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  1. #1
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Default Provinces Use Rebuilding Money in Iraq

    Provinces Use Rebuilding Money in Iraq
    By JAMES GLANZ
    October 1, 2007

    HILLA, Iraq, Sept. 30 This mostly easygoing provincial capital, where the Euphrates River winds around as if it is in no hurry to go farther south, holds the latest sign that political power in Iraq is leaving its historical home in Baghdad for outlying regions. That sign is a local government that knows how to spend money.

    Because of security threats and a seemingly immovable bureaucracy, the federal ministries in Baghdad largely failed to spend billions of dollars of Iraqi oil revenues set aside last year to rebuild things like roads, schools, hospitals and power plants.

    Although some ministries have improved slightly, what has really caught the eye of Iraqi politicians is the way some local governments have begun bypassing the morass in Baghdad by using hundreds of millions of dollars of the reconstruction money they receive from the government to finance regional projects.

  2. #2
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Default Bureaucratic 'surge' boosts local government

    I'm responding to myself, but here's another story along the same lines.

    Bureaucratic 'surge' boosts local government
    By Steve Negus, Iraq Correspondent
    Financial Times
    Updated: 5:42 a.m. ET Oct. 1, 2007

    Here in Iraq's dusty Sunni Arab hinterland, teams of US diplomats, soldiers, aid experts and Iraqi-US *advisers are rumbling about country roads in convoys of armoured Humvees to listen to the concerns and grievances of Iraq's much neglected local governments.

    They are part of an inter-agency effort known as the Provincial Reconstruction Teams, or PRTs, and represent a philosophy of development that differs from the early post-invasion years - rather than spend billions to build infrastructure, it aims to increase Iraq's capacity to spend its own money.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21072673/

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    You're not talking to yourself, I'm paying attention. Good stuff! Thanks for posting it.

  4. #4
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Default USAID assistance to Local Government in Iraq

    Well, since I have an audience, I would like to follow up and say that USAID has been providing assistance to local governments since 2003. CA units were providing assistance to neighborhood, district and provincial councils as well. Would be interested to hear what folks think about promoting strong local government (decentralization?) in Iraq.

    More info on USAID's work in this area at:
    http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/accomplishments/locgov.html

    More info on USAID's Local Governance Project in Iraq at:
    http://www.lgp-iraq.org/

  5. #5
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Default USAID Provincial Reconstruction Team Magazine

    USAID has just come out with a flashy new publication talking about success stories by PRTs in Iraq. The Fall 2007 issue can be found at:

    http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWFiles2007.nsf/FilesByRWDocUnidFilename/KHII-77Z34H-Full_Report.pdf/$File/Full_Report.pdf

    It's strange for me to see the PR effort gearing up now (as opposed to the last 4 years of relative nothing). Perhaps it's part of the exit strategy - see Kilcullen reference below...

    Kilcullen in his interview with Charlie Rose, says "The rate at which you build local capacity drives your exit strategy. OK? The faster you can stand up effective forces and effective governance structures, particularly, then the faster you can exit from the campaign." and "I think we need to understand how insurgencies end. They don't end like conventional warfare. You don't defeat the enemy, there's a victory parade and everybody goes home. What you do is drive the threat down to the point at which the local government and society can handle it, and then they handle it."
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 05-27-2008 at 06:35 PM. Reason: Fixed link.

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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Thanks...

    ... I'm listening in too!

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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Default Always listening

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebubalicious View Post
    I'm responding to myself, but here's another story along the same lines.

    Bureaucratic 'surge' boosts local government
    By Steve Negus, Iraq Correspondent
    Financial Times
    Updated: 5:42 a.m. ET Oct. 1, 2007



    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21072673/
    Just to busy pestering others to pester you at the moment
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

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    Well, since it looks like I'll be part of a PRT starting in fall 2009 (just got my offer from NEA this morning), I'm all ears as well!

    From everything I've read and people I've corresponded with, working at the local level is really the only way to go in a place like Iraq. But with that comes the attendant problems of synching strategies and methods (to an extent).

    In terms of building up local capacity as an exit strategy, that certainly makes sense!

    (More on this later -- I need to pull myself away from the warm glow of the laptop and start packing - my packout's tomorrow morning. Only two weeks left in KL, a month in NC, and then off to the MFO in the Sinai for a year...)

  9. #9
    Council Member ali_ababa's Avatar
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    It's good that the provinces are becoming more active. For too long Baghdad has dictated everything and power should devolve from the capital.

    Thanks for the great info.

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