Why the Reconstruction Failed and Why State is to Blame

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the author of the current handbook on how to manufacture an insurgency, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, wrote another damning article on the failure of the Administration make the children get along.

Following the Bremer-esque line that things must be built back better or not at all, State has called Paul Brinkley, a deputy undersecretary of defense, a Stalinist for his efforts to reopen dozens of government-owned factories. 

[Comrade] Brinkley said embassy staffers called him a Stalinist bent on restoring a command economy. Another told him that if he rehabilitated factories, Iraqis “are going to use those machines to make more complicated weapons to kill our troops with.”

Two embassy staff members confirmed Brinkley’s depiction of the tension but blame him for the rupture. “Here was this guy who parachuted in from Washington who thought he had all of the answers and that we were just a bunch of idiots sitting around in the Green Zone,” said one of the staff members, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the matter. “Had he bothered to think about all of the reasons why pouring money into these factories is a bad idea?”

And what exactly did Comrade Brinkley fail to consider? 

Embassy officials warned Brinkley that if he opened factories in Sunni areas first, he risked angering Shiites. Moreover, the electricity needed by production lines would mean less for residences. Would people really be happier, embassy officials asked, if they had jobs but less power at home?

Right, because State is doing such a bang up job on anticipating and staying ahead of what the Iraqi’s want and need. Iraqis would rather be unemployed, sitting at home playing XBox.

The conflict between State and Defense (and everyone else) kills not only any hope of reconstruction, but also soldiers and Marines. Who’s in charge here?

(H/T PCR Project)