Advancing a Free Society

White Elephant in Baghdad

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Iraq’s recently concluded, inconclusive elections will be followed in August by the pullout of American troops, making this a good time to ask what American taxpayers have achieved with the $45 billion spent on reconstructing Iraq since 2003 and what steps to take next.

That $45 billion includes no expenditures on the U.S. military itself but includes $21 billion for Iraqi security forces, $11 billion for Iraqi infrastructure, and $6 billion for various Iraqi government-related services.

Sadly, this vast sum has largely been wasted: firstly, because once coalition forces leave Iraq in August, the mullahs in Tehran will begin their takeover; secondly, because hubris and incompetence have riddled U.S. spending in Iraq. To get some sense of those errors, let’s review the highest-priority American project, namely the U.S. embassy complex in Baghdad.

Continue reading Daniel Pipes on National Review Online