Here’s what happened to the money that was supposed to rebuild the country after the US invasion destroyed the country’s infrastructure:
Since the reconstruction effort began in 2003, midcourse changes by U.S. officials have shifted … from the rebuilding of Iraq's decrepit electrical, education, water, sewage, sanitation and oil networks to build new security forces for Iraq and to construct a nationwide system of prisons.
In addition, from 14 percent to 22 percent of the cost of every nonmilitary reconstruction project goes toward security against insurgent attacks, according to reconstruction officials in Baghdad. In Washington, the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction puts the security costs of each project at 25 percent.
U.S. officials more than doubled the size of the Iraqi army, which they initially planned to build to only 40,000 troops. …At the same time, relentless sabotage has kept [electricity and oil production] output at or below prewar levels despite the expenditure of hundreds of millions of American dollars and countless man-hours.
Oil production stands at roughly 2 million barrels a day, compared with 2.6 million before U.S. troops entered Iraq in March 2003, according to U.S. government statistics. U.S. officials at the time promised a steady supply of 6,000 megawatts of electricity and a return to oil production output of 2.5 million barrels a day, within months.
Iraqis nationwide receive on average less than 12 hours of power a day. For residents of Baghdad, it was six hours a day last month, according to a U.S. count, though many residents say that figure is high.
The Americans, said Zaid Saleem, 26, who works at a market in Baghdad, "are the best in destroying things but they are the worst in rebuilding."
[Contains excerpts of an article by Ellen Knickmeyer, Washington Post]