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Quarterly Report to Congress, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, October 2011

Published October 2011

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) issued this quarterly report in October 2011; it covers the period of July-September 2011.

Inspector General Stuart Bowen, Jr's message in the report states,

"Sixty days from now, the mission of the U.S. Forces-Iraq will come to an end. This historic moment will close the books on nearly nine years of U.S. military engagement in Iraq. This moment also inaugurates a new phase in the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq. Substantial U.S. financial assistance will continue, albeit at levels lower than in previous years. But a more cooperative and collaborative aspect will eventually embrace this crucially important relationship as the State Department's plans and programs develop.

The Iraq that the U.S. military leaves is fundamentally changed from the foundering state that existed in the spring of 2003. Iraq's economy, then at a stand-still, is expected to grow at a robust 9.6% this year; inflation is low; the national budget is 40% larger than it was three years ago; and oil production in 2011 will almost certainly set a post-2003 record. But Iraq still suffers from daily attacks, with Iraqi Security Forces personnel and senior Government of Iraq leaders regularly subject to assassination attempts. This painful reality underscores the continuing need for Iraq to strengthen its military, police, and rule-of-law institutions. Section 1 of this Report features detailed perspectives on the security situation drawn from recent interviews with top officials at the Ministries of Interior and Defense.

There were political clashes within the GOI this quarter over competing versions of the long-awaited new hydrocarbon law, a contentious issue that fundamentally divides the GOI and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). This Report's Focus on the Kurdistan Region provides details on what has been a largely successful reconstruction program in that part of northern Iraq, notwithstanding the unsettling issues that currently daunt relations between the GOI and KRG."

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