Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Iraq Needed Bureaucrats

There was a C-Span broadcast yesterday of a hearing by an Iraq/Afghanistan contracting commission with the IG, Mr. Bowen and staff., tied to the book: "Hard Lessons". One of the interesting questions, perhaps from the former comptroller of the Pentagon, was about "absorptive capacity", whether Iraq had the bureaucratic infrastructure to absorb the $18 billion, or $25 billion, or whatever amounts were targeted for the country. Bowen said: "no", maybe $5 billion. Point--you need bureaucrats, you need a banking system (which Iraq didn't have, so they hauled cash around), in order to spend money.

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