The BBC puts a number on corruption in the new Iraq: US$23 billion lost, stolen or missing.
As the BBC points out, the total cost of this theft and systemic mismanagement is much higher than the total of dollars leaked away — because much of this money was intended for essential projects, like rebuilding the Iraqi security forces. Obviously, these forces haven’t been effective to stabilize the country, suggesting that cost must now be measured in blood as well as dollars.
BBC uncovers lost Iraq billions
Image: US Army helicopters over Samarra, Iraq (cc James Gordon).
— by Jonathan Werve —
Last year, the legendary Don Barlett and James Steele did a similar story for Vanity Fair, with half those billions. Nice read too: http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/10/iraq_billions200710