Wednesday, September 10, 2003
::: Bush Aides Admit Missteps on Iraq :::
Under and Over Estimates
One day after President Bush gave the nation a cautious view of rebuilding efforts in Iraq, senior administration officials for the first time acknowledged that they vastly underestimated the damage to the country's infrastructure and greatly overestimated the amount of oil revenue that could be used to help rebuild the war-torn country.
So is ... "Ooopps ... what Americans get?
In April, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told Congress that revenue from Iraqi oil would be $50 billion to $100 billion over a two- to three-year period and would cover a substantial portion of U.S. costs to rebuild the country. But yesterday, in a briefing with reporters, senior administration officials said the revenue will be nowhere near that high.
"Any sort of estimates in this kind of situation are very difficult, particularly so in a country like Iraq that had so little clear visibility to the outside world on everything that was going on," said one of the administration officials, speaking on the condition he not be named. "So I think it is fair to say that the level of decay and underinvestment in the Iraqi infrastructure was worse than almost anyone on the outside anticipated."
Of the $87 billion Bush asked for on Sunday night, $21 billion would go to rebuild the infrastructures of Afghanistan and Iraq. Administration officials said Iraq would get the lion's share of that $21 million. The final $66 billion would cover the military costs of occupying both countries. Iraq again is the heavy focus, with $51 billion slated to be spent on the military there.
Personally, I want to know where every penny goes, don't you?