Peacekeeping: November 12, 2004

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Rebuilding Fallujah and other cities around Iraq is one of the thankless but necessary tasks U.S. forces will have to undertake after the fighting is over. The Marines 4th Civil Affair Group has been planning for weeks to fix the damage from the Fallujah campaign once the shooting stops. They have been working with the 7th Naval Construction Regiment a Seabee combat engineering team to estimate potential battle damage as U.S. and Iraqi forces moved into the city. The Seabees made suggestions on how to secure the city without completely flatting, working on the principle that its easer to try and preserve key structures rather than having to rebuild them from scratch. Marine Corps planners have gamed out critical service restoration and teams are already in operation assessing the current state of water, sewage, and garbage disposal systems and other infrastructure, with priorities given to medical care and food distribution. 

Army and Marine commanders have $40 million to spread around in the city for purposes such as paying compensation to residents with damaged property and families that have a suffered death or serious injury. Once Fallujah is stabilized, civil affairs groups will start processing damage claims. Another $50 million worth of reconstruction projects has been on hold since April when the Marines broke off their first offensive and insurgents took control of the city. The U.S. Project Contracting Office will fund four projects worth an additional $50 million within two months after control of the city is transferred to local government officials. 

The biggest of the four projects is a new $35 million sewage treatment plant to clean up Fallujahs contaminated water supply. Other projects include $6.2 million for a new health care facility, $4 million for four new schools, and $2.5 million for electric grid improvements. 

U.S. money and efforts to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan dont get a lot of headlines in the American press and rarely (if ever) get coverage in the European and Asian media. Doug Mohney

 


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