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Everyone, Days after the absorption of Oil-for-Food by the CPA, there's been a glitch in an unrelated supply-chain: discretionary cash for Iraqi reconstruction. USAToday is reporting that discretionary reconstruction budgets for frontline commanders has temporarily run dry, with accounts to be replenished next month. As a frustrated CPA official told the New Yorker earlier in a similar context (see Nathaniel Hurd's 11/24 post): "To do reconstruction, you need to have the ability to deliver resources right away ... People in a desperate situation need help." Also included below is a link to an AP report of a protest resignation by an Italian official, citing CPA 'incompetence'. Regards, Drew Hamre Golden Valley, MN USA === http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-11-24-civic-iraq_x.htm Cash for public works runs dry in Iraq at bad time By Steven Komarow, USA TODAY Posted 11/24/2003 8:58 PM Updated 11/24/2003 9:00 PM Print Edition: 11/25/2003 BAGHDAD — Money that the Army uses to hire Iraqis to repair roads, sewers and small civic projects has run dry, forcing frontline commanders to suspend a critical part of their campaign to win public support. "It is a tough pill to swallow," says Col. Ralph Baker, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Armored Division. "One of the hardest things I deal with right now is coming face to face with the (Iraqi) contractors who we still owe money." The problem is temporary and the U.S. government expects to replenish the accounts next month. But commanders say the timing couldn't be worse, hurting America's credibility and its ability to win over Iraqis. Attacks on U.S. soldiers have increased in recent weeks. The U.S. military responded with the heaviest air and artillery attacks since President Bush declared major combat operations over May 1. But officers say winning over the population is just as important to efforts to defeat the insurgency. By fixing sewers, schools and power lines, they show that the United States wants to make life better for Iraqis. "Money is our ammo," says Col. Joseph Anderson, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul. "We had many plans based on good faith, and people expect results. We are now having to explain why we can't follow through." Money for the community-projects program came from assets seized from Saddam Hussein's ousted regime. Paul Bremer, the chief administrator of Iraq, gave military commanders authority to spend about $170 million out of $900 million under his control. With so much of Iraq in poor condition, commanders found that the funds were warmly received. In some cases, the military let the U.S.-created neighborhood councils set spending priorities in an effort to promote democracy and self-sufficiency. The money went too fast. When it began to run out, there was no quick way to replenish it. The Pentagon asked Congress to continue the effort. And about $180 million is included in the supplemental spending bill recently signed by Bush. Army Col. Mike Toner, a finance officer for the coalition, says money should be flowing again next month. But Baker worries that "we're losing some momentum on what we're doing here." It's not just repairs, he says; it's trust that pays off. He points with pride at how local citizens helped his brigade track down members of a terrorist cell that rocketed the Al Rasheed Hotel in Baghdad on Oct. 26, killing an Army officer. === http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-11-18-iraq-attack_x.htm U.S. aircraft pound insurgent positions in central Iraq ... excerpt ... On Monday, the Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed the resignation of an Italian official of the U.S.-led coalition, who accused the occupation authorities of incompetence "The provisional authority simply doesn't work," the Italian daily Corriere della Sera quoted Marco Calamai, a special counselor of the Coalition Provisional Authority, as saying. "Reconstruction projects that were promised and financed have had practically no results." State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, asked about the resignation, said the coalition authority has made "excellent progress" in several areas, including "the physical reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration of services to Iraqi people, the beginnings of political authority among the Iraqi ministers and now an accelerated path to political authority." ... end excerpt ... _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk