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Safety in Iraq

The New York Times reported last week that the United States is significantly behind its post-war reconstruction effort. Bremer has promised to employ 50,000 Iraqi's to rebuild Iraq's electricity grid and only 20,000 have been hired so far. Also behind scheduale is road building, sewage repair, and other infrastructure.

This is actually fairly easy to explain: the United States has ignored law and order issues at the expense of economic issues, which is classic New Deal liberalism. Instead of focusing on safety issues (setting up an Iraqi police force, court system, routing out the terrorists) the U.S. focused on food distribution, recreating and economic rehabilitation. That stuff is all fine, but without safety none of it will be long lasting. Entreuprenuers are afraid to go into Iraq because the risk of investing is too high and citizens are fearful of the insurgents. It seems that the administration made a huge mistake in downplaying safety issues after the war. This mistake gave ample time for an insurgency to take place and a counteroffensive to be launched.

With that being said, it seems that the adminstration has realized this and reversed course. Prime Minister Allawi is talking tough and proposing tough law and order policies in order to render the insurgency irrelevant. In the upcoming months, we will see if Allawi is able to act on what he promises