Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The 1st Cavalry's answer is to pour half a billion dollars into Baghdad over 90 days. The money will be distributed through 100 different projects to build sewers, ensure potable water and rebuild electricity infrastructure. Iraqis will be contracted to implement the projects.

"I really take issue ... with folks that say first you have to provide security and then we'll rebuild the infrastructure. Because I can't get there from here. ... I've got to do both of them at the same time," Chiarelli said.

In Sadr City, many power lines are thin, jerry-rigged cables strung so low across roads that U.S. Army vehicles have inadvertently ripped them down. The 1st Cavalry will replace many of them with strong, high-voltage cables, Chiarelli said.

"What we're trying to do is to pull some of these people that are our enemy ... and make them part of the process, and understand that whatever the insurgency is offering, we're offering them something better," Chiarelli said. "Every Iraqi that we can put to work is probably an Iraqi that we may not have to worry about fighting the coalition."

No comments: