Thursday, November 09, 2006

Auditor's Office: Iraq corruption financing insurgents

BAGHDAD, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A U.S. monitor of Iraqi reconstruction says corruption in the Iraqi government is running into billions of dollars, money that is financing the insurgency.

Stuart Bowen, chief reconstruction auditor, told the BBC that in addition to the violence, Iraq is facing a second insurgency in the form of corruption and mismanagement.

He estimated that corruption this year will reach $4 billion, or over 10 percent of the national income, with some of the money going to insurgents. He also said there are not enough skilled people to manage state funds.

"This money that's stolen doesn't merely enrich criminals," Bowen said. "(It) frequently goes out to fund criminal militias or insurgents. That means lost lives for U.S. troops."

From UPI

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