Monday, October 16, 2006

Reconstruction Contracts in Iraq: Where is Buford Pusser When You Need Him?

A panel of Iraq reconstruction experts, including Christian Miller, Stuart Bowen and Kathleen Schanasi, spoke at a Friday program at George Washington Law School. Miller related his experience with water purification systems; stating that initial optimism was dashed by failure to plan for colder winter weather and failure to consider piping to homes from the purification plant. Miller also criticized severe shortages of staff, hasty decisions forced by tight deadlines and excessive layers of contracting for the problems. Bowen and Schanasi were less blunt, but acknowledged that present performance on procurement was not satisfactory.

Obviously, it hurts as a taxpayer to see tax money spent carelessly. However, an equally significant feature here is the impact on hostilities in Iraq; sloppy procurement and contracting in rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure may make the Iraqi people less confident in their new government; less enthusiastic about a continued US presence and thus less UNcomfortable with insurgents/terrorists, thus less likely to report terrorist activities, thus making it easier for terror to occur, thus making an easier case for anti-war activists outside Iraq.

Note: This Govexec article was cited in the AGA website


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