Thursday, June 17, 2004

EVENTUALLY A FULL STOMACH WEIGHS MORE THAN FEAR OR HATRED is slow going...but make no mistake about is going...and going in the right direction.
Now, he said, the U.S. military is trying to enable Iraqis to do the work for themselves. U.S. and Iraqi elements are choosing projects, such as locations for Iraqi military camps, and Seabees are rough-drafting the projects, putting them out to bid and managing their progress.

“This is to give the Iraqi businesses a chance to develop,” Kubic said.

“It’s going to be slow, but over the long term having a bottom-up strategy will be the key to the future of a successful Iraq. As long as the people in Baghdad can set the political and economic condition, and we can mesh our military strategy with that — allowing [progress] to come from the bottom up — we’ll be very successful.”...

But business is picking up in spite of the danger that sometimes comes with doing business with the U.S. forces.

Kubic said that projects such as building schools, courthouses and police stations used to attract from only two or three Iraqi contractors. That eventually grew to seven or eight bids.

“Now we routinely get 20 to 30 bids for a job,” Kubic said. “For one road project we just ordered, we had 104 bids.”

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