Over $4 Billion Wasted In Iraq Reconstruction, Government Inspector Estimates

In the flatlands north of Baghdad sits a prison with no prisoners. It holds something else: a chronicle of U.S. government waste, misguided planning and construction shortcuts costing $40 million and stretching back to the American overseers who replaced Saddam Hussein.

It adds another narrative to the wider probes into the billions lost so far on scrubbed or substandard projects in Iraq.In the pecking order of corruption in Iraq, the dead-end prison project at Khan Bani Saad is nowhere near the biggest or most tangled.

Estimates are of up to 20 percent "waste" -- or more than $4 billion -- from the $21 billion spent so far in the U.S.-bankrolled Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund.

Government Inspector Bowen’s agency has done 120 audits on Iraqi projects. "And they tell an episodic story of waste," he said.


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