Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Iraq Study Group Economic Platform (Part II)

In continuing through the Study Group’s report other items could create business for U.S. companies. A few of the recommendations below speak to mismanagement by the current Bush administration and are included as a special bonus for the reader!

The U.S. government should encourage the Iraqi government to accelerate contracting for the comprehensive well work overs in the southern fields needed to increase production, but the U.S. should no longer fund such infrastructure projects. (Page 84) What companies currently perform this work? Will they stay the same and responsibility for payment be the only change?

The U.S. military should work with the Iraqi military and with private security forces to protect oil infrastructure and contractors. (page 84)

Metering should be implemented at both ends of the supply line. (page 84) Who supplies and maintains the meters? (page 84)

The U.S. should provide technical training for the Ministry of Oil for enhancing maintenance, improving the payments process, managing cash flows, contracting and auditing, and updating professional training programs for management and technical personnel. (page 86)

Job creation is also essential (page 86)

U.S. economic assistance should be increased to a level of $5 billion a year rather than being permitted to decline. ..Capacity building and job creation, including reliance on the Commander’s Emergency Response program, should be U.S. priorities. Economic assistance should be provided on a nonsectarian basis. (page 87) Traditionally U.S. aid requires significant amounts be spent on products/services provided by American corporations.

A Senior Advisor for Economic Reconstruction in Iraq is required….should report to the President…must act as the principal point of contact with U.S. partners in the overall reconstruction effort. (page 88)

The authority of the Special Inspector General for Iraqi Reconstruction should be renewed for the duration of assistance programs in Iraq. (page 90)

The public interest is not well served by the government’s preparation, presentation, and review of the budget for the war in Iraq….circumventing the budget process by the executive branch erodes oversight and review by Congress. (pages 90 & 91)

Costs for the war in Iraq should be included in the President’s annual budget request, starting in FY 2008: the war is in its fourth year, and the normal budget process should not be circumvented. Funding request for the war in Iraq should be presented clearly to Congress and the American people. (pages 91 & 92)

The report goes on to cite an underperforming intelligence service and gives recommendations for beefing it up. It states flat out “there is significant underreporting of violence in Iraq”. It suggests the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense should institute immediate changes in the collection of data about violence and the sources of violence in Iraq to provide a more accurate picture of events on the ground. (page 95)

It looks like there are lots of places for American corporations to make money in Iraq. Isn't that why James Baker and company really did this work?

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