Xinhua and other sources less public about their biases have published a number of articles this week with sentences like this:
A quarterly audit by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction reveals the U.S. government has wasted tens of millions of dollars in a reconstruction effort that has cost American taxpayers more than 300 billion U.S. dollars and left the region near civil war.
That’s astoundingly good news, and should not be ignored. It’s not clear exactly how much this all adds up to, but we do see quotes for about $86 million. Let’s call it a hundred million wasted, for a wastage of one part per three thousand, one thirtieth of a percent. I would love to see a reliable way to run major development projects in the third world with a waste and corruption rate of 0.03%. I’ve been awfully skeptical of the no-bid contracts handed out to Halliburton and friends, but this makes me reconsider. This is unbelievable performance.