As of this year, more U.S. and NATO money had been "squandered" on the "reconstruction" of Afghanistan than was spent on the full post-World War-II Marshall Plan to put a devastated Europe back on its feet. And how has all that spending turned out?
Yesterday in a meeting, a colleague asked about what will be needed after the conflict in Syria, what we could help with. I looked down. I was thinking, there's not much we can do if the infrastructure of the country is wiped out.
Strange that when I do media interviews now, only two years later, nobody even thinks to ask "Did we succeed in Iraq?" or "Will reconstruction pay off?" The question du jour has finally shifted to: "Why did we fail?"
According to the Defense Department, if you include the OSC-I contractors, the total for private security contractors rises to 3,577. The takeaway is that after all these years the U.S. government still has problems tracking the number of contractors working in Iraq.
When a relationship begins with a war and an invasion, and all the acts of violence that go along with that, you start deep in a hole. As corruption, mistakes, accidents and half-hearted efforts plague reconstruction, that hole only gets deeper.
The sheer audacity of this White House is beyond belief -- why are we permitting Iraq's government to get away with this highway robbery when it could easily shoulder more of the reconstruction burden?