Saturday, March 03, 2007

U.S.: After $4.2 billion spent, Baghdad still 6 years away from full electricity

A power line downed by insurgents. The lack of electricity also makes it much more difficult to provide security at night.

WASHINGTON // Getting full-time electric power turned on in Baghdad, a key wartime goal toward which the United States has spent $4.2 billion dollars, won't be accomplished until the year 2013, U.S. officials said yesterday, in what others called a significant setback for the new U.S. initiatives to quell Iraq's bloody insurgency.

Power outages in the Iraqi capital are frequent, leaving residents without electricity for an average of 17 or 18 hours a day. For most residents without personal generators, that means not just no lights but dead radios and televisions, heaters, washing machines and water pumps.

Army Brig. Gen. Michael J. Walsh, the senior U.S. military officer overseeing reconstruction efforts, told reporters yesterday via video teleconference that the Iraq government plans to increase power generation "to catch up with demand" for electric power by 2013, "somewhere in around that area."

Read the rest at the Baltimore Sun

Related Link:
Perspective: Insurgents Starve Capital of Electricity