Report finds waste in Iraq reconstruction

Feb. 2, 2009 at 10:41 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. efforts to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure after the 2003 invasion have been fraught with billions of dollars in waste, an official says.

Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, was set to tell a blue-ribbon Washington panel that wasteful mistakes make up an estimated 15 percent -- or about $3 billion -- of the nearly $20 billion spent by the United States for major construction projects in Iraq, USA Today reported.

Bowen, author of book-length Iraq reconstruction report entitled "Hard Lessons," says the Iraq reconstruction efforts have been burdened by mismanagement and waste, falling far short of their original goals.

In the report, Bowen says the biggest challenge for Iraq reconstruction this year is turning over U.S.-funded projects to the Iraqi government and trying to make sure they will be properly maintained, USA Today said.

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