Monday, January 23, 2006

Report Exposes Gross Incompetence in Rebuilding Iraq

Going from bad to worse, and it just doesn't get much worse than this. As Wonkette pointed out back in Nov, Bush has been working backwards without a plan for Iraq all along. He went from "Mission Accomplished" in May '03 to a "Strategy for Victory" in Oct '05, and then rolled out his "Plan For Victory" just this past November 30.


Then surprise, we find out only a few days later that was complete bullshit as the govt began offering over a BILLION dollar contract to anyone in the private sector who could come up with a frickin plan for them. The USAid contract went out Dec 1, one day after chimpy's "Plan For Victory" speech, to "qualified sources to design and implement a social and economic stabilization program impacting ten Strategic Cities, identified by the United States Government as critical to the defeat of the Insurgency in Iraq."

Now we get a glimpse just how screwed up things really are.

Iraq Rebuilding Badly Hobbled, U.S. Report Finds

NYT: The first official history of the $25 billion American reconstruction effort in Iraq depicts a program hobbled from the outset by gross understaffing, a lack of technical expertise, bureaucratic infighting, secrecy and constantly increasing security costs, according to a preliminary draft copy of the document dated December 2005. (...)

In the document, the paralyzing effect of staffing shortfalls and contracting battles between the State Department and the Pentagon, creating delays of months at a stretch, are described for the first time from inside the program.

The document also recounts concerns about writing contracts for an entity with the "ambiguous legal status" of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the question of whether it was an American entity or a multinational one like NATO. (...)

The draft report is emerging as the rebuilding comes under fresh criticism in the United States and Iraq. Partly because of sabotage to oil and gas pipelines and electrical transmission lines, Iraq's oil exports have plummeted over the last several months, and its national electrical output has again dipped below prewar levels.

After years of shifting authority, agencies that have come into and out of existence and that experienced constant staff turnover, the rebuilding went through another permutation last month with almost no public notice. The Corps of Engineers has been given command of the severely criticized office set up by President Bush to oversee some $13 billion of the reconstruction funds. (...)

The draft report by the inspector general says the rebuilding program began with a task that is tiny in retrospect but cast a long shadow.

The Army appropriated $1.9 million in November 2002 to create a "contingency plan" for what to do if Iraqi forces damaged or destroyed the nation's oil complexes and pipelines. That "task order," under a running contract, went to Kellogg, Brown & Root, a Halliburton subsidiary. The Army later used that task order as a justification for awarding the company a new $1.4 billion noncompetitive contract to restore oil equipment, a program that became one of the most criticized moves of the conflict partly because Vice President Dick Cheney was once the top executive at Halliburton.

Until January 2003, reconstruction planning was conducted in secrecy "to avoid the impression that the U.S. government had already decided on intervention," the draft history says. Possibly as a result, the American administrative authority arrived with no written plans or strategies for purchasing and contracting and no personnel with expertise in the area. (....)

Among the first challenges the program faced were the impossibly great needs of crumbling public works. Mr. Nash is cited in the document as saying that officials realized early on that Iraq would need $70 billion to $100 billion over several years. They were forced cut the list of projects down again and again.

"No matter how we pared the list, we needed $20 billion more than we had available or Iraqi reconstruction and transition would stall," Mr. Nash is quoted as saying....
(more)

Make no mistake, this is exactly why the insurgency in Iraq is spiraling out of control. Chimpyco never had a working plan to rebuild and stabalize Iraq to win the hearts and minds, and judging from this report they couldn't implement one even if they did. Gross Frickin incompetence abounds in this administration, from Rumsfeld's troop levels, to Cheney's "Last throes" and everything in between. To make matters worse, Bush just keeps rewarding these idiots it seems directly for their incompetence. Tenet got a Medal of Freedom for his "slam dunk" justification for the war, and remember this idiot...
Paul Wolfowitz: "We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon."
Chimpy then took this asswipe with such a head for numbers and made him the head of the World Bank.
Bush is a complete embarrassment as a human being, much less the leader of our country. I'll never understand how so many people failed to see him for what he really is before now.

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