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Hard Lessons of Iraq Reconstruction Experience

Over the past five years, the United States has provided nearly fifty billion dollars for the relief and reconstruction of Iraq. This unprecedented rebuilding program, implemented after the March 2003 invasion, was developed to restore Iraq�s essential services, build Iraq�s security forces, create a market-based economy, and establish a democratic government�all in pursuit of U.S. interests in a stable and free Iraq. Did the U.S. rebuilding program achieve its objectives? Was the money provided well-spent or wasted? What lessons have we learned from the experience?

Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience, a report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), answers these and other important questions by presenting a comprehensive history of the U.S. program, chiefly derived from SIGIR�s body of extensive oversight work in Iraq, hundreds of interviews with key figures involved with the reconstruction program, and thousands of documents. The report examines the pre-war planning for reconstruction, the shift from a large infrastructure program to a more community-based one, and the success of the “Surge” in 2007 and beyond. The report provides thirteen lessons applicable to contingency relief and reconstruction operations, which should create a basis for reviewing and reforming the U.S. approach to these activities.

Here is what key leaders of the U.S. efforts in Iraq say about Hard Lessons:

“Hard Lessons �is a 'must read' for those seeking to understand what transpired in Iraq since its liberation in 2003 and what we might learn from helping the Iraqis establish a new state in an ancient land”.

—General David Petraeus Commander, Multi-National Force-Iraq (2007-2008)

“This comprehensive look at U.S. reconstruction efforts in Iraq contains thoughtful lessons learned that the Congress and the Administration should consider.”

—Ambassador Ryan Crocker U.S. Ambassdor to Iraq (2007-2009)

“Hard Lessons is an important and timely study and should be required reading to inform all future U.S. efforts to conduct overseas contingency relief and reconstruction operations in conflict and post-conflict situations.”

—Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (2005-2006)

SIGIR reviewed thousands of documents and interviewed hundreds of military members, government officials, and civilian contractors for this report, whose text is supported by about 100 pages of footnotes.

Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience

Publisher: Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction

Description: EST. DELIVERY DATE 02/02/09.

Year/Pages: 2009: 500 p.

Price: $21.00 Add To Cart

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Last updated: January 29, 2009