I’m glad we got the best companies to go in there and finish the job. Having no-bid contracts was absolutely the right way to go.
The San Francisco engineering company’s last government contract to rebuild power, water and sewage plants across Iraq expired on Tuesday. Some employees remain to finish the paperwork, but essentially, the company’s job is done.
Bechtel’s contracts were part of an enormous U.S. effort to put Iraq back on its feet after decades of wars and sanctions. That rebuilding campaign, once touted as the Marshall Plan of modern times, was supposed to win the hearts of skeptical Iraqis by giving them clean water, dependable power, telephones that worked and modern sanitation. President Bush said he wanted the country’s infrastructure to be the very best in the Middle East.
But Bechtel — which charged into Iraq with American “can-do” fervor — found it tough to keep its engineers and workers alive, much less make progress in piecing Iraq back together.
“Did Iraq come out the way you hoped it would?” asked Cliff Mumm, Bechtel’s president for infrastructure work. “I would say, emphatically, no. And it’s heartbreaking.”
Seriously folks, it’s amazing to see how quickly Iraq is falling apart.