Tags: Iraq | corker | iraq | waste | abuse | 8 | billion

Corker: $8 Billion in Wasteful Spending in Iraq 'Appalling'

Thursday, 07 Mar 2013 09:58 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker says the State Department and its aid agency need a complete review following a report released Wednesday detailing at least $8 billion in “waste and abuse” of funding that went to reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

Calling the report “appalling,” the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said it “highlights real failures of planning and execution that must be corrected,” The New York Times reported Thursday.

But at the same time, Corker also acknowledged that the report highlights “some approaches that worked and could be applied to future reconstruction efforts, especially the billions of dollars in remaining reconstruction funds for Afghanistan.”

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According to The Times, the report, written by Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the inspector general for reconstruction projects in Iraq, documented how some $60 billion in U.S. aid was spent, including both successes and enormous mistakes. It also provided some candid comments on the failure of some programs from former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and from United States and Iraqi diplomatic officials.

“The Iraq reconstruction program,” the report concluded, “provided a plethora of lessons about what happens when stabilization and reconstruction operations commence without sufficient systemic support in place.”

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