Iraq Aid Disaster: Pentagon Lost Billions, Kept Few Records of What It Did

US Embassy Couldn't Give Iraq Complete List of Projects

A new round of reports from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) has meant yet more embarrassments for the Pentagon and the assorted aid agencies that helped them with occupation-era reconstruction.

Not only was much of what was done ineffective, some of it is entirely undocumented, with the US Embassy forced to concede that they weren’t able to provide anywhere near a complete list of what was done as part of US-funded reconstruction projects.

But perhaps even worse, the Pentagon lost around $2 billion that wasn’t theirs to begin with. The Iraqi government signed off on transferring some $3 billion to the Pentagon in 2004 for certain projects, and the SIGIR audit was only able to account for about $1 billion of it.

Indeed what the Pentagon did period is a bit of a mystery. SIGIR reports that of the 42 monthly expense reports they were supposed to produce from July 2004 through December 2007, only the first four have ever been found. Where the other 38 went, or if they were even created at all, is unknown.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of