Iraq: Stolen Post-Invasion Cash as High as $18 Billion

Missing Funds at Nearly Triple the US Audit Figure

Last week, an audit by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction revealed that of the $20 billion flown by the United States to Iraq, some $6.6 billion is still completely unaccounted for and believed stolen.

But Iraqi officials say the amount is much higher, with Parliament Speaker Osama Nujaifi saying that the Iraqi government’s probe found some $18 billion still missing, and that the nation’s parliament is still expecting an answer for where it went.

The US shipped the $20 billion in Iraqi government funds (part of the UN’s Oil for Food program) in physical cash, $100 bills stacked on palettes and crammed into the airplanes. There was virtually no effort to keep track of where all these $100 bills went.

But while Iraqi officials have discussed suing the US for losing their money, the government now says that the UN Security Council’s resolutions gave the US total immunity from lawsuits related to the 2003 invasion and by extension any money lost or stolen since then.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of