A 500+ page draft of a federal report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has been obtained and made publicly available by the New York Times. The report details the history of the American-led reconstruction of Iraq and highlights the series of blunders that cost in excess of $100 billion and provided little in the way of results.
The report is remarkably frank about the lack of planning and what was in many ways a childish approach the US government took to one of the largest reconstruction exercises in American history. Prefacing the chapters are quotes from officials as well as historical figures underscoring the thesis of the upcoming chapter. One chapter on the wastefulness of the effort uses Charles Dickens’ classic Great Expectations quote “we spent as much money as we could, and got as little for it as people could make up their minds to give us.”
The office that compiled this draft history is no stranger to criticizing the reconstruction effort. In 2006 they issued a report detailing the “spectacular” wasting of money, including stacks of newly-minted cash shipped to Iraq and squandered or in many cases, simply lost without a trace.
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