WHAT: At least 10 percent of the $50 billion spent by U.S. taxpayers for reconstruction in Iraq has been wasted. According to audits by the program’s special inspector general, 595 projects are abandoned, mostly because of security concerns.
OUTRAGEOUS EXAMPLES: A $100 million wastewater treatment system in Fallujah cost three times more than was budgeted, but sewage still runs through the streets. A $40 million prison sits empty in the desert, along with more than $1.2 million in abandoned construction material. A Basra children’s hospital is five years late, and the cost tripled.
FINISHED FAILURES: Iraqi authorities complain about shoddy buildings handed over while still needing costly fixes. A convention center at the Baghdad airport was transferred to Iraqis “as is,” without being connected to the city’s electrical grid. A provincial clinic was turned over to local authorities without a staircase.