October 14, 2003

Funding Watch Walter Slocombe has

Funding Watch

Walter Slocombe has an op-ed worth reading over at the WaPo. It's basically a call to various Washington actors to stand strong and help push through the requisite funding per the President's request for $87B. To drive that point home, Slocombe writes:

"Iraq is rich in resources -- not just oil, water and fertile soil but a resourceful population with a respect for education and hard work. But for those resources to be mobilized as the basis of a stable, democratic, prosperous and peaceful country, everything from the railroads to the electric grid to the school system must recover -- not from war damage, which was minimal, but from a generation or more of neglect, corruption and mismanagement.

This task will take many years, and most of the money after the president's supplemental funding request will have to come from Iraq's own efforts, private investment and the support of the international community as a whole. The U.S. contribution now being considered is designed to address only the most urgent needs -- to bring electricity production close to demand so factories can reopen, to increase the safety of drinking water, to repair the worst of Hussein's depredations on the environment, to build basic conditions for private investment, to bring communications into the 21st century and to meet the most critical of a host of similar basic needs. Doing that contributes to security every bit as much as training police or reopening border control posts." [emphasis added]

Get it? The $87B (on top of the money already spent) is just to cover the cost of the troop deployment and funds deemed to be urgently required for basic reconstruction expenditures. Much more cash will be needed going forward.

That's fine, we all knew what a massive undertaking this was going to be. But, assuming that Bush doesn't cut and run (very contra his personality), and further assuming that we don't get as much funding as we'd like from partners, varied "allies," oil production etc, we should get prepared for another large funding request next year.

Posted by Gregory at October 14, 2003 08:49 AM
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