Monday, May 01, 2006


According to the Washington Times:
The troop training program that the United States began in 2003 to protect Iraq's oil and electrical lines is a failure and the Bush administration has dispatched a team to Baghdad to draft a new strategy, according to an inspector general report.
The report said the Bush administration and Iraq government poured $147 million into trying to create an Iraqi Oil Protection Force of 14,400 and an Iraqi Electric Power Security Service of 6,000 guards. But today, the electric security service no longer exists, and the oil force has shown only sporadic success.
To be fair, there is good news in the report that says that the Iraqi counterinsurgency force has improved. The report also notes that members of the U.S. led forces have not cooperated with the investigation of Task Force Shield. The Guardian has some background on that group:

Up to last month, Washington had invested more than $265m to improve the protection of energy infrastructure in Iraq.

Task Force Shield sought to cover 340 key installations, 4,000 miles of oil pipeline, and 8,000 miles of electrical transmission lines.

In a separate section, the report notes that a former contractor and former senior staffer in the now defunct US-led coalition government are facing jail sentences 30 to 40 years on corruption charges.The contractor will have to pay $3.6m in restitution and forfeit $3.6m in assets.

The Guardian report also notes the previously disclosed information about the contractor hired to build 175 health clinics throughout Iraq. The contractor has spent nearly 75% of it's allocated $186 million and completed 3 clinics. It expects to complete a total of 20 when it's done. Reports are that we've spent $31.6 billion in Iraq for the reconstruction or enough to provide every uninsured American $720 in health care for a year (and remember, that doesn't include the costs of troops and such which are estimated to run another $500 billion today and may top out at the $2 trillion mark).

RIP, John Kenneth Galbraith.

The BBC reports that Gnarls Barkley has hit number 1 on the album and singles chart. Way to go, Cee-lo and Dangermouse! Remember, Cee-lo Green is a soul machine. I've been a big fan for a while, now. Crazy is a killer song.

No comments: