Iraq watchdog sees 'success and failure'

May 23, 2007 at 12:48 AM

WASHINGTON, May 22 (UPI) -- The special inspector general for Iraq told a congressional committee Tuesday the U.S. reconstruction effort has not failed but there are problems.

Stuart Bowen described reconstruction as a mix of "success and failure, shortfalls and successful projects achieved," The Hill reported. He said the rebuilding is being carried out under fire.

"And that means every project has cost more than expected and has taken longer to complete, and a lot of projects have not been finished," Bowen told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Both Democratic and Republican legislators praised Bowen and criticized reconstruction.

"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," Chairman Tom Lantos, D-Calif., said. "But knowing the administration's abysmal track record on Iraq reconstruction planning, this is no surprise."

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