Iraq: March 4, 2005

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While there's more electricity available than before the war, supply is only about half the 8,000 megawatts of demand. Iraqis wasted no time in getting back to the business of business once Saddam was gone, and the docks, airports and highways on the borders are full of consumer goods coming into the country. You see satellite dishes, appliance stores and new cars  everywhere, so someone is making money. But the biggest need is basic infrastructure; power plants, sewers, water treatment and road building and maintenance. These projects take months, and years, to complete, and there's no way to speed it up. The reconstruction has been stalled in Sunni Arab areas for most of the last two years, but this is increasingly changing. Local Sunni groups (tribal or warlord militias) are offering protection from terrorist attacks, in return for jobs and basics like water and electricity. 

 

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