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RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS IN IRAQ

Multi-National Force-Iraq

Briefer: BRIG. GEN. DONALD ALSTON & BRIG. GEN. THOMAS BOSTICK
TOPIC: RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS IN IRAQ (HIGHLIGHTS ONLY).
June 23, 2005

Highlights by Brig. Gen. C. Donald Alston

•  The Ministry of Interior's Tips Line has been a tremendous asset and the amount of calls to the hotline since the beginning of the year has increased dramatically. 

•  An aggressive marketing plan by the Ministry of Interior that began in April, coupled with an increased commitment from the Iraqi citizens have led to this surge in actionable calls. [Chart displayed of tips trends from Jan 05 - mid-Jun 2005]

•  Tips from Iraqi citizens contributed to the capture of terroritsts, they have stopped attacks on Iraqi Security Forces and they have also led Coalition forces to weapons that otherwise could have been used against more innocent Iraqis, Iraqi security forces or coalition forces.

•  In Baghdad on the night of June 21, a tip led soldiers from the Third Battalion, Second Brigade, Sixth Iraqi Army Division to six rocket-propelled grenade rounds and 29 rocket charges hidden in a sewer manhole.

•  These are just some examples of literally hundreds where the Iraqi people are fighting back at the violence in an effort to bring stability to their lives, their government and their country. 

 

Highlights by Brig. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick:

•  Iraq has made significant progress in seven major functional areas of engineering infrastructure since reclaiming sovereignty on June 28, 2004.

•  In June of last year, there were 200 contracted projects in work. Right now, there are 2,500 either in progress, completed or pending. Iraqi police stations, border police facilities and forces to staff them are in place to ensure security for other projects and Iraq as a whole.

•  The Iraqi electrical grid had 4,400 megawatts of output when the Coalition began to repair it. In the last year, there have been more than 2000 megawatts added to the nationwide grid. By September, there will be an additional 700 mw available. Over the summer, Iraqis will have the electricity they need to keep their appliances running. Another 1,000 mw will be added by next summer.

•  Oil separators, refineries, pipelines and water injectors have been built or repaired using about one-third of the total $1.7 billion allocated for that purpose.   

•  Water supply is critical, and will cost $2 billion per year for a period of 12 years to bring it to every Iraqi citizen. Seven additional water plants are being built. So far, $1.7 billion has been spent on water supply.

•  Transportation infrastructure is in work also. Railroads are being built and more than 700 km of  formerly dirt and unpaved roads in outlying villages have been asphalted.

•  School projects are high on the list of priorities also. Children who currently sit with their toes in the mud will find themselves in classrooms made of brick and mortar soon if they haven't already. Of the 800 planned schools, 600 are completed.

•  Health care facilities are being planned and built also. Iraqis are being encouraged to help with these building projects from the 160 smaller clinics to the larger regional hospitals. Most of the clinics and one-third of the hospitals are built already.

 

•  Quality of life is improving for Iraqis:

•  There are 2,500 projects slated to help better the lives of 25 million people.

•  The large-scale projects which benefit the most people are generally out-of-sight to the people they benefit. Those include electrical power plants, stringing of electrical transmission wire (more than 8,600 kilometers), sewage systems and electrical routing facilities. These things take a great deal of time, effort and energy to complete.

•  Projects which are visible to residents of towns and cities schools, clinics distribution lines and local sewage. Those are quick to complete and less expensive than power plants.

 

•  Engineers are working through some very specific electrical and water difficulties:

•  The grid in Iraq has just surpassed the 5000 mw mark for availability of electricity on the grid.

•  The plants which support that electricity are subject to the availability of repair parts, trained Iraqi engineers and plant managers. Eighty Iraqis have recently returned from schools abroad and repair parts have been ordered for a ready, on-hand supply.

•  Many of the existing plants have suffered 35 years of neglect. It is still easier to repair these facilities for immediate use than to create new facilities from scratch, yet both are being done. There are six new electrical plants being built in Iraq .

•  On an average day, 2,000 mw of the electrical grid needs maintenance.

•  It is anticipated that the peak summer usage this year will draw 7-8,000 mw from the grid. That demand is up 60 percent from this time last year. That is also an indicator of consumerism taking hold.

 

•  Iraq 's oil infrastructure is also being rebuilt.

•  Iraq is presently importing diesel.

•  Crude oil and residual oil do not burn cleanly, so facilities to refine Iraqi oil are being rebuilt despite setbacks caused by terrorists. Terrorists are being captured as they make their attacks.

 

•  Iraqis are already realizing the benefits of this work in several ways:

•  The current electrical utility projects come under a named objective we call Project Phoenix. The energy and focus of that project are being targeted at adding 500 mw to the grid by the end of July. The grid is already above pre-war levels.

•  The cost, scope and schedule comparisons for building contracts indicate that a 10-room school should be built with 10 rooms, function as a school and be built on the budget allotted for its construction. While we're never fully satisfied with less-than-perfect ratios, we're pleased with the willingness of the Iraqi builders to show up and work with an undiminished will, sometimes at the risk of their own lives. We're getting most of what we're asking for here.

•  There has been an estimate of $60 billion required to rebuild the infrastructure to pre-1991 levels. The U.S. has committed $18.4 billion to the rebuilding of Iraq , and $11 billion is ear-marked already. The balance will likely come from foreign investors. That interest is already coming from commercial interests in Madrid , Tokyo and Brussels .



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