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U.S. Audit Paints Bleak Picture Of Iraqi Reconstruction

Stuart Bowen (file photo) (official site) January 31, 2007 -- A new U.S. government report finds that reconstruction efforts in Iraq are being hampered by violence, corruption, and bureaucracy.

The audit by Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, paints a bleak picture of chaos, corruption, tens of millions of dollars of wasted funds, and widespread unemployment.

It says billions of budgeted dollars remained unspent by the Iraqi government at the end of 2006, as U.S. President George W. Bush is asking Congress to approve more than $1 billion in new reconstruction aid.

The report also says the deteriorating security situation threatens the entire reconstruction effort in Iraq.

That conclusion comes as three car bombings struck in separate areas of Baghdad today, killing at least seven people. Separately, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a checkpoint north of Baghdad, wounding at least six Iraqi soldiers. And the U.S. military reported the deaths of three soldiers.

(compiled from agency reports)

RFE/RL Iraq Report

RFE/RL Iraq Report

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