion went missing from the Ministry of Defense, significantly contributing to the country's security woes. At the center of the scandal is Zayad Cattan, the Defense Ministry procurement chief approved by former CPA Administrator L. Paul Bremmer. The missing funds from those eight months are equivalent to the amount lost from 1997 to 2003 under the entire UN Oil-for-Food Programme. (Independent)

Poor Planning and Corruption Hobble Reconstruction of Iraq (September 18, 2005)

Though widely cited by the military as a "success story," the city of Najaf has struggled with reconstruction. While the US has spent over $200 million on the city, coordinating agencies such as the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Agency for International Development provide little oversight and numerous projects remain unfinished or in disrepair. Corruption and mismanagement are also to blame. (New York Times)

Missteps Hamper Iraqi Oil Recovery (September 16, 2005)

Poor coordination between US and Iraqi government officials and KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary that was given a no-bid contract after the war, has led to numerous oil reconstruction failures. Engineering mistakes and poor leadership have cost Iraq hundreds of millions of dollars in lost oil production, while threatening the future of some oil fields. This foregone revenue has proven costly to Iraqi reconstruction efforts, as out-put remains below pre-war levels. (Los Angeles Times)

Security Contractors in Iraq Under Scrutiny after Shootings (September 10, 2005)

Private security firms have been responsible for numerous Iraqi civilian deaths, highlighting the need to clarify the role of these firms in Iraq's reconstruction. According to Brig. Gen. Karl R. Horst, "these guys run loose…and do stupid stuff. There's no authority over them, so you can't come down on them hard when they escalate force." Private Security Companies, known as PSCs, fall outside of US military control and are immune from prosecution in Iraq. (Washington Post)

Some Iraq Projects Running Out of Money, US Says (September 8, 2005)

High security costs in Iraq are competing with reconstruction efforts, and the US "is funding only those projects deemed essential by the Iraqi government." As a result, several major infrastructure projects have either been scaled back or stopped altogether, while power and oil production remain below prewar levels. (Los Angeles Times)

Operation Corporate Freedom: The IMF and the World Bank in Iraq (September, 2005)

The Paris Club of Creditors, which includes the G8 industrialized countries, is using the promise of debt cancellation as leverage for controlling Iraq's new economic structure. In exchange for forgiveness of its national debt, Iraq must accept IMF and World Bank economic liberalization policies. Though the agreement appears to benefit Iraq, its provisions would open up Iraq's economy to foreign corporations by privatizing state-owned industries and curtailing public services. (50 Years Is Enough)

Iraqis Thirst for Water and Power (August 11, 2005)

Iraqis, frustrated at the lack of electricity and clean water, increasingly blame government officials for the poor state of infrastructure. A protest in front of Samawa's governor's office over unemployment and power cuts ended with Iraqi police firing on the demonstrators, while in Basra, the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has sharply criticized Iraqi politicians for failing to improve the plight of the urban poor. The article also includes a table showing that electricity and oil production have fallen since the US-led invasion of Iraq. (Christian Science Monitor)

Iraqi Unions Defy Assassinations and Occupation (August 10, 2005)

Unions find themselves in a precarious situation in post-invasion Iraq. Insurgents have assassinated union members who promoted or participated in the January 2005 elections, seeing them as collaborators with the occupation. In addition, the Coalition Provisional Authority under Paul Bremer introduced neo-liberal, anti-labor policies that are still in effect and that reduce workers' pay and drastically curb unions' right to organize. (truthout)

Security Costs Slow Iraq Reconstruction (July 29, 2005)

This article surveys the state of Iraq reconstruction and finds little to justify the Bush administration's rosy pronouncements. High security costs consume as much as 36 percent of funds earmarked for Iraqi reconstruction projects, according to a US General Accountability Office (GAO) report. The report also said that a drop in crude oil production since the start of the war hinders reconstruction efforts. A separate report from the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction said that corporate contractors have in many instances overcharged the US government for their services. (Washington Post)

Despite $2 Billion Spent, Residents Say Baghdad Is Crumbling (July 25, 2005)

Although US officials have spent billions of dollars on reconstruction, Baghdad residents struggle to cope with severely contaminated tap water and sporadic electricity. Army officials have instead allocated reconstruction money to longer-term projects, but progress has been slow and a significant portion of the aid finances security measures against insurgent attacks. (Knight Ridder)

Iraqis Press Donors for Billions More in Reconstruction Aid (July 19, 2005)

At a conference in Jordan, Iraqi officials urged other nations to donate billions of dollars to repair their country's infrastructure. The Iraqi Planning Minister said that US rebuilding efforts had not yielded results quickly enough, and stressed that Iraqis need to see improvements within six months. Officials also asserted that local Iraqi governments could run future reconstruction projects, using domestic contractors and labor. (New York Times)

Raising the Flag on Iraq Reparations (June 23, 2005)

Several groups are calling on the United Nations to stop paying billions of dollars in war reparations from Iraq to rich countries like Kuwait. The UN Compensation Commission, a subsidiary body of the Security Council created in 1991 to award $52 billion in compensation to individuals and business affected by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, has imposed an additional $33 billion on the war-torn country. The money previously came from the Oil-for-Food programme, where the UN set aside 25% of Iraq's oil revenues for payment of war reparations. When the Security Council dissolved the program in 2003, it still required that 5% of Iraq's oil revenues be used for this purpose. Now activists want the Compensation Commission disbanded, asking "At what point will the Iraqi people no longer be penalized for the unjust act[s] of the Saddam regime?" (Inter Press Service)

UN Pledges a "New Iraq" as the Carnage Continues (June 23, 2005)

Representatives from more than 80 countries met in Brussels for a conference organized by the US on Iraq reconstruction. They endorsed the Iraqi government's "plans to restore order, revive the economy and draft a constitution," though the meeting was "light on practical results." The participants also discussed Iraq's path to World Trade Organization (WTO) membership and debt relief. (Independent)

US Was Big Spender in Days Before Iraq Handover (June 22, 2005)

In the week before the US transferred power to an interim Iraqi government in June 2004, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) ordered an urgent delivery of $4 billion in Iraqi funds from the US Federal Reserve in New York. The money was then flown to Iraq via cargo plane and "paid out to contractors who carried it away in duffel bags." Auditors have found "significant waste, fraud and abuse" in the disbursement of Iraqi funds by the CPA--a report by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction found that the CPA could not account for nearly $9 billion spent in Iraq. (Reuters)

Iraq Rebuilding Fails to Deliver (June 22, 2005)

Residents of Baghdad, where electricity is "off for four hours, then on for only two," must now contend with a lack of water as well because of an insurgent attack that cut off the supply for more than half of Baghdad. In the southern city of Basra, protests broke out because power outages mean no air-conditioning in a place where temperatures can rise to 50C with 98% humidity. Bomb attacks, such as the one that killed more than 40 Iraqis at a Baghdad restaurant, are so common that "the rest of the world hardly notices any more." The US talks of steady progress, but according to this BBCarticle, "violence continues to increase" and "despite billions of dollars spent in Iraq, there is very little to show for it."

Iraq Power Problems Require Public-Private Solutions: Minister (May 29, 2005)

According to Iraqi Electricity Minister Mohsen Shlash, Iraq currently produces 3,700 megawatts (MW) of electricity per day, "but average demand of 4,750 MW increases to 8,250 during the summer." This anticipated increase in demand has resulted in deals with neighboring Turkey and Iran to increase their energy exports to Iraq, though not nearly enough to satisfy the country's needs. According to a United Nations Development Program study, some three quarters of Iraqi homes suffer from power cuts. (Agence France Presse)

The Right Way to Reconstruct Iraq (May 26, 2005)

This Globalistarticle argues that the US should engage local communities in developing and implementing Iraqi reconstruction projects. The author mentions the success of indigenous reconstruction in places like Rwanda, East Timor and the Democratic Republic of Congo, noting that "when communities are engaged and projects respond to their self-described needs, important socio-economic benefits become apparent in a remarkably short time."

Focus on Reconstruction in Fallujah (May 24, 2005)

Fallujah has seen little reconstruction progress, despite the US allocation of $200 million for rebuilding and compensation for families. Aid officials say only half of the population that fled during the fighting between November 2004 and January 2005 has returned, and the city is plagued by the lack of such necessities as working sewage systems and adequate electricity. The director of Fallujah's reconstruction project said he "didn't expect to find the city in such a terrible state." (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Education: International Recovery Effort Urged for Iraq (May 2, 2005)

According to the United Nations, five out of six of Iraq's colleges and universities "have been wrecked" and "failure to rehabilitate them will set back efforts to heal the war-brutalised country." Additionally, UNICEF, the UN children's agency, reported that "primary and secondary education has also been ruined" by three wars and more than a decade of sanctions. UNICEF also characterized the school reconstruction program touted by US officials as "limited." (Inter Press Service)

Rethinking Reconstruction: Grand US Plan Fractures Again (April 17, 2005)

The US has cancelled plans to build several water, sewage and power plants in Iraq, calling them "noncritical" or "long term." The money previously earmarked for those projects will go towards maintaining existing infrastructure, much of which is "barely functioning," as well as help cover "spiraling security needs." James Dobbins, a US official who has headed reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and elsewhere, called the shift "a response to a faulty initial strategy." (New York Times)

Millions Said Going to Waste in Iraq Utilities (April 10, 2005)

"Scores" of Iraqi water, sewage, and electrical plants built or refurbished with US funds have ceased to function correctly. US contractors and officials blame the Iraqis' "insufficient training, logistical problems and an indifferent work ethic." Iraqis, on the other hand, complain that "they simply do not have enough money" to maintain existing infrastructure, much less operate new systems. Iraqis also attack the US for their failure to work with them in the early days of reconstruction. As an engineer who returned to Iraq after years of exile put it, "This is our country. It's our city. They didn't accept that." (Los Angeles Times)

Iraq's Economic Catastrophe (April 7-13 2005)

Under 13 years of sanctions on Iraq, "businesses crumbled, infrastructure rotted and families starved." This piece argues that since the 2003 invasion, things have only gotten worse: "living standards have declined, poverty as well as child malnutrition have increased," and unemployment "could be as high as 65 percent." Corruption is partly to blame, but "failure to rehabilitate the oil industry is another major factor," depriving Iraq of billions of dollars that could be used to fund reconstruction projects. (Al-Ahram Weekly)

Iraq Reconstruction "Rife with Corruption" (March 16, 2005)

In its Global Corruption Report 2005, Transparency International (TI) warned that "if urgent steps were not taken," Iraq "will become the biggest corruption scandal in history." The report singled out the US as "a poor role model in how to keep corrupt practices at bay," referring to its secretive methods of awarding contracts, and claimed "many US contractors in Iraq have been wasteful and have taken [. . .] excessive profits." (Agence France Presse)

Conference Gives Local NGOs a Platform (March 10, 2005)

An NGO conference on reconstruction, agriculture, water, and security took place in Tikrit, allowing 30 Iraqi NGOs to exchange information and experiences with the few international NGOs still operating in the country. Topics of discussion included the role of Iraqi NGOs in writing the new constitution, along with fixed issues such as youth development, education, and agriculture. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Derelict Plants Are Crippling Iraq's Petroleum Industry (March 3, 2005)

With the country's petroleum infrastructure crumbling, Iraqi oil officials must choose between making costly repairs to increase oil output or using existing wells, pipelines and refineries for as long as possible. But because funds for modernizing oil infrastructure must come from oil revenues, the pumping continues, even though much of the outdated technology constitutes a safety and environmental hazard. Despite having the world second largest oil reserves, Iraq imports half of its gasoline. (New York Times)


Why Are We Inflicting This Discredited Market Fundamentalism on Iraq? (December 22, 2004)

Instead of revitalizing the Iraqi economy, the US-UK coalition has imposed stringent neoliberal economic reforms on the country, condemning it to "market fundamentalism." Former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz has described the immediate privatization of almost all services as "a proven and predictable catastrophe." This Independentarticle argues that imposing an IMF agenda on Iraq will not foster democracy, but rather will fuel tribal resentment and religious disputes.

US Forgives Iraq Debt To Clear Way for IMF Reforms (December 19, 2004)

Washington has cancelled all of its Iraqi debt and has urged other nations outside of the Paris Club to do the same. The decision keeps up appearances of an altruistic US intervention in Iraq, intended to free Iraqis from oppression and help a newly elected, "legitimate" government rebuild the war-torn country. Other Paris Club members have opposed full debt cancellation for Iraq, arguing that the same generous conditions should apply to poverty-stricken African nations. (NewStandard)

Cost of Guards, Guns Deters Some Contractors (December 6, 2004)

An increasing number of contractors working in Iraq spends almost one third of contract revenues on security measures. The resistance continues to attack US companies in Iraq, which have had to take elaborate measures to protect their staff. Contractors are becoming increasingly frustrated as the worsening security situation impedes reconstruction. (Inter Press Service)

Iraqi Economic Recovery Seen in 2005 - World Bank (December 6, 2004)

A senior World Bank official has said that the Bank expects economic recovery in Iraq by 2005. Once business activity picks up again and with the help of higher oil prices and an improved security situation, "Iraq would be set for a very strong recovery." The comments follow the signing of three agreements between the World Bank and the Iraqi interim government, in which the bank promises $145 million to Iraq. (Reuters)

US Aims to Boost Electricity in Iraq (December 3, 2004)

The US Agency for International Development has announced it aims to increase electricity supply in Iraq from 11 to 15 hours a day to 18 to 20 by the end of 2005. The agency's administrator said that violence in Iraq is delaying reconstruction but dismissed accusations of abuse of reconstruction funds, adding "we are not seeing much corruption at all in our contracts." (Reuters)

Why Iraq's Debt Does Not, in Fact, Even Exist (November 25, 2004)

This article argues that Iraq's debt ended with the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, and that a democratically elected government will have the legitimacy to refuse to pay debts that a previous dictator incurred. The author suggests that former leaders should personally repay these debts, and creditors who knowingly lent to the dictatorial power should bear partial responsibility. (L'Humanite)

Debt Relief Weighed Down By IMF Burden (November 23, 2004)

The Paris Club of bilateral government creditors has agreed to cancel 80 percent of the Iraqi debt, but organizations supporting total debt cancellation criticize the proposal, pointing out that the debt relief will come at the price of economic sovereignty. The debt cancellation, as stipulated in the agreement, is tied to economic programs issued by the International Monetary Fund. (Inter Press Service)

Nations Forgive Iraqi Debt (November 22, 2004)

Russia, France and Germany have agreed to write off 80% of the Iraqi debt. The decision will reduce the money Baghdad owes to the Paris Club from $38.9 billion to $7.8 billion by 2008 and represents a "major diplomatic victory for Mr. Bush's administration." French President Jacques Chirac may have only agreed to the deal in order to improve relations with Washington following George Bush's reelection. (Globe and Mail)

Only a Small Part of Funds to Help Rebuild Iraq (November 1, 2004)

Lawlessness and corruption plague the reconstruction process in Iraq. US authorities have only spent a small fraction of the reconstruction money that Congress allocated and Iraq has only received $ 2.7 billion of the $13.5 billion international lenders promised. (Washington Post)

Plans to Phase Out Rations to Boost Economy Still Debated (October 20, 2004)

Iraq's Ministry of Trade wants to phase out food rations and boost the economy by joining the World Trade Organization. Officials who asked for preferential treatment from the world free trade body see WTO membership as a driving force in the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy. Under the new system of liberalized prices, only people who apply for food rations will receive them. According to a World Food Programme survey, a quarter of the Iraqi population is still highly dependent on rations. (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)

Reparations in Reverse (October 15, 2004)

Rather than give ordinary Iraqis compensation for crimes suffered under Saddam Hussein, Iraq will pay $200 million in war reparations to some of the richest countries and corporations around the world. Debt organization Jubilee Iraq argues that reparations should be the responsibility of governments who loaned billions of dollars to Saddam Hussein, knowing he spent the money on weapons that enabled him to wage war on his own people and his neighbors. (Globe and Mail)

Cultural Genocide (October 14)

The US and Iraqi governments' "quick action projects like the cleanup in Najaf" greatly prioritize security. As a result US contractors have demolished the historic center, after fighting ended with Moqtada-al-Sadr's resistance forces, in order to create free fire zones for humvees and control visitors to the shrine of Imam Ali. (Al Ahram)

Iraq Pleads for Financial Assistance (October 13, 2004)

At the Meeting of the Donor Committee of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq in Tokyo, Iraqi interim deputy leader Barham Saleh and other members of Iraq's interim government stressed that their country desperately needs aid, and tried to convince donors that the security situation in Iraq allows the government to spend the money effectively. In his opening speech to the two day conference, Saleh stated that "assistance and aid in the short term is the key to destroying the causes of terrorism. It is also the only way we can build a sustainable, long-term future for our people." (Associated Press)

Paris Club Remains Divided Over Iraqi Debt Forgiveness (October 2, 2004)

A committee meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank exposed differences between the US and its major economic allies over Iraq debt relief. France and Germany, who opposed the invasion of Iraq, object to the US proposal of erasing up to 95% of the country's debt because they want to see the same generous debt relief terms for the world's poorest countries in Africa and elsewhere. (Wall Street Journal)

IMF Approves Aid for Iraq, Pushes for Debt Relief (September 29, 2004)

The International Monetary Fund approved $436 million in emergency lending to Iraq to help economic recovery and reconstruction in the war-torn country. But as a result of the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, senior World Bank officials warn that economic recovery in Iraq will be very slow despite "signs of an economic pickup. " (Reuters)

Iraq's Odious Debts (September 28, 2004)

This essay by the conservative Cato Instituteargues that, following the international doctrine of odious debts, "debts not used in the public interest are not legally enforceable." The Cato Institute classifies Iraq's debt as odious because Saddam Hussein created the country's debts for his own purposes and not in the interests of the state. Iraqis therefore need to assess which debt claims against their nation are legitimate. "Odious debt arbitration" would place responsibility for debt payment on foreign creditors and would warn governments not to support the very tyrants they are fighting in the "war against terror."

Costs Whittle Funds to Iraqis (September 26, 2004)

Costs of battling the insurgency are consuming more than half of the $ 18.4 billion of US aid originally set aside for rebuilding Iraq. With insurgents attacking construction sites and kidnapping contractors, costs for security and insurance are rising and Iraqis are unlikely to benefit from US aid. (Los Angeles Times)

US Diplomat Wants More Funds for Iraqi Security (August 30, 2004)

US Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte proposed a shift of $3.37 billion in reconstruction funds appropriated by the US Congress from Iraqi reconstruction projects to enhance "security" in the country. The plan is sure to draw opposition from lawmakers in Washington and from official in the Department of Defense, especially those with ties to major US contractors working in Iraq, who stand to lose from any shift in reconstruction funds. (Wall Street Journal)

State Department Criticizes Focus of Iraq Effort (July 22, 2004)

The US Department of State announced plans to redirect Iraqi reconstruction funds appropriated by the US Congress from large-scale, multi-million dollar public-works projects, to smaller projects. Officials contend that the shift in reconstruction priorities creates employment opportunities for ordinary Iraqis, helping to stabilize Iraq and fostering democracy in the country. (Los Angeles Times)

Shameless in Iraq (June 24, 2004)

Naomi Klein examines how the Occupation Authorities mismanaged Iraq's reconstruction. Klein argues that Iraq's reconstruction "was seen not by Iraqis as a recovery from war," but as an "extension of the occupation." Iraqis lost desperately needed jobs to foreign contractors and suppliers, resulting in the reconstruction itself becoming a target of the resistance. (The Nation)

You Don't Have to be Poor to Work There, But it Helps (June 15, 2004)

Rising attacks against Coalition forces and foreign contractors are not deterring recruitment of workers as hundreds of US citizens continue to seek employment in Iraq. The Independentargues that with the US unemployment rate at 5.6%, many are left without an alternative, and the prospect of earning up to $100,000 dollars per year is worth the risk.

Records Show US Failing to Keep Promises in Iraq (May 21, 2004)

The New Standardreports that only a fraction of Iraq's reconstruction projects are underway, while the number of Iraqis working on the projects is below one percent of Iraq's available workforce. Of the $18.4 billion earmarked by the US solely for reconstruction of Iraq's infrastructure, $1.6 billion in contracts were awarded, while the CPA diverted $300 million towards security and administration costs.

Rebuilding Aid Unspent, Tapped to Pay Expenses (April 30, 2004)

The US government has spent $1 billion on Iraqi projects out of the $18.4 billion appropriated for the reconstruction of Iraq since October 2003. Considering that over $300 million dollars have been shifted to the Coalition Provisional Authority's administrative and security expenses, one wonders how committed Washington is to Iraq's reconstruction. (Washington Post)

Downsizing Saddam's Odious Debt (March 2, 2004)

Middle East Reportchallenges the White House commitment empowering Iraqis "to build a peaceful, prosperous and democratic nation," arguing that the US should unconditionally write-off loans and reparations claims on Iraq accumulated by the Hussein regime, enabling Iraq's future growth and prosperity.

Iraq Donors Commit About $1billion to Iraq Funds (February 29, 2004)

The UN and the World Bank will administer two trusts funds dedicated to the reconstruction of Iraq, allaying objections by Russia and France that administration of contributions should be the responsibility of the UN, not the US and the UK. (Reuters)

Iraqi Experts Tossed With The Water (February 27, 2004)

The Washington Postreports that delays in rehabilitating and reconstructing Iraq's core infrastructure are due to the unwillingness of the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority to allow Iraqi workers, formerly employed by the Saddam Hussein government, to participate in the process. What does this say about the White House commitment to include Iraqi's in the rebuilding of their country?

Occupation, Inc (February 2, 2004)

US corporations continue to accumulate huge profits from Iraqi reconstruction contracts, claiming that their efforts improve the quality of life in Iraq. However, Iraqis see little progress, claiming they are worse off now than during the Saddam Hussein regime. How long will it take to rebuild Iraq? (Southern Exposure)

Ambitions of Empire: the Bush Administration Economic Plan for Iraq (and Beyond) (January 20, 2004)

The Bush administration contracted US consulting firm BearingPoint to "facilitate" the complete economic reconstruction of Iraq. This article rejects BearingPoint's plan as a "chicken soup of the most extreme corporate globalization policies past and present" designed to radically alter Iraq's economy and expose its resources to wholesale foreign acquisition. (LeftTurn Magazine)

Money to Rebuild Iraq Still Lost in the Pipeline (January 19, 2004)

Despite reports to the contrary, the US government pre-war assertions claimed that oil revenues from Iraq would largely fund reconstruction. However, Mr James Placke, a senior associate at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, argues: "With all the information available, it seems that those in charge chose not to know." (Straits Times)

The Reconstruction's Bottom-Line (January 2004)

With skyrocketing unemployment, meager standards of living, and continued erosion of Iraq's core infrastructure, US corporations are reaping huge rewards. They continue to have unfettered access and minimal competition from international competitors. Focus on the Global South argues: "The reconstruction [of Iraq] is less about reconstruction than about making the most money possible."


Contracts For Reconstruction in Iraq

Link to a site that provides a list of all contracts awarded for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Reconstructing States - A Guide to Nation Building (December, 2003)

A Rand Corporation study of past US nation-building efforts assesses the costs, risks and prospect of success of the reconstruction operation in Iraq. The study advocates a multilateral approach in Iraq, under certain conditions. (Monde Diplomatique)

It's Greed, Not Ideology, that Rules the White House (December 23, 2003)

The US argues that the "Iraqi people should not be saddled with the debt of a brutal regime." At the same time, it opposes all attempts of debt cancellation for Argentina, whose similarly cruel dictators accumulated an enormous debt with the complicity of Henry Kissinger. Naomi Klein contends that only the profits US corporations expect from Iraq's reconstruction can explain this discrepancy. (Guardian)

Operation Renounce War Booty (December 23, 2003)

Washington recently announced that only firms from coalition countries could bid on reconstruction contracts for Iraq. Michael Renner argues that European governments opposed to the war should renounce such war profiteering and pursue rights-based policies in Iraq and beyond. Only strong public pressure, though, can produce such an uncharacteristic result.

A Deliberate Debacle (December 12, 2003)

US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz presses war critics for "international cooperation in Iraq and in future efforts." Paul Krugman sees a disturbing groundwork for future pre-emptive strikes. Krugman claims that top Washington neoconservatives view Iraq as a test for future regime changes. (New York Times)

US Decision on Iraq Contracts Irritates Excluded War Critics (December 11, 2003)

Germany, France, Russia and Canada expressed astonishment at the US government's decision to prevent countries that opposed the Iraq war from bidding on reconstruction contracts. "If you destroy my sand castle, I'll destroy yours," scoffed a German political analyst. "It's the kindergarten approach to transatlantic relations." (Washington Post)

Pentagon Bars Three Nations From Iraq Bids (December 10, 2003)

Funds for the reconstruction and development of Iraq will pay for 26 contracts in the electricity, oil and water sectors, but the Pentagon will not permit French, Russian and German firms to take part. One US official offered the explanation that "this is [US] taxpayers' money, and so we have to go with those who have pitched in [to the war effort] already." (New York Times)

Baker Takes the Loaf: President's Business Partner Slices Up Iraq (December 9, 2003)

The law firm headed by former US Secretary of State James Baker will "restructure" Iraq's debts. Writing in ZNet, Greg Palast points out that the US-influenced Iraqi Governing Council made the appointment, thereby preventing the US Congress from demanding accountability.

Funds for Iraq Falling Short of Pledges, Figures Show (December 7, 2003)

According to the World Bank, total figures from the October 2003 donors conference for Iraq reconstruction reach $685 million, not $3 billion as donor organizers had claimed. Many donor nations are reluctant to give grants to the US-led occupation and choose instead to pledge aid to a forthcoming independent donor fund. (New York Times)

Bring Halliburton Home (November 24, 2003)

"Bring the troops home" is the common refrain by activists against the US/UK occupation of Iraq. But Naomi Klein argues that Iraq will not enjoy true self-determination until the more-entrenched economic colonialism ends. (The Nation)

Billions Missing from US-Controlled Development Fund (November 15, 2003)

The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) has been unable to account for billions of dollars transferred by the UN to the Development Fund for Iraq. Furthermore, the CPA has stymied the work of the International Advisory Monitoring Board (IAMB) created to provide transparency. By circumventing accountability in spending, the CPA "operates outside its mandate," says Christian Aid. (Yellow Times)

Money Transferred to Iraqi Fund without UN Approval (November 11, 2003)

The CPA has not accounted for a $1 billion transfer from the UN escrow account to the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) in June. Nonetheless, the UN has transferred a second billion in October without explicit Security Council approval. The UN Secretariat justifies the move by arguing that all Oil-for-Food money will be transferred anyway to the DFI after the Programme ends on November 21, 2003. (Middle East Online)

United Nations and World Bank "Joint Iraq Needs Assessment" (October 2003)

The purpose of this assessment is to inform the Donor Conference in Madrid of the priorities for reconstruction in each sector, focusing on both urgent and medium-term needs.

Iraq Rebuilding Cash 'Goes Missing' (October 23, 2003)

According to Christian Aid, the Coalition Provisional Authority has accounted for only one fifth of Iraq reconstruction funds. The Coalition must publicize its accounts or face overwhelming suspicion that US firms have pocketed the missing billions. (Scotsman)

US to Cede Part of Control Over Aid to Iraq (October 20, 2003)

The World Bank and the UN will head an agency to manage international aid for the reconstruction of Iraq. Coalition Provisional Authority leader Paul Bremer persuaded the White House to accept this move, saying "we have to move off our principled opposition to the international community being in charge." (New York Times)

Baghdad's Future on Table in Madrid (October 2003)

This article from Foreign Policy in Focusprovides critical commentary of US objectives for the Madrid donor's conference for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Questions Are Raised on Awarding of Contracts in Iraq (October 4, 2003)

Members of the Iraqi Governing Council expressed grave concern over the $1.2 billion cost of police training in Iraq and the list of sub-contractors approved by Bechtel. "There is no transparency," complained one member, "and something has to be done about it." (New York Times)

Gaidar Invited to Shock, Awe Iraq (September 9, 2003)

The US/UK occupation forces have invited Yegor Gaidar, the architect of post-Soviet Union "shock therapy," to craft an economic recovery plan for post-war Iraq. The invitation came after the announcement to privatize Iraq's oil industry, prompting one analyst to say, "It would be fantastic if [Gaidar] were handed the opportunity to deal with the same [oil sector] giveaway twice in one lifetime." (Moscow Times)

International Consortium to Run Iraq Bank (August 29, 2003)

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. will lead the international consortium of financial institutions running the new Iraqi trade bank. The trade bank will replace the UN Oil-for-Food Program, in helping the new government to "handle Iraq's major purchases abroad." (Associated Press)

Who Profits from Erasing Iraq's Debt? (August 15, 2003)

Halliburton and other companies will reap enormous financial benefits if the US government decides to forgive Iraq's debt, according to the UN Observer and International Report. Countries that opposed the war, including France and Germany, stand to lose out if the debt cancellation proceeds.

Iraq's Post-Conflict Reconstruction (July 17, 2003)

The Center for Strategic & International Studies sent a team of post-conflict reconstruction experts to Iraq, on the request of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, for an informal evaluation of US-led efforts to rebuild.

Aid Is Tied to US Pledges on Oil Funds (June 26, 2003)

Germany, France and other potential donors to Iraq demand that the US provide greater accountability concerning its plans for Iraq's oil revenue. The countries also seek a guarantee of more opportunities for foreign companies before they will help fund Iraq's reconstruction. (Washington Post)

Inexperienced Hands Guide Iraq Rebuilding (June 25, 2003)

The Washington Postasserts that the critical task of postwar rebuilding and governance of Iraqi cities remains in the hands of US military personnel. Almost all of these personnel lack expertise in government administration and familiarity with the Arab world.

Iraq Donor Conference Planned for September (June 5, 2003)

The occupying power plans to finance reconstruction of Iraq by using the country's oil revenues and pressing for substantial debt relief. The US plans to further avoid paying for the reconstruction by organizing an international donor conference in September. (Reuters)

It's Not So Funny Any More DubyaCo.(May 28, 2003)

The US has assured the world that Iraqi oil will be flowing soon, but has not set any dates for when electricity, water or the rule of law will be restored through out the country. This article critically examines current US priorities in Iraq, and looks at past US interests in Iraqi oil. (Counterpunch)

Free Marketeers Have a Plan For Iraq (April 30, 2003)

President George W. Bush is appointing former private sector executives to run Iraq and will probably impose dubious free market policies to assist US companies. The administration is reportedly planning to remodel the petroleum industry to function more like a US oil corporation. (Inter Press Service)

Fury at Agriculture Post For US Businessman (April 28, 2003)

The US has appointed Dan Amstutz to be in charge of agricultural reconstruction in Iraq. Oxfam is very critical about having Amstutz in charge and compares it to putting Saddam Hussein "in the chair of a human rights commission." (Guardian)

Reimposing the Dollar Hegemony (April 26-May 9, 2003)

Sukumar Muralidharan analyzes the economic decisions behind the US plans for the occupation of Iraq and the reconstruction of its decimated infrastructure, and suggests that "the reassertion of the dollar hegemony is precisely what the invasion of Iraq is all about." (Frontline (India))

Britain and US at Odds Over Port Rebuilding Project (March 28, 2003)

Tensions are rising amongst British companies over rebuilding post-war Iraq because their US counterparts appear to be getting preferential treatment in receiving contracts. (Independent)

Unfinished Business (March 28, 2003)

Richard Perle's resignation as chairman of the Defense Policy Board raises questions about US economic involvement in postwar Iraq. According to a report by the Center for Public Integrity, at least 10 of the 30 members of the Defense Policy Board are executives or lobbyists with companies who have contracts with the US Defense Department and other government agencies. (Guardian)

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