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Thursday, October 09, 2003

Posted by Jake
Iraq Aid Figure Gives Donors New Confidence

The Japanese are talking in the billions,' said a senior administration official. 'The Europeans are revisiting their earlier numbers. They're all beginning to look at this as a security issue, not a development issue, and they're scrounging for money from other places in their budgets.'

Administration and international aid officials say that after intense American pressure, the initial European pledge of $230 million could expand to several hundred million dollars. If that happens, one official said, the administration will press the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia 'to make sure they are not left behind,' one official said. The administration's senior Middle East envoy, William J. Burns, visited the United Arab Emirates last week to press them for greater contributions.

Even a sum of a few billion dollars for 2004 — only a fraction of the $55 billion identified as needed by Iraq over the next four years — could be trumpeted as a success if it is accompanied by a World Bank report that says that only about $6 billion could be spent on Iraq. In developers' jargon, the $6 billion figure rests on calculations of Iraq's 'absorptive capacity,' meaning that it takes months or years to plan for projects.


Good news is good news.

Matt -- This is good news indeed. I'm kinda surprised at how much people are complaining about the money for this. Granted, it is a lot of dough. Okay a whole lot of dough, but a good investment any way you look at it. The financial and security return on investment will be incredible, every country should be clamoring to scrounge up as much as they can afford to buy in.

James-- Ah Matt, you've been out of the game too long. There shouldn't be any surprise "people" are complaining. They're complaining for purely partisan reasons. The complaint is not "This is going to cost too much", the complaint voiced most often is some variation of "Bush lied about how much this is going to cost," or "We can't afford this because of the Bush tax cut."


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