Sunday, December 14, 2008

4.8 miles of Electric Beds

Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience

Official History Spotlights Iraq Rebuilding Blunders

The Organizational Chart for Iraq's Reconstruction

Parking Lot as Situation Room

As a socialist regime, Iraq had millions of state employees and pensioners. Rebuilding officials had no idea how much to pay them. They picked a figure out of the air over a debate in a parking lot, according to the review.
The decision about emergency payments to Iraqi civil servants took place around a concrete pillar in the parking lot of the Kuwait Hilton. "Having read various background papers, we started talking about if we could do it at five bucks, or we could do it at 50 bucks," David Nummy remembers. "We decided that a good midpoint was 20 bucks. And that's how we established $20 emergency payments."

4.8 miles of Electric Beds
The violence greatly impeded execution, leading to confusion and unfinished projects.
“When finally finished, the waste-water treatment system—which was supposed to serve the entire population of Falluja—will serve just over a third of the city's population, will have cost three times its original price, and will have been completed three years later than originally planned. Moreover, serious questions remain about whether the Iraqis can sustain it after transfer to their control.

It turned out that the U.S. imported a lot of (hospital) beds for Iraq. A representative of the Canadian company that produced them all told (Jack) Holly, (the former logistics chief for the reconstruction effort) that he had received "4.8 miles of electric hospital beds." Over time, the embassy distributed them to various hospitals and clinics—to be operated manually in many cases because of the inadequate power supply.

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