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SIGIR's Quarterly Report to Congress
Bowen Finds "Nascent Normalcy" in Iraq; Corruption a "Second Insurgency"
11/13/2008 8:11 PM ET

The Pentagon's Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) has released its latest quarterly report to Congress.

In its discussion of reconstruction, corruption, and political developments in Iraq in the last quarter, SIGIR suggests that the country is entering a period of "nascent normalcy," in which Iraqi authorities are gradually taking over areas formerly controlled by Coalition forces.

The report, signed by the Special Inspector General Stewart W. Bowen, Jr., begins:

This penultimate quarter of the Year of Transfer witnessed the emergence of nascent normalcy in Iraq. As U.S. reconstruction assistance continued to target civil and military capacity building, Iraq achieved progress on the security, political, and economic fronts. Violent incidents dropped to their lowest levels since 2004; the long-awaited Provincial Election Law finally passed; and commercial activity, spurred by Iraq’s oil-revenue windfall, continued to increase. But, as General Ray Odierno, the new Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I), recently noted, Iraq “was a failed state (in 2006). In 2008, it’s a fragile state. We’ve got to move it to a stable state.” To sustain progress in this direction, Iraq must improve its provision of security and essential services, such as electricity, potable water, sewage systems, and health care services.

Later in the document, SIGIR likens corruption in Iraq to a "second insurgency" that hampers the political and economic progress in the country.

Scroll through the report below, or download the entire 4.2MB PDF, in whole or in parts, from the SIGIR website.

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