Sunday, July 31, 2005

Eliot Cohen: A Hawk Questions Himself as His Son Goes to War

Watched Eliot Cohen on c-span just discuss this column from the Post. He wrote,
....or that the under-planned, under-prepared and in some respects mis-manned Coalition Provisional Authority would seek to rebuild Iraq with big construction contracts awarded under federal acquisition regulations, rather than with small grants aimed at getting angry, bewildered young Iraqi men off the streets and into jobs.
I have long list of rejections for procurment/audit/financial jobs from the CPA, so maybe I have ax to grind here but let me grind it.

I thought application of full Federal Acquistion Reqs a huge mistake. It was the Administration kowtowing to fear of Democratic criticism of Halliburton and the Logcap contract process instead of thinking about reconstruction.

In fact, the model was set by one of the greatest Democrats: Grinnell College's (my school's) Harry Hopkins at the WPA, when he fought this battle with Harold Ickes Interior Department. Hopkins wanted to push money out in small projects to get people working without much regard for audits. Chicago's Ickes (a Liberal Republican by the way and father of today's Harold Ickes) wanted tightly regulated big projects which spent very slowley with much less impact.

We should have been pushing funds out much faster. Cohen's got some good analysis and he said on c-span the greatest fault lies with Congress for failing to investigate much.

1 comment:

Amy Allen said...

Good post & thanks for the sidebar link.