Pentagon Beats Out State Dpt for Control of Billions

CBS/AP reports

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) After a power struggle with the U.S. State Department, the Pentagon has won control over most of a $18.4 billion aid package for Iraq, and rebuilding delayed for a month will start this week, U.S. officials in Baghdad said Sunday.

Much of the enormous aid package funded by U.S. taxpayers will go toward 2,300 construction projects over the next four years. Of these, the State Department will oversee as little as 10 percent. But $4 billion of the aid package has been set aside, and spending authority for those funds is still in discussion.

Congress approved the aid in November, but the bickering delayed contracts expected to be approved Feb. 2. The State Department had pushed for control, because it will become the top U.S. agency here after Iraqis are handed sovereignty June 30.

Officials were so frustrated by the delay that the U.S. head of reconstruction in Iraq, retired Rear Admiral David J. Nash, reportedly threatened to resign in December.

Powell loses again.

Say, anyone know what ever happened to Condoleeza Rice overseeing Iraqi reconstruction?

cross-posted at UnFairWitness

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