Logistics: U.S. Building Iraqi Army Bases

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August 6, 2008: Iraq is hiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to supervise a $1.6 billion construction effort that will build bases (housing, storage, training and maintenance facilities) for the Iraqi armed forces. The Corps of Engineers has long experience in running large scale military and civilian construction projects, and supervised the construction of U.S. bases and logistical facilities in Iraq and Kuwait. But the Iraqis also want the Corps of Engineers to oversee this project because the American officials can be expected to minimize the extent of corruption. If an Iraqi firm were put in charge, a lot more of the money would disappear, rather than be turned into military facilities. In the last few years, little of the Iraqi oil income has gone to infrastructure work, partly because of corruption fears, and a lack of qualified Iraqis to handle such projects. Even Saddam imported foreign construction managers for large scale projects.

 


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