Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Good Money After Bad
Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq, did his best to show Iraq reconstruction some love today in Congressional testimony:
“The reconstruction program in Iraq has been fraught with challenge, a mixture of success and failure, shortfalls and successful projects achieved,” Bowen told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
He pointed to the security situation and the fact that Iraq is being rebuilt "virtually under fire" as the principle reasons for ballooning costs and missed deadlines. But Chairman Tom Lantos was having none of it:
“It is simply outrageous that we are mired in the same mud of incompetence that we got stuck in last year and the year before that,” panel Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) said. “But knowing the administration’s abysmal track record on Iraq reconstruction planning, this is no surprise.”
Lantos also lashed out at countries that have failed to fulfill their donor pledges to Iraq reconstruction, which seems odd to me. After all, who in their right mind would hand money over to a reconstruciton project that we're running? Even we've stopped doing it. I don't see how we can expect them to start.