The latest report from the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction says tens of millions of dollars have been wasted because of failure and fraud. Among other abuses, the report cites a never-used $48.3-million housing facility, complete with an Olympic-size swimming pool. If Willie Sutton were alive today, he’d head straight to Baghdad.
AP via Yahoo!:
The U.S. government wasted tens of millions of dollars in Iraq reconstruction aid, including scores of unaccounted-for weapons and a never-used camp for housing police trainers with an Olympic-size swimming pool, investigators say.
The quarterly audit by Stuart Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, is the latest to paint a grim picture of waste, fraud and frustration in an Iraq war and reconstruction effort that has cost taxpayers more than $300 billion and left the region near civil war.
“The security situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, hindering progress in all reconstruction sectors and threatening the overall reconstruction effort,” according to the 579-page report, which was being released Wednesday.
Calling Iraq’s sectarian violence the greatest challenge, Bowen said in a telephone interview that billions in U.S. aid spent on strengthening security has had limited effect. Reconstruction now will fall largely on Iraqis to manage—and they’re nowhere ready for the task.