Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Reconstruction and the 'surge' in Iraq

A short article that concretely illustrates how reconstruction will be linked with the much-discussed 'surge' of US troops in Iraq. Interestingly, the military-dominated panel presented a range of civilian projects that would be traditionally undertaken in an occupation:

"Clapp [Director of Security, Plans and Operations] discussed developments in service restoration in Baghdad in support of the Baghdad security plan; services such as water, sewage, electricity, education opportunities, health care, trash collection, parks and recreational services, and vocational and technical training."

Looking closely at the text, it is often a bit difficult to unpack why certain projects are undertaken: there are undertones of linking security with reconstruction. A final example where security projects are presented as humanitarian/development issues: 'Nash spoke of security projects in Baghdad. His office manages approximately 150 projects throughout the city worth close to $500 million. The projects include schools, courthouses, water networks and more.'