Tags: panetta | troop | withdrawal | iraq

Panetta: Troop Withdrawal Left Little US Influence in Iraq

Wednesday, 06 Mar 2013 09:29 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

The Obama administration's inability to complete an agreement for a military presence in Iraq after 2011 has hindered U.S. political influence in that country, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says in a report to be released on Wednesday.

The report by Stuart W. Bowen Jr., special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, also contains some criticism from American officials suggesting that too many large projects were taken on without sufficient consultation with the Iraqis about what was needed, reports The New York Times. As a result, Bowen concludes that at least $8 billion of some $60 billion in reconstruction aid was wasted.

Bowen's report covers reconstruction efforts over eight years. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns, whose own observations were included in the report, told Bowen that the United States had overreached in Iraq by planning to “do it all and do it our way,” only to discover the Americans quickly “wore out our welcome.”

Urgent: Obama or GOP: Who’s to Blame for Budget Crisis? Vote Now

That view was echoed in part by U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who was in Iraq from 2007 to 2009. He says in the report that Iraqi officials would often sign off on projects only because they weren't paying for them and then abandon them later on when they were transferred to Iraqi control.

Ambassador James F. Jeffrey, who served in Iraq from 2010 to 2012, also offered his view that “too much money was spent with too few results.” But he noted that U.S. efforts did help by putting thousands of Iraqis to work, improving healthcare, building the military, restoring electric power, and increasing the country's oil production.

The Times reported that Panetta was also critical of the reconstruction efforts, saying they demonstrated a “lack of thought.” But his main concern, apparently, dealt with the fact that the withdrawal of American forces in December 2011 hurt the ability of the United States to influence events in Iraq.

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

McCain: Don't Write Off Lindsey Graham's Chances in GOP Primaries

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 11:30 AM

Sen. John McCain says he was surprised when 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced Friday he won't be seeki . . .

Illegals Could Wait Until 2019 to Have Cases Resolved

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 11:13 AM

Thousands of immigrants seeking legalization through the U.S. court system have had their hearings canceled and are bein . . .

Mike Huckabee: As a Christian, I Can't Just 'Evolve' on Gay Marriage

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 11:03 AM

Former Arkansas governor and recently retired Fox News host Mike Huckabee said he hasn't changed his personal conviction . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved