Inspector General: US Wasted $6 Billion to $8 Billion on Iraq Reconstruction

Bowen Gives Somewhat Better Estimate After Audit Release

Following up on last week’s audit release, Special Inspector General for Iraqi Reconstruction (SIGIR) Stuart Bowen has given a somewhat better estimate of exactly how much money was wasted in Iraq reconstruction, saying that of $51 billion spent some $6-$8 billion is wasted.

The comments come a few days after Friday’s “final audit” from his office, which said that the “precise amount lost to fraud and waste can never be known.” That report didn’t include today’s estimate.

The office of SIGIR itself spent years trying to trace the billions in expenses, with little to no existing documentation for how the money was spent. The office itself was under criticism for its own spending, pumping more than $200 million into the probe.

The final audit report blamed “lack of manpower” for the government’s failure in overseeing its contracts. It singled out a $2.5 billion deal with DynCorp as an example of the problem. DynCorp denied misconduct, but confirmed repaying $60 million.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.