Monday 07 November 2016

U.S. leaving Mosul reconstruction to Iraq — potentially creating opening for Iran

By Rowan Scarborough - The Washington Times

The U.S. spent more than $160 billion to rebuild war-wrecked Iraq and Afghanistan, but there appears to be little appetite in Washington to fund a third big reconstruction era for Iraq’s ongoing second war.

U.S. officials say this time the responsibility lies with cash-depleted Iraq, which is leading the campaign to evict the Islamic State terrorist army. But if Fallujah and Ramadi are examples, Baghdad has a lot to learn.

Basic humanitarian and rebuilding aid to those western post-battle cities was slow and inconsistent. On the horizon is the daunting job of putting back together Iraq’s second-largest city — Mosul.

“We don’t have a quote ‘reconstruction fund for Iraq,’” a State Department official told The Washington Times. “There is not a specific reconstruction fund for Iraq like there was in 2003.”

The problem goes further than not being able to rebuild. The money vacuum opens the door for terrorist-supporting Iran to inject its influence into more neighborhoods as the U.S. stays out.

“I neither know nor have heard of a post-ISIS plan,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik, who commanded troops in the first Iraq war.


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