Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Perspective: Iraq Rebuilding Short on Qualified Civilians

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad at the formal inauguration of a PRT in Iraq in November, 2005. "Think of the tourism potential here," he said.

In Diyala, the vast province northeast of Baghdad where Sunnis and Shiites are battling for primacy with mortars and nighttime abductions, the U.S. government has contracted the job of promoting democracy to a Pakistani citizen who has never lived or worked in a democracy.

The management of reconstruction projects in the province has been assigned to a Border Patrol commander with no reconstruction experience. The task of communicating with the embassy in Baghdad has been handed off to a man with no background in drafting diplomatic cables. The post of agriculture adviser has gone unfilled because the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided just one of the six farming experts the State Department asked for a year ago.

Read the rest at the Washington Post