Friday, July 27, 2007

Administration stops reporting availability of electricity in Baghdad as number drops to 'an hour or two a day'

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

As the Bush administration struggles to convince lawmakers that its Iraq war strategy is working, it has stopped reporting to Congress a key quality-of-life indicator in Baghdad: how long the power stays on.

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that Baghdad residents could count on only "an hour or two a day" of electricity. That's down from an average of five to six hours a day earlier this year.

But that piece of data has not been sent to lawmakers for months because the State Department, which prepares a weekly "status report" for Congress on conditions in Iraq, stopped estimating in May how many hours of electricity Baghdad residents typically receive each day.

Instead, the department now reports on the electricity generated nationwide, a measurement that does not indicate how much power Iraqis in Baghdad or elsewhere actually receive.

Read the rest at the LA Times

Related Link:
Perspective: Powerless in Baghdad

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

Related Link:
Perspective: Insurgents Starve Capital of Electricity