A 513 page federal history on the Iraq reconstruction was compiled by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, led by Stuart W. Bowen Jr., a Republican lawyer who regularly travels to Iraq and has a staff of engineers and auditors based here. Here are some of the accounts in this first official federal historical document on the Iraq reconstruction entitled “Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience" -
- Ignorance: Pentagon planners efforts were crippled by spiraling violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society and infrastructure.
- Lies: when the reconstruction began to lag — particularly in the critical area of rebuilding the Iraqi police and army — the Pentagon simply put out inflated measures of progress to cover up the failures. Colin Powell said the Defense Department “kept inventing numbers of Iraqi security forces — the number would jump 20,000 a week"
- Incompetence: The Bush Administration has in place neither the policies and technical capacity nor the organizational structure that would be needed to undertake such a program on anything approaching this scale.
- Politics over planning: Republicans put a greater priority on making things "look good" for Bush because of the 2004 election instead of efficient and competent use of money. Office of Management and Budget balked at the American occupation authority’s abrupt request for about $20 billion in new reconstruction money in August 2003, a veteran Republican lobbyist working for the authority made a bluntly partisan appeal to Joshua B. Bolten, then the O.M.B. director and now the White House chief of staff. “To delay getting our funds would be a political disaster for the President,” wrote the lobbyist, Tom C. Korologos. “His election will hang for a large part on show of progress in Iraq and without the funding this year, progress will grind to a halt.” With administration backing, Congress allocated the money later that year.
- Poor planning: As an example of the haphazard planning, a civilian official at the United States Agency for International Development was at one point given four hours to determine how many miles of Iraqi roads would need to be reopened and repaired. The official searched through the agency’s reference library, and his estimate went directly into a master plan.
- Early miscalculations: The history records how Jay Garner, Chief of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, presented Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld with several rebuilding plans, including one that would include projects across Iraq. “What do you think that’ll cost?” Mr. Rumsfeld asked of the more expansive plan.“I think it’s going to cost billions of dollars,” Mr. Garner said.“My friend,” Mr. Rumsfeld replied, “if you think we’re going to spend a billion dollars of our money over there, you are sadly mistaken.”
"...the government as a whole has never developed a legislatively sanctioned doctrine or framework for planning, preparing and executing contingency operations in which diplomacy, development and military action all figure.”And to think in the midst of this recession in America, billions of dollars are flying out of America every week to try to repair the damage of the Bush legacy.