Iraq must pay for more of its own bill
U.S. troops left Iraq in December 2011 but America and its allies are still spending millions of dollars on reconstruction there — while Baghdad's oil revenue booms and it cozies up to Iran.
And this throwing of good money after bad — America spent about $60 billion on reconstruction during the Iraq War — will continue at least through 2014, The Washington Times reports. At Baghdad's request, the United States and 16 other nations have extended by a year an Iraq reconstruction trust fund — to which they've donated almost $2 billion — that was to expire Dec. 31.
The United Nations says Iraq's oil revenue has grown to nearly $100 billion annually. Half the fund's projects were unfinished — leaving at least $54 million unused — at 2012's end. Yet the U.S. this year also is providing Iraq with $470 million in foreign aid and wants to hike that figure to $500 million for 2014. Washington also plans to lend Iraq $573 million to buy U.S. military equipment.
The State Department says all this largess is a matter of maintaining a “strategic partnership” with Iraq. Yet Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, part of Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority, has done little about rising, deadly Shiite-Sunni violence that increasingly involves Sunni al-Qaida fighters and has let Iran fly weapons to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad through Iraqi airspace. Some “partner,” eh?
America must stop squandering taxpayer dollars on Iraq, which is not a reliable ally and has increasingly ample resources of its own for its own reconstruction.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.