January 19, 2006
Re " 'Marshall Plan' for Iraq Fades," Jan. 15 There is an important difference between the Marshall Plan for Europe and the debacle that is Iraq: The Marshall Plan actually helped Europe. After nearly three years and $18 billion spent in a country with rock-bottom construction costs, Iraq is still in shambles. So where did the money go? Judging by the number of scandals, reconstruction was not the goal but rather was a thinly disguised welfare plan for U.S. companies. And, of course, forcing Iraq, a country we've destroyed, to pay for its own reconstruction is right out of the International Monetary Fund playbook: loan forgiveness in return for allowing corporations to "privatize" Iraq's oil and infrastructure at fire-sale prices.
April 23, 2004 |
The escalation of violence in Iraq this month is curtailing the pace of U.S. government-financed reconstruction, but both contractors and U.S. officials maintained Thursday that the disruption so far has been relatively minor. Tom Wheelock, director of infrastructure for the U.S. Agency for International Development, said at a news briefing here that 90% of all projects were moving forward. Privately, however, some contractors say the situation is far from normal.
April 2, 2003 |
The Bush administration is deeply riven by disputes over postwar Iraq, particularly on three key issues -- the role of the United Nations, who will lead the country and which elements of the U.S. government will oversee its reconstruction, administration officials say. The fight, those involved say, is about whether Iraq is transformed through an international effort under U.N.
October 4, 2003 |
Despite a quarter-century of tension with Iran, the United States has reached out to the Islamic Republic for help in the postwar reconstruction of Iraq -- and is getting it, according to U.S. and Iranian officials. Iran will participate in an international donors conference this month in Madrid, and may end up as one of the few aid contributors. It is already offering to provide water, electricity and technical assistance to Iraq, a top Iranian diplomat said Friday.
March 11, 2003 |
The U.S. has invited at least five engineering firms to submit bids for a contract to do reconstruction work in Iraq, government and company officials said. The winning company would get about $900 million to repair Iraqi schools, health services, ports and airports. Bechtel Group Inc. and Fluor Corp. confirmed they had received the invitations. The Wall Street Journal said the Agency for International Development also sent invitations to Parsons Corp., Louis Berger Group Inc.
October 20, 2004 |
The cost of building materials in Iraq has soared as much as tenfold amid fears of shortages, threatening the pace of the already troubled U.S. reconstruction effort, Iraqi and U.S. officials said Tuesday. Local suppliers have jacked up the prices of such basics as lumber, gravel and bricks in the expectation that a U.S.-funded building boom is poised to take off and will drain stocks of the materials, the officials said.