WASHINGTON, April 24 (UPI) -- After spending more than $57 billion on development in Iraq, Iraq is producing less oil, has less electricity and less water than before Saddam Hussein fell, a new report states.
The report, from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says the slow pace and achievement of reconstruction cannot be blamed on the violent insurgency but instead is a result of bad planning and poor execution on the part of the United States government.
"U.S. authorities did not conduct a survey of the country's capabilities and needs, and did not develop a strategically integrated national development plan for Iraq. It did not realistically plan to deal with the challenges posed by a state-run economy and corruption, what effectively had become a 'command kleptocracy,'" write Anthony Cordesman and Onur Ozlu.
The Coalition Provisional Authority, the U.S.-led civilian administration in Iraq, attempted to make rapid changes to transform Iraq into an open, capitalistic economy, but did so haphazardly and without a master plan.
"The failure to plan for security in the face of a rising insurgency made things far worse, but shortcomings in aid planning of the reconstruction were exacerbated by inefficient execution. The U.S. personnel in charge of the reconstruction often lack experience and basic competence," the report states.
The United States has spent roughly $20 billion in reconstruction funds, and the United Nations administrated Development Fund for Iraq -- culled from seized bank accounts and other funds - has spent $37 billion so far.
The authors warn of more economic upheaval to come as the international reconstruction fund will expire in 2007, and the Iraqi government and civilian institutions are in no way prepared to complete ongoing projects and sustain those that have been completed, particularly with declining oil production.
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