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And, yes, I DO take it personally: USAID, the folks that have to make it happen, are telling prospective contractors just how BAD Iraq REALLY is...
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

USAID, the folks that have to make it happen, are telling prospective contractors just how BAD Iraq REALLY is...

when the troops leave and the long-haul REALLY begins, it's USAID that is often the only major U.S. presence in a country besides the embassy... (well, i suppose in the case of iraq, there'll still be all those huge military bases we keep pretending we're not building...) anyway, USAID folks often have to face a reality that others don't and they're not very happy about their prospects in iraq...
An official assessment drawn up by the US foreign aid agency depicts the security situation in Iraq as dire, amounting to a "social breakdown" in which criminals have "almost free rein".

The "conflict assessment" is an attachment to an invitation to contractors to bid on a project rehabilitating Iraqi cities published earlier this month by the US Agency for International Development (USAid).

The picture it paints is not only darker than the optimistic accounts from the White House and the Pentagon, it also gives a more complex profile of the insurgency than the straightforward "rejectionists, Saddamists and terrorists" described by George Bush.

The USAid analysis talks of an "internecine conflict" involving religious, ethnic, criminal and tribal groups. "It is increasingly common for tribesmen to 'turn in' to the authorities enemies as insurgents - this as a form of tribal revenge," the paper says, casting doubt on the efficacy of counter-insurgent sweeps by coalition and Iraqi forces.

Meanwhile, foreign jihadist groups are growing in strength, the report said.

"External fighters and organisations such as al-Qaida and the Iraqi offshoot led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are gaining in number and notoriety as significant actors," USAid's assessment said. "Recruitment into the ranks of these organisations takes place throughout the Sunni Muslim world, with most suicide bombers coming from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region."

The assessment conflicted sharply with recent Pentagon claims that Zarqawi's group was in "disarray".

The USAid document was attached to project documents for the Focused Stabilisation in Strategic Cities Initiative, a $1.3bn (£740m) project to curb violence in cities such as Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk and Najaf, through job creation and investment in local communities.

bushco iraq happy talk, something we all know is bogus, is even more bogus than we thought... i don't imagine contractors are necessarily going to be falling all over each other bidding on projects where the professionals they send in to do the job may end up coming back in body bags...

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