Iraq rebuilding needed coordination

March 22, 2007 at 7:03 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- U.S. efforts to rebuild Iraq would have benefited from better planning and coordination between agencies, a Pentagon report released in Washington said.

The report from a Pentagon inspector general recommends that the U.S. Congress determine how to better coordinate the Defense Department, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development for future overseas rebuilding programs, CNN reported.

"There is fairly wide agreement that pre-war planning for relief and reconstruction should have been better, and one of the challenges we are seeing in reviewing that is the interagency problem," Special Inspector General Stuart Bowen said in a CNN report.

The agencies planning the reconstruction of Iraq didn't anticipate how events would unfold in the country and the initial plan -- that Iraq would take control of the rebuilding effort within 12 to 18 months of the invasion -- was abandoned, the report said.

"There's fairly universal agreement that the United States government was not well poised to execute the kind of relief and reconstruction operation that was presented in Iraq after the 2003 invasion," Bowen said.

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