The US American tax payer has paid over $44bn dollars for the reconstruction Iraq so far and it becomes more and more clear that reconstruction has failed. As you can see in the video above, 9 years after the fall of Saddam Hussein the power grid provides less than 6 hours of electricity a day.
In a recent comment on AlJazeera Peter van Buren who spent a year in Iraq leading two Provincial Reconstruction Teams one can find even more details:
Failure, in fact, was the name of the game when it came to the American mission. Just tote up the score: the Iraqi government is moving ever closer to Iran; the US occupation, which built 505 bases in the country with the thought that US troops might remain garrisoned there for generations, ended without a single base in US hands (none, nada); no gushers of cheap oil leapt USA-wards nor did profits from the above leap into the coffers of American oil companies; and there was a net loss of US prestige and influence across the region.
Its not only him, even Condoleezza Rice admits it. So why is this all happening?
It is very simple, because it doesn’t matter. It was never about reconstructing another country, its about fueling mass amounts of money through US contractors who will do something somehow, somewhere that maybe helps somebody but most importantly is a direct economical stimulation by the US taxpayer into the industry. You think I am exaggerating?
Why is Iraq reconstructed and the US itself is not and is still left with an outdated infrastructure? There could be plenty of money being spent in the US itself, but then it would actually matter that things work. However, it is so much easier to get the money and then do something in another country, where at the end of the day no one controls what is really happening.
Or as Peter van Buren puts it:
Failure in the strict sense of the word is not necessarily a problem for Washington. Our purpose is served by the appearance of reconstructing. We need to tell ourselves we tried, and those (dark, dirty, uneducated, Muslim, terrorist, heathen) people we just ran over with a tank actually screwed this up. And OK, sure, if a few well-connected contractors profit along the way, more power to them.