Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) says the “appalling” waste of U.S. reconstruction funding in Iraq demonstrates the need for a “top-to-bottom” review of the State Department and the decision-making process for dispersing aid.
According to Corker:
The extent of waste and abuse in the $60 billion of Iraq reconstruction funds coupled with the instability still evident in Iraq is appalling and highlights real failures of planning and execution that must be corrected to make U.S. foreign assistance a more effective tool for advancing the national interests of our country.
Corker’s comments were based on his review of a report from Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart Bowen. The report took nine years took compile, and shows money was recklessly spent on everything from “expensive medical equipment no one was trained to use” to a partially constructed $40 million prison “no one wants.”
As the end of the report itself makes clear, “the Iraq reconstruction program provided a plethora of lessons about what happens when stabilization and reconstruction operations commence without sufficient systematic support in place.”