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Report cards in for Iraqi spending

U.S. soldiers search a house during an operation in the suburbs of Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, on Monday.

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: Reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan has been anything but easy. The security situations in both countries have made it more expensive to rebuild -- everything from schools to power plants. Today, House lawmakers get a reconstruction report card from the Pentagon. Jeremy Hobson has more.


Jeremy Hobson: A recent Inspector General's report found the U.S. has spent about $45 billion reconstructing Iraq. More than a third of that money went toward building Iraqi Security Forces.

Gordon Adams: Security became job one.

Gordon Adams is a professor of International Relations at American University.

Adams: And reconstruction simply couldn't happen unless the folks doing it and the things being reconstructed were protected.

Lawmakers are also focusing today on security and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, which have cost the U.S. nearly $20 billion so far, according to congressional estimates.

Rick Barton is with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He says today, much of the reconstruction budget is going toward a controversial program to eradicate poppy production.

Rick Barton: The U.S. military does not like the eradication program. They feel that it generates insurgents.

Out of frustration, the Senate recently passed legislation that would create an Inspector General for Afghanistan reconstruction.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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