Tbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7011 posts, RR: 27 Posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 1657 times:
... from rebuilding Iraq.
Well now that I've got your attention with an obviously biased thread title, let me move on to my argument. First the article:
BAGHDAD -- The Bush administration does not intend to seek any new funds for Iraq reconstruction in the budget request going before Congress in February, officials say. The decision signals the winding down of an $18.4 billion U.S. rebuilding effort in which roughly half of the money was eaten away by the insurgency, a buildup of Iraq's criminal justice system and the investigation and trial of Saddam Hussein.
Just under 20 percent of the reconstruction package remains unallocated. When the last of the $18.4 billion is spent, U.S. officials in Baghdad have made clear, other foreign donors and the fledgling Iraqi government will have to take up what authorities say is tens of billions of dollars of work yet to be done merely to bring reliable electricity, water and other services to Iraq's 26 million people.
Ok so obviously our troops aren't going anywhere any time soon. I have so many problems with this complete cut of funding to reconstruction. If we ARE going to stay until the mission is finished, doesn't that include fixing what we broke? Electricity and oil output is below pre war levels, residents in Baghdad are lucky if they get six hours of electricity a day, and the oil money that was supposed to fund the reconstruction... well that just isn't happening.
I understand that a lot has been done in terms of reconstruction already, even if the government hasn't been telling us the specifics about it. But why stop? As long as our troops are there, why stop rebuilding what we destroyed? Even if it has been ridiculously inefficient and the money hard to track, why stop funding it.
We're not giving a timetable to how long the troops will be there. We're not saying how much more money we're going to spend on this war. But we're so certain on saying that we won't fund Iraqi reconstruction anymore.
Gilligan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 1565 times:
As usual, it's what you leave out that tells the complete story.....
"The U.S. never intended to completely rebuild Iraq," Brig. Gen. William McCoy, the Army Corps of Engineers commander overseeing the work, told reporters at a recent news conference. In an interview this past week, McCoy said: "This was just supposed to be a jump-start."
U.S. officials more than doubled the size of the Iraqi army, which they initially planned to build to only 40,000 troops. An item-by-item inspection of reallocated funds reveals how priorities were shifted rapidly to fund initiatives addressing the needs of a new Iraq: a 300-man Iraqi hostage-rescue force that authorities say stages operations almost every night in Baghdad; more than 600 Iraqis trained to dispose of bombs and protect against suicide bombs; four battalions of Iraqi special forces to protect the oil and electric networks; safe houses and armored cars for judges; $7.8 million worth of bulletproof vests for firefighters; and a center in the city of Kirkuk for treating victims of torture.
At the same time, the hundreds of Americans and Iraqis who have devoted themselves to the reconstruction effort point to 3,600 projects that the United States has completed or intends to finish before the $18.4 billion runs out around the end of 2006. These include work on 900 schools, construction of hospitals and nearly 160 health care centers and clinics, and repairs on or construction of nearly 800 miles of highways, city streets and village roads.
While the Bush administration is not seeking any new reconstruction funds for Iraq, commanders here have military discretionary funds they can use for small reconstruction projects. The U.S. Agency for International Development is expected to undertake some building projects, as it does in 80 other countries, with money from the foreign appropriations bill.
Tbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7011 posts, RR: 27 Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1501 times:
The point in my argument is that we broke Iraq, pretty much. Clearly Sadaam fucked up the place pretty badly as well, but we broke the infrastructure. Us and the handful of other countries in the coalition, but mostly the United States. Regardless of all the construction we have done (which is very good), why stop? Can you give me one good reason why we should stop reconstruction as long as our troops are there? If the President isn't giving us a timeline for withdrawal, rather saying we'll leave when the job is done, shouldn't part of the "job" be reconstruction?
We're spending five billion dollars a month on the military in Iraq, and we've only spent eighteen billion on reconstruction, much of which didn't even go to the planned projects because of the insurgency.
I've been told by former marines on this websites that one of the marine mottos goes something along the lines of "Finish a job that's started and do it well" (I'm sure I slaughtered it but you get the idea). Even if I were to get this timeline that I so desperately want our government to give us, I still want reconstruction to continue while our troops are there.
Cairo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1457 times:
Tbar, I think the main answer to your question is this:
For political reasons, the administration wants the appearance that it is backing out of Iraq a bit.
It really doesn't want to stoke the fires of those (the majority of Americans) who don't support the US presence in Iraq and who would be even more irritated if the president said something Christian like, "we should fix what we broke in Iraq, and to do so I need an extra xx billiion dollars tacked on to my record budget deficits."
Besides, America needs to get back to its main purpose in life, which is spreading freedom and democracy and fighting the 'global war on terror.' Iraq was done for Bush when Saddam was out and the permanent US presence was established. There are other fish to fry (Iran/Syria).
KSYR From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1448 times:
Why stop funding this reconstruction?
Maybe we have better things to spend the money on? Hearts and minds are important, but if we can't stop Abdul and Azzam from blowing up the power station every week then we aren't going to win very many people over.
We need money for reconstruction, sure. But for the moment it would probably better suit us to fund only the essentials (water, power, etc.) and use whatever money is left in order to fight the insurgents. What good is a new oil pipeline if you have to repair it every week?
We need to get the essentials done and reduce the insurgency first. The cosmetic stuff can wait until the Iraqi Army is ready to take over and foot the bill and the manpower.
Tbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7011 posts, RR: 27 Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1441 times:
Quoting KSYR (Reply 7): Hearts and minds are important, but if we can't stop Abdul and Azzam from blowing up the power station every week then we aren't going to win very many people over.
That's true, perhaps if a combination of reconstructing the essentials with a different strategy to tackle the insurgency were used, we'd have an easier time with reconstruction. The biggest problem I think is that the essentials in the country are below pre-war levels, which means water and electricity.
I just can't support a complete cut in all the funding for reconstruction as long as our troops are there. Its not as if we've spent that much on it in the first place.
Gilligan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1427 times:
Quoting Gilligan (Reply 2): While the Bush administration is not seeking any new reconstruction funds for Iraq, commanders here have military discretionary funds they can use for small reconstruction projects. The U.S. Agency for International Development is expected to undertake some building projects, as it does in 80 other countries, with money from the foreign appropriations bill.
What part of that paragraph don't you understand? After WW2 did the American military or Corp of Engineers rebuild Germany and Japan? No, we provided adequate funds through the Marshall plan and then foriegn aid and let the private sector take care of the rebuilding. The U.S. did not build Germanies steel mills or Japanese auto factories.
As to power and water, until everyday Iraqis get tired of putting up with Abdul blowing up their power plants and water treatment facilities there's not much else that can be done. That is beginning to happen as tips that were only coming in by the tens a year or so ago are now coming in by the hundreds. No war is easy no matter how the TV talking heads would like to make it out to be. I hope the President has the wherewithall to withstand pressure to set a "dead" line. That would be the stupidest mistake he or anyonelse could ever make. Another Marine saying that was brought up recently and part of your thread topic is that "Marines don't cut and run."
UpstateDave From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 209 posts, RR: 1 Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1421 times:
Quoting Gilligan (Reply 2): "The U.S. never intended to completely rebuild Iraq," Brig. Gen. William McCoy, the Army Corps of Engineers commander overseeing the work, told reporters at a recent news conference. In an interview this past week, McCoy said: "This was just supposed to be a jump-start."
I wonder how Iraqi citizens feel about a another country coming and saying your government is flawed so we're going to get rid of it and let you clean up the mess.
Besides what do we care about how much we spend on Iraq its not like we don't already spend more than we have. Here, here to add it to the deficit!
"Once you fly, you will walk with your eyes skyward. For there you will go again." Leonardo da Vinci